Facility management has become much more complicated in the last few decades. Fortunately, advanced technological solutions allow us to address all the challenges that arise with the introduction of green and smart buildings. Today, facility managers are also facing increased tenant expectations, because in an era of high connectivity, everyone wants to get instant updates and real-time reports about their living and working places.
The technology behind it
The goal of smart facility management is to anticipate and solve potential facility problems in real time. That is, the facility manager will not respond to problems and problems reactively (as they used to), but preventively. This practice requires the use of big data and advanced Internet of Things concepts. It also requires complex network deployments that need to include high-sensitivity sensor gadgets and sophisticated software solutions. This allows facility managers and tenants to receive live updates via multiple channels, including: SMS, email, social networks, etc.
Current facility management issues
Facility manager usually overwhelmed with work. Most of their work consists of managing information through paper, e-mail, and old software systems that are too complex and slow. The lack of advanced technology in facility management also limits tenant choice and control. When the lights flicker and the air conditioner heats up in July, they need to call the facility manager, who is often busy or unavailable (because of the large amount of paperwork they have to work on).
This makes their efforts uncertain and their feedback very limited. To that end, buildings with smart sensors that implement Internet of Things concepts are far more attractive to tenants, and are expected to become the standard of construction in the next decade.
What will happen in the future?
The latest integration of Internet for everything and big data, enabling managers to receive structured and analyzed data, with an emphasis on the most pressing issues. This will improve overall facility management effectiveness and allow managers to focus on combustion issues. This also means that tenants do not need to report malfunctions and damage, as system sensors will register them immediately.
There are two main types of Internet of Things systems that can be implemented in smart construction. Data analysis and computing can be done in the cloud or using a central computer, or it can be done directly on the sensor, which will only report problems and inconsistencies in the day-to-day operation of the system. The first concept uses cloud-based software for analysis and fast internet and M2M connections for data transfer, while the second concept will use sensors with integrated computers and analytical capabilities.
When there are no problems or significant changes in the working of the facility’s systems, the sensor computers will simply compile, analyze, and store the data on their own disk units. If something out of the ordinary occurs, sensor computers send notifications to a central system, along with data that allows managers to address the problem in an appropriate way.
Which segments of facility management will this system cover?
HVAC systems have benefited from the smooth discovery of IoT sensors and fast computing. Many companies already use this type of system. Businesses offering installation and servicing of HVAC systems are seeing a significant increase in demand. One of them is, for example, Peak AC, a Sydney-based company. In addition to air conditioning, advanced IoT systems will also be able to perform surveillance, water sprinklers, lighting and even fire alarms. In the latter case, the system will automatically call the fire department, open all doors and turn off the elevator.
Although most people still think of IoT as a science fiction concept, M2M systems are already having a drastic impact on our lives. As the future will bring faster internet connections and continuous development of machine learning, this concept will make our lives fully automated in the next few decades.