Do you know what a smart building is? You probably have an idea, but applying those smart concepts to your own facility might be a pipe dream instead of a plan. However, most facility managers are already making smart decisions. Because of this, it might surprise you to find out that you’ve been integrating your traditional facility management plan with smart building management.
Let's break down exactly what a smart building is before getting too granular. A smart building is essentially a normal building with sensors and devices that collect data and can automatically let systems know when they need to turn on and off. This is communicated and tracked with the internet of things (IoT), which is the backbone of a smart building.
So, how is your facility shifting to this smart building technology? Here are examples of how you’re already making smart decisions for your facilities.
You Use the Internet as a Central Database for Your Facility
Computers were the first place we stored data, but, since computers crash, everything has moved to internet storage, also known as the cloud. If you use a browser-based facility management software (FMS) or Google’s suite to keep and share documents with your team, you’ve already started to use the internet as your database. Moving forward, even more systems and software will move online and they’ll be connected to other online programs. For instance, when you start integrating more sensors into your facility, whether they are occupancy sensors or machine listening devices, they’ll push alerts to your online FMS to issue work orders linked to information sensors detect.
You Rely on Computers Instead of Paper
You’re probably using a work order system to alert your team of tasks they need to complete, whether it's in regards to reactive, regular or preventative maintenance. Those alerts are the first step to IoT. In the future, instead of a person creating work orders, a machine will create one when a sensor is tripped. Scanning technology will detect what went wrong with the help of artificial intelligence (AI) integration, so a technician can be prepared for the correct repair before leaving the shop without having to do a manual inspection.
You Optimize Energy Spending
If you use automatic shut off lights in your rooms, you’re already using sensors to reduce wasted energy spend. These automatic lights are a base-level version of an occupancy sensor, which uses a sensor to detect if there are occupants in the room. It will be a true IoT system when the occupancy sensor detects the room is empty and turns off the lights, adjusts the thermostat to reduce energy spend and even powers down computers and other electronics.
Transitioning to smart technology can be an intimidating concept, but if you’re using computers and basic sensors, you’re already on the smart building track. If you’re looking to learn more about emerging technology in the facilities industry and how you can begin to incorporate it, check out our 2018 Technology Trends in Facility Management Report.
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