Each building has its own story to tell.
It has its own personality, its own quirks, its own tenants and its own history. Because of these differences, property and facility managers cannot use a one size fits all solution to manage their building. Simply integrating automated analytics with a building management system (BMS) will not allow these buildings to reach their performance potential. Employing a team of data and engineering experts, to partner with the strong monitoring platform, allows a property manager to see the full picture and status of their property or portfolio.
Automation does have its place in facility management, of course. In commercial buildings it provides two primary benefits: control and visibility. Without it, many building systems tend to be left to run 24/7; or facility managers must be physically present to diagnose complaints from tenants. Automation allows portfolio and facility managers to save time, and thus money, by letting the system to tell the manager what it needs. However, using only automation leads to incorrect conclusions and false positives that can lead to distrust and disuse.
The missing ingredient to building analytics tools is having a good narrator. An independent data analytics team needs to be in place to examine the data coming from a building’s BMS, run it through custom algorithms, review the output, and present actionable items. While including custom algorithms in data analytics is useful and provides added insight into building data, they still require human intelligence and scrutiny. These targeted actions that amplify human knowledge will improve performance, energy efficiency, the health of the equipment, the comfort of the tenants and the property as a whole.
Combining human expertise with data produced by a computer will always be more credible and actionable than computer output on its own. What’s more, working with an independent team can make the most of the building team’s time and institutional knowledge, allowing them to spend more time managing the many other facets of their building.
Modern control systems and monitoring, partnered with thoughtful automation and expert analysis, are transforming the facility management industry, allowing buildings large and small to achieve their goals.