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Technology and the New Standard for Facilities Management

by Samar Salih, Senior GM – FM Pro Solutions of EFS Facilities Services Group

Facilities management remains a key organizational integrator between people, place, and process within the built environment for enhancement of productivity of the core business. There is an emphasis on the provision of a healthy, safe, and environmentally friendly environment for occupants.

In recent years, technology has been a critical enabler for the success of Facilities management, with adoption of IoT (Internet of Things) devices for collection of real-time operational data that is then analyzed using Artificial Intelligence (AI). It provides insights into how facilities are being used and how they can be improved through numerous air quality sensors, monitoring, vibration analysis, oil analysis, occupancy sensors, and more. The technology of IoT devices towards the use of artificial intelligence software tools has driven FM standards to a whole new level. These technologies are creating a new benchmark for facilities management.

The integration of IoT with cloud-based platforms is one of the significant advancements in facilities management. IoT continues to enable real-time monitoring, hence providing valuable data for continuous optimization and enhancement of customer experience. For example, occupancy sensors can detect when a room is unoccupied, allowing the HVAC system to adjust to the optimal temperature setting, resulting in reduced energy use and cost savings.

IoT sensors are now being used to monitor equipment performance, enabling facilities managers to identify issues before they escalate into costly equipment failures. For example, predictive maintenance uses IoT sensors to collect data on equipment performance, which is then analyzed to predict when maintenance is required. This approach enabled facilities managers to schedule maintenance when it is needed, reducing downtime, cost, and improving overall equipment performance.

The use of Building Information Modeling (BIM) to provide a true-to-life model of facility elements on an as-needed basis empowers FM professionals to proactively conduct root cause analysis as well as predictive maintenance.

A world of possibilities for facilities managers emerges with the interface between BIM, IoT and BMS, through enabling virtual simulations of proposed changes to a facility and visualization of the impact of renovations before implementation.

As technology continues to evolve, the integration of BIM with IoT and a Building Management System (BMS) is likely to become even more prevalent, setting a new standard for facilities management and driving further advancements in the field. Facilities managers who embrace these technologies will be better positioned to meet the evolving demands of modern facilities and achieve greater efficiency, cost savings, and occupant satisfaction.

Data analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) are other significant technologies that are transforming facilities management. By analyzing data from various sources, such as occupancy sensors, weather forecasts, and energy consumption records, AI algorithms can identify patterns and make predictions about facility performance. This can help managers to optimize maintenance schedules, reduce energy consumption, and improve occupant comfort.

The use of AI enables data-driven maintenance regimes like predictive maintenance thus allowing for higher cost efficiency, in addition to allowing for a safer and healthier environment for occupants. For example, IoT sensors can be used to monitor indoor air quality, ensuring that the air is clean and healthy for occupants. This can result in improved employee productivity and reduced absenteeism due to health-related issues.

Technology can also improve the security of a facility. Through IoT, the proper functioning of security systems can be assured. Additionally, AI algorithms can be applied to analyze security footage, identify potential security threats, and alert security personnel.

Technology is also a major factor in energy efficiency. IoT sensors can monitor energy use in real-time, enabling facilities managers to identify areas of inefficiency and take steps.
In conclusion, the adoption of technology has and continues to transform the way facilities are managed, maintained, and operated. From the integration of IoT devices to the use of artificial intelligence, technology is creating a new benchmark for facilities management.

The benefits of this technological revolution are clear, including improved energy efficiency, better security, and a healthier and more comfortable environment for occupants. Organizations that embrace these modern technologies will be better equipped to optimize their operations, reduce costs, and improve the overall performance of their facilities. As technology continues to evolve, it will be interesting to see what new advancements emerge and how they will further revolutionize the facilities management industry.

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