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The Future of Smart Buildings: Trends and Tech for Facilities Managers

Apr 15, 2024 | Public | 0 comments

Smart technology has been on the rise in recent years. Data collected by Google shows that 61% of people now own a smart device like a virtual assistant, smartwatch, or smart TV. The trend towards increased smart-tech adoption applies to businesses, too. Google data shows that industry leaders are 1.5 times as likely to utilize smart technology in their tech stack. This underlines the importance of smart tech and the competitive advantages it offers.

Smart tech can be particularly useful if you work in facilities management. Integrated smart devices can save you money, uncover potential safety hazards, and identify areas for improvement. Devices like smart thermostats and inventory management tools can help you minimize waste and cut down on unnecessary emissions, too.

Data-Driven Facilities Management

Facilities management is a complex, multifaceted role. You are responsible for the health and safety of on-site employees and are expected to find ways to improve operational efficiency. This can be a daunting task if you’re not used to working with large data sets in a dynamic work environment. Smart technology can help you better understand the strengths and weaknesses of your current strategy by capturing data that would otherwise be overlooked.

As a facilities manager, you can leverage smart devices effectively by tapping into the power of real-time data collection. Real-time data gives you a moment-by-moment understanding of your facility and can entirely transform the way you manage your space. Rather than fragmenting your data, invest in a workflow program that collates data derived from devices connected to the Internet of Things (IoT).

Switching over to a workflow program that utilizes real-time data can help you make more proactive decisions, too. Going beyond static datasets helps you see developing trends throughout the day and spot potential hazards or inefficiencies. This is key if you work in a dynamic environment with shifting inventory levels and flexible work schedules. Start small by focusing your efforts on a single real-time data stream, and expand your operations as your connection to the smart IoT expands.

Safety

Ensuring the safety and well-being of employees is crucial. As a facilities manager, you’re expected to identify potential hazards and threats before employees or customers are ever put in a dangerous situation. This can be stressful, as it is all but impossible to predict the future without a robust data collection strategy.

Smart buildings can help prevent accidents and predict hazards by increasing the volume of information available to you at any given time. For example, automated fire detection systems use a range of cameras, temperature controls, and machine learning algorithms to accurately predict when and where a fire is likely to occur. This can empower you to make changes to the way you store flammable materials.

Investing in smart buildings and safety is great for morale, too. Employees who feel safe are happier and are more likely to reach their potential than those who are concerned about standards. Using a blend of wearables, IoT devices, robotics, and AR/VR can help reassure employees that they are safe at work.

Recently released smart building technology can enhance security measures, too. Technology such as biometric scanners and video analytics spot potential breaches and help you make changes that minimize the risk of unauthorized access. This is particularly important if you work in a high-risk environment like manufacturing or inventory management. These smart devices can identify patterns that precede break-ins or accidents and help you step in when staff seems tired or locks become faulty.

Sustainability

Most modern businesses have lofty environmental, social, and governance (ESG) goals. ESG goals are important for a business’ brand presence and ensure that the company is staying on the straight and narrow. As a facilities manager, you play a crucial role in helping your business achieve its ESG targets.

Get the ball rolling by using smart building tools to improve your energy management. Smart buildings are energy efficient due to improved data collection efforts that feed automated control systems. These controls take real-time readings of the building’s temperature, occupancy, and light and make automatic adjustments to minimize energy waste. They also use pattern recognition algorithms to identify high-energy waste and suggest areas for improvement.

For example, smart thermostats can connect with electric vehicle (EV) chargers so that when the chargers aren’t being used, the system redirects power where it’s needed. This way, your facility can hit two sustainability targets simultaneously: accommodating EVs so staff can reduce commute-related emissions, and using electricity efficiently in the facility.

Smart buildings that utilize real-time data can help you get on the front foot and achieve sustainability efforts early, too. Utilizing sensors that detect inventory mismanagement, identify misused energy, and spot malfunctioning equipment can significantly improve waste reduction efforts. This underscores the reality that smart buildings are changing facilities management forever.

Conclusion

Effective facilities management is all about spotting patterns and addressing issues before an accident or fault can occur. Smart buildings can also help you act proactively and achieve ESG goals early. Even simple changes, like utilizing smart locks, can improve safety and help staff feel more secure. This can be transformational if you’re used to reacting to acute issues rather than anticipating problems with IoT devices and smart building tech.

Miles Oliver is an independent writer with a background in business and a passion for tech, news, and simply helping people live happy and fulfilled lives. He has lived and traveled all over the United States and continues to expand his awareness and experiences. When he is not writing, he is most likely mountain biking or kicking back with a cup of tea.

ALSO READ: The Cybersecurity Threats Facing Smart Buildings

The post The Future of Smart Buildings: Trends and Tech for Facilities Managers appeared first on Facilities Management Advisor.

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