Ways facility management can benefit from IoT

Bruce Leith

Blog by: Bruce Leith - 21 / Nov / 2019

Effective facility management is fundamentally about making informed, intelligent decisions as to how best to allocate resources within a building. And because the IoT can collect and harness the information required to make those decisions, it has a huge amount to offer facility managers.

In this blog, we’re looking at just three of the ways in which facility managementcan benefit from IoT technology.

Energy efficiency

As climate change takes an ever more significant place in both public consciousness and governments’ lists of priorities, so the energy and resource efficiency of buildings is becoming an increasingly pressing concern. IoT technology can improve the energy efficiency of buildings in a variety of ways.

Bu using connected sensors to monitor motion, temperature, light levels, humidity and other key environmental qualities, IoT ecosystems in buildings can enable facilities managers to allocate resources more efficiently and in many cases, automatically. From ensuring that lights are turned off when not required, to allocating cleaning at the most appropriate times, IoT enables a more proactive and informed approach to energy and resources. And this, in turn, means greater efficiency.

Furthermore, the data collected throughout these energy efficiency processes can give facilities managers a clearer picture of trends over time, enabling smart decision-making and informing future facilities management strategies and building design.   

Space optimisation

For any commercial building, optimal use of the space available is critical for the business bottom line. Clearly, this doesn’t just mean shoehorning in as many desks or offices as possible. It means designing and allocating the space to best meet the needs of workers – indeed, to encourage greater productivity from those workers.

This might mean offering a range of different workspace types, such as areas for formal meetings, breakout sessions and individual, silent work. It might mean tailoring facilities such as toilets and washrooms, kitchens and storage so as to precisely meet the needs of different groups of workers.

Designing space in these intelligent ways – and then managing that space proactively through time – depends on gaining intelligence into when space is used, how it is used, and in which timeframes traffic is highest in different parts of the building.

Enter the IoT. Simple sensors such as motion sensors, or even wearable devices assigned to each worker, can help build up a rich and dynamic picture of how space is currently being used – and how it could be optimised in the future. In turn, facilities managers can set live capacity KPIs, make more intelligent decisions with regards to new space needs, and even sublet underutilised space in order to generate new revenue streams.

Proactive, predictive maintenance

The same proactive and predictive maintenancewhich the IoT is enabling in manufacturingand industrial settings also apples to facilities management. Sensors deployed throughout a building can provide intelligence on the most appropriate and efficient times to undertake checks, repairs and upgrades. They can also identify when small issues – a water leak, for example, or a higher temperature than usual in a particular area – merit further investigation.

Ultimately, then, the IoT is enabling facility management decisions to be made with more intelligence, with information collected both in the short-term and over months or even years. It is enabling facilities managers to gain a more holistic and dynamic view of the overall building they are in charge of, and to use that visibility to make tangible operational improvements.

 

Topics: IoT, facilities management

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