In the facility management space, technology is of utmost importance. Over the past decades, smart technology has taken over the facilities management industry. Technology has become such a necessity in our daily lives. It’s not enough for a facility to house electronics; now, we expect a building to work for us, providing optimal lighting, heating, and temperature, with no user input, and saving cost while reducing the impact on the environment.
The maintenance and management of facilities conditions have always been a time-intensive job for facility management. When it comes to maintenance of facilities, recent technological advancements have made great strides. With that, it is crucial to keep an eye on emerging technologies, which will make the most important impact on facility operations.
Technology allows new and more productive ways of working together within the workplace, it also drives more versatile ways of working and encourages more impactful ways of collecting and translating data into actionable insights that can be used to enhance user performance.
While some technologies have more significant effect on some professions than others and can bring various opportunities and challenges, here are vital technologies having a significant impact on facility management.
1.Building Information Management- Building information Optimisation: With Building Information Optimisation, computers will be fed with ‘rules’ instructing it to create a design with a building’s optimal footprint, structural load capacity, and thermal performance. From this basis, designers will be able to create new designs and do design iterations and simulations very efficiently.
2. Internet of Things (IoT): Within FM, sensors are becoming cheaper, more capable, and more commonly used. New links are being forged between wearables, devices in a system, and among systems in a building and buildings in a portfolio. All this new data is being converted into useful information by sophisticated analytics.
3. Advanced HVAC systems: When it comes to large facilities, the HVAC system is an incredibly expensive system to use and maintain. To minimize the cost of heating and cooling your facility while at the same time lowering your environmental footprint is a benefit for everyone. Advances in HVAC facility management technology and Building Automation Systems (BAS) have made significant contributions in the reduction of facility management costs. These programs save money for facility managers as they alert maintenance teams when systems fail to function effectively. This allows building operators to prevent costly equipment failure by solving problems before they occur.
4. Robot Process Automation: Robots can be programmed to handle more complex, yet repetitive process faster, with fewer errors and higher cost-efficiency. Any task that is time-consuming, monotonous, and expressed in logical rules and workflows, will be automated in any business with finance, administration, Facility Management, and HR.
5. Blockchain Technology: Blockchain Technology can be used in many industries, including Facility Management. Within Facility Management, blockchain will enable smart contracting (alleviating the need for paper-based contracts), automation of warranties for defective equipment, tenant billing, etc.
6. Automated Facility Maintenance Software: Facility managers are left to peruse spreadsheets, carry out (and often dust off) paper blueprints without facilities maintenance software or rely on experience, knowledge, and memory to operate their facilities. In future buildings, automation is the secret to success. Rather than team members spending time looking for information about the assets that needs to be serviced in a facility when a work order is created, these systems will automatically surface the information required.
7. Drones in Facility Management: Drones offers exciting opportunities to boost facility management quality. These unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have the best chance in terms of safety and automation. For instance, in the future, roof inspections after a hailstorm will be coordinated by groups of drones controlled by pre-programmed GPS routes. Eliminating the need to have team members climbing with a clipboard and camera on facility roofs to record damage.
8. Big and advanced data analytics: Big data analytics can help Facility Managers to generate better awareness of resource usage (energy and water), benchmarking of facility performance, occupant behaviour, and service requirements as well as better utilisation of human resource through robotic and assisted robotic process automation.
9. Natural Language Processing: Natural Language Processing is the ability of a computer program to understand human language as it is spoken or written. In Facility Management, this enables the management of a more diverse workforce or something as advanced as predicting the onset of and develop intervention protocols for flu epidemics and other diseases.
10.Integrated workplace Management Systems: Due to the emergence of IoT, social media platforms, big and advanced analytics, new sensors, XaaS (everything as a service), Integrated workplace management systems will increasingly enable new enterprise integrations, better 3D building simulations, and better utilization of staff and building resources.
Written By Akinola Babajide-Kassim