Tech Mahindra

Three simple ways to make smart buildings smarter

Existing technology within smart buildings stores a large amount of data, which in turn can be used to curb wastage of resources such as water and electricity

Technology has entrenched itself in every aspect of our lives, be it the way we travel, communicate, work, etc. Every single aspect of our lives has been transformed by technological advancements and smart buildings are no exception.

Before the technological revolution could make its presence felt in the real estate industry, an individual building’s energy consumption could incur a cost of 3.5 crores, and an inefficiently monitored building could incur an additional 30% more on energy costs and 15% on maintenance.

In the current facility management scenario, heavy reliance on multiple vendors, multiple building systems, and standalone solution offerings, create information siloes that are not being harnessed to achieve operational efficiency. Inefficiencies get compounded as the portfolios grow, and a single centralised mechanism to manage operations becomes more tedious and time-consuming.

What is needed is a software-led technology that can integrate with the systems, and unify asset and sustainability data across the portfolio, to deliver optimum building performance in real-time. IoT and Machine Learning technology are the next-gen technologies in realising smart buildings and cities, with the potential to leverage existing data to run buildings efficiently and centrally.

These ground-breaking technologies are transforming the traditional reactionary and post-facto approach of facilities management by providing a unified, real-time predictive methodology that prioritises efficiency and offers enriched enterprise-wide decision-making abilities for building owners and operators.

How can buildings achieve this?

To sustain the health of a building over an extended period of time requires it to be operationally-efficient in terms of energy and asset usage, people-efficient in terms of the comfort of its inhabitants and cost-efficient in terms of lower OPEX and higher ROI’s for its CRE’s. Digital retrofit solutions that can seamlessly connect with the buildings, without uprooting the existing automation infrastructure, and enable applications for all stakeholder, will lead to significant savings and streamlined operational process.

Get the best of both worlds! Make your buildings sustainable and efficient with technology

Breaking down the three-pronged approach to real-time facilities

  1. A smarter workforce to manage distributed facilities

Any building’s workforce is an important part of its maintenance and a critical area for active monitoring. IoT solutions and Machine Learning helps the workforce to foresee any issues that may arise and help take a pre-emptive approach to solve the problems, rather than taking a reactive approach. With the help of contextual insights of asset performance and health gleaned through IoT solutions and ML, issues can be forestalled, thereby leading to an improved ROI and enhancing workforce performance.

  1. Smart sustainability with real-time insights

Existing technology within buildings stores vast amounts of data that can be used to curb any wastage of resources. By using existing data, any unusual spikes in the consumption of water and energy can be tracked and monitored which in turn contributes to increasing the sustainability efforts of a building

  1. Achieve smarter asset performance

Instead of physically interacting with each device to perform management tasks such as retrieving data, monitoring the health of the assets or reactively responding to a failure, devices can be connected to a centralized console, managed as well as controlled remotely.

But, with a burgeoning increase to ensure sustainable measures are practiced across industries, the real estate industry has also woken up to adopt a few best practices, to ensure buildings run efficiently. With the help of technology, buildings can be updated for the modern world and can be fitted with numerous data points to monitor and analyse measurements like temperature, occupancy levels, fire and safety mechanisms, and more.

When a smart building strategy is implemented, it is setting up a base for getting a better ROI. This also leads to ‘future-proofing’ a building for an era in which technology is becoming ubiquitous.

By Prabhu Ramachandran, CEO and Co-Founder, Facilio

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