Facility management is a critical aspect of any construction project. It is the process of managing all aspects of a facility, plant or building, including its design, construction, and operations. A facility manager oversees the day-to-day operations of a building and is responsible for ensuring that it meets legal requirements for the health, safety, and welfare of those who work in or visit it.
Facility managers also ensure that buildings are well managed throughout their lifecycle so they remain functional and fit for purpose by making sure they are correctly maintained through regular environmental surveys (such as annual energy performance certificates) which help determine whether there’s any need for maintenance works on heating systems or other parts of the building infrastructure.
Facility management is experiencing a major revolution
As the world becomes more connected and data-hungry, facility managers are facing new challenges.
The first is the need for improved efficiency, which means finding ways to make their facilities more energy-efficient, waste-free, and productive. This can be achieved through better management of resources—including electricity, water, and even furniture—as well as using new technology such as smart lighting to reduce costs while improving productivity.
The second is the rise of cloud computing: instead of storing all your important documents on hard drives or flash drives (which can easily get lost or damaged), it’s becoming more common for companies to store them on cloud servers so they’re accessible from anywhere. This not only makes it easier for workers who travel frequently but also saves time by eliminating the need for multiple copies to be stored in different locations around your building.
Finally, there’s big data—the ability for large amounts of information about how people use buildings (such as where they spend the most time) and how this data can be used to improve occupational experience, health, safety and performance. More so, such data can be used to improve environmental sustainability of the building related to energy usage, recycling, and waste management.
In this context, here are three emerging trends in facilities management worth exploring:
1. The rise of facility management software
In the past, software for facility management was something that only large organisations could afford. Now, however, there are many affordable and easy-to-use solutions available to small businesses.
The software can help you streamline operations in several ways:
- It can be used as an all-in-one solution for managing your property portfolio and facilities.
- It can be used as a communication tool between departments within your business (e.g., maintenance and cleaning staff).
- It can improve efficiency by automating manual tasks such as scheduling maintenance appointments or creating work orders with just a few clicks of the mouse.
- And finally, it also helps you maintain safety and security by tracking who has access to buildings at what times—and alerting you when someone enters an area they’re not supposed to enter (e.g., an unoccupied office building after hours).
For example, facility management software platforms like PlanRadar allow you to access all construction site-related data including device data and asset information in one place to save costs and find new growth opportunities. To get started with building smart infrastructure using PlanRadar, you can book a Demo for free or contact us here.
2. Smart buildings and the Internet of Things (IoT)
The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to the network of physical objects, devices, and sensors that can collect and exchange data with each other. The increase in the number of connected devices has made it possible for smart buildings to be increasingly sophisticated in their operations. Smart buildings are buildings that use sensors and software to optimise energy, water, and waste management. They have an entire system that monitors all aspects of their operation—from lighting levels to temperature—to enable them to adjust automatically based on usage patterns.
Smart buildings can improve the efficiency of the building’s operation, reduce costs, and increase occupant comfort. For example:
- Automation reduces energy consumption by turning off lights when rooms are empty or not needed;
- Building automation systems allow people within a facility to monitor things like temperature remotely; this enables them to take action before something goes wrong (like realising there’s no more ice left at the cafeteria);
- A motion sensor detects movement when someone enters a room so they don’t have to turn on all those lights unnecessarily!
3. Net zero infrastructures
Facility management has a lot to offer when it comes to reducing energy consumption, water use, and waste generation focused towards net zero buildings. For example, you can use facility management software to optimise your HVAC system so that it runs at different settings at different times of the day, by season and by area occupancy for peak efficiency. The same goes for lighting: smart sensors can be used to detect when rooms are occupied and adjust lighting levels automatically based on occupancy patterns. Additional environmental gains come from waste reduction initiatives like recycling bins in common areas and composting stations in kitchens—facility managers can help their organisations implement these programs using digital tools as well as training on how best to use them.
Further, facility management software can be used to monitor and manage the recycling process. This is especially important in office buildings where paper, plastic, and glass are often collected separately. For example, the software can be used to track waste collection schedules and routes so that drivers don’t have to make many stops each day; instead, they can focus on collecting from only a few key locations per day. These tools allow facilities managers to optimise routes based on distance travelled and number of stops made each day—saving energy and money in the process.
Facility management software can also be used to measure and manage water consumption. For example, sensors can be installed in kitchen and dining facilities that monitor the amount of water used by each fixture or appliance.. This data can then be exported into spreadsheets or reports so it can be analysed for trends and anomalies (such as unusual usage patterns or maintenance checks).
The facility management industry is changing quickly, and technology is a key driver of this change. These trends are only the beginning of what’s to come in the next few years—and they may have a significant impact on how you manage facilities. Looking to get started with facility management software that enables you to build smarter infrastructure? Book a demo or contact us today!