Facility Maintenance Automation And The Advantages Of Smart Buildings

October 29, 2018

Facility management is an essential aspect of running a business. It goes without saying that employees need an efficient working environment while customers require a comfortable and inviting atmosphere.

Even more, an establishment needs to create an environment that reflects the good image of the organization.

Facility management covers the maintenance and upkeeping of a building architecture, behavioral and engineering sciences, the physical workplace, IT infrastructure, security, and so much more.

Facility maintenance involves essential practices and processes that serve an invaluable role in ensuring the safety of building occupants and workers.

These include repairs and maintenance, cleaning and waste disposal, space utilization, redesign, and retrofitting, among other.

How a "Smart Building" Streamlines Facility Maintenance

From ‘smart homes’ and now to ‘smart buildings’, facility managers are now incorporating automation in keeping buildings more secure, efficient and highly conducive for workers and occupants.

What is a smart building? And how does it benefit your business?

A smart building refers to any facility that uses automated processes to automatically control the building’s physical operations, such as ventilation and heating, temperature, lighting, security, alarms, and other systems through the use of sensors, microchips, and actuators that automatically transfer and receive data from a computer.

Smart buildings are now a common trend among offices and establishments from various sectors, including hospitals and health care facilities, schools, government offices, shopping centers, and more.

How is a smart building created?

Similar with automating homes, making a building smart starts by linking core systems, such as the power, lighting, HVAC, water meters, and fire alarms with sensors and control systems.

Smart building designs can range from very simple and basic to more sophisticated infrastructure which sometimes include even elevators and access systems.

What are the advantages of smart buildings?

Going "smart" really sounds appealing to clients and investors. But more than the sophistication it brings, transforming a building into a smart building has far greater benefits to an organization and the people working within.

Reduced operation and energy consumption

Creating a smart building requires a significant investment. But in the long run, all the money spent certainly pays off and can even lead to reduced costs.

The smart technology has the ability to collect and analyze facility management data. For example, sensors placed in a building can automatically schedule maintenance checks based on equipment usage.

Moreover, automating core systems based on usage (not time interval), such as the lighting, room temperature, and electricity usage can greatly help save money on utilities.

Preventive maintenance

The use of sensors helps assess the condition and technical performance of machines and equipment, alerting facility managers whenever there is a need for immediate checks and repairs.

This greatly helps an organization save money by discovering problems even before they get worse.

Improved building efficiency

The use of smart building technologies like thermal sensors and unobtrusive cameras provides data-protection-safe information that lets facility managers know how the building is being used and make necessary adjustments where light or heat is required, for example. The same applies with other infrastructure like air conditioning.

Comfort of workers and building occupants

Aside from security systems, smart buildings are specifically designed to provide a more comfortable environment to building occupants.

Automating facility maintenance raises an organization’s standards for safety and health concerns.

Through smart building integration, facility managers can continually monitor building use and adjust systems in order to meet the comfort needs of everyone. All these lead to improved productivity of workers.

Better use of resources

The data generated by a smart building provides a key insight for better planning and use of resources.

An organization can eliminate the guesswork, save time and money, and allocate resources more efficiently.

Automating facility management is a great step towards a better,safer environment, and more efficient building.

A smart building offers an efficient and advanced option for an organization. More than the lighting systems, heating and air conditioning, the smart technology can integrate just about every system in a building.

It has undeniable benefits to any establishment or organization, from reduced operational costs to lower energy consumption, preventive maintenance of equipment, improved building efficiency, comfort of building occupants, and better use and management of resources.

Ultimately, a smart building can help an organization generate more money.

Megan Jones is the content manager for Aer Industries.

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