Building Operations & Maintenance

How to take Buildings from Smart to Smarter : Three-pronged Approach to Real-time Facilities

How to take Buildings from Smart to Smarter : Three-pronged Approach to Real-time Facilities

We live in the digital age, an era where everything is only getting smarter, be it the indispensable mobile phone or the age-old television network. Buildings are no exception either.

Long gone are the days where the only automated mechanism in a built structure was the elevator.

Buildings are now automated marvels at work, keeping track of climate controls, fire and safety mechanisms, water-saving plumbing equipment, and more.

However a lot of this automation can add to the complexity and challenge of building management. Inefficiencies get compounded as the portfolios grow, and tracking mechanisms become more tedious and time-consuming.

Research indicates that an inefficiently monitored building incurs 30% more on energy costs and 15% more on maintenance expense. Imagine this in a single building scenario, where energy expenses amount to Rs. 3.5 crores, and multiply this across a portfolio of buildings.

The loss due to inefficiencies can be staggering.

With increasing traction for smart workplaces (more on our previous blog on changing CRE trends and how to meet them) and a whopping 72% of CREs ill equipped to have their departments deliver positive portfolio performance, the scenario makes a strong case for building management solutions that balance environmental consciousness and occupant comfort, with the buildings ROI for CRE’s.

So how can buildings achieve this balance?

“Best way to escape from your problems is to solve them”

Get the best of both worlds! Make your buildings sustainable and efficient with technology

Breaking down the three-pronged approach to real-time facilities

To sustain the health of a building over an extended period of time requires it to be operationally-efficient in terms of energy and asset usage, people-efficient in terms of the comfort of its inhabitants and cost-efficient in terms of lower OPEX and higher ROI’s for its CRE’s.

Efficiency, on the other hand, finds its roots in tracking, data analytics and proactive maintenance of the building, all in real-time. For facility managers and building owners this means:

1. Make your workforce smarter to manage distributed facilities

The workforce is an integral part of building maintenance and perhaps one of the critical areas of focus for active monitoring.

A solution that uses IoT and Machine Learning provides contextual and real-time maintenance management and creates a smarter workforce that can take a pre-emptive approach to problem solving, as opposed to the traditional ‘fire-fighting’ approach.

Using meaningful insights to predictively reduce or circumvent issues and downtime of assets, creates significant efficiencies in the workforce performance as well as improved ROI.

2. Get smarter sustainability with real-time insights

Schematics already available from the existing technology installed within building structures houses mines of data, useful for curbing wastages and reducing the building’s carbon footprints.

Proactively tracking water and energy usage patterns with a focus on highlighting unusual surges in usage can have a profound impact on the building’s sustainability efforts.

3. Achieve smarter asset performance

Maintenance of HVAC’s, power control, and elevators to name a few, all fall under the broader umbrella of operational dependent efficiencies with a direct impact on the cost efficiency of a building.

For example, in the case of an HVAC continuously running at 19 degrees Celsius rather than the recommended 24 causes significant impact on cost, asset health and overall productivity of building inhabitants.

Using current technology in a building management suite that combines real-time energy management and condition monitoring will empower facility teams to not only monitor and analyse consumption but also detect and act on asset performance – drastically improving the asset lifecycle.

IoT and ML-driven facilities management for real-time building performance

In the current scenario, heavy reliance on multiple vendors, providers, and standalone solution offerings, create information siloes that are not being effectively harnessed.

The existing ‘smart’ facilities are limited in analytic capabilities and find it difficult to support mobile, real-time analysis,  and across distributed portfolio.

What is needed is a software-led technology that can integrate with these systems, and unify data across the systems, to deliver optimum building management.

IoT and Machine Learning technology are the next-gen building management systems, with the potential to leverage existing data to run buildings efficiently and centrally.

These ground-breaking technologies are transforming the traditional reactionary and post-facto approach of facilities management by providing a unified, real-time predictive methodology that prioritises efficiency and offers enriched decision-making abilities.

By integrating into existing technology like BMS, fire control, lift management systems, security systems, facilities mitigate the risk of added investment to upscale existing technology, which provides long-term returns for building owners in the high opex & capex built environment.

The future is now

For buildings to transcend into valued-contributors to environmental sustainability as well as become efficient profit centres for CRE’s and FM’s, the highly fragmented building environment, with several systems working in parallel and rarely in tandem, demands integration.

And a software-led approach harnessing IoT and ML technologies is the future of real-time building management.

And with Facilio, we believe the future is now.

At Facilio, we’re continuously rethinking the way buildings are managed – shifting traditional, tactical facilities management towards smarter, predictive facilities experience. Know more about our product, schedule a demo and access the new real-time facilities with Facilio

This article was published in the Construction and Architecture Magazine May-June 2018 Edition.

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