If you’ve had an ear to the news or economists recently, you’ve heard we’re heading towards a downturn. While there are many ways to prepare for such a change, one often overlooked way is building operational expenses. OpEx is seen as sunk costs and unchangeable but, fortunately, that’s not true.
Comfortable people are more productive and there is no bigger building expense than unproductive occupants.
If you have gone to a real estate conference, read any commercial real estate articles or even opened an internet browser in the last year you have likely heard of Artificial Intelligence (which can be henceforth called AI without further explanation at this point I think). Experts in both the technology and property industries have created a steady amount of buzz content around how AI can and is changing how buildings are managed. There is talk of industry disruption and of failed businesses for those that didn’t invest in AI.
There is a major problem in the way that the facilities industry makes its decisions about equipment replacement.
There is a joke about a mechanic that charged his customer ten thousand dollars to fix their car. On the invoice, the charges broke down to one penny for a screw and $9,999.99 for the labor to replace it. The customer, of course, questions the mechanic, “why does the labor cost so much, you only replaced one screw?!” The mechanic gives the same explanation that software engineers often have to: “I had to know which one to replace.”
At PointGuard we value three KPIs related to your building’s performance above all others. In a previous article, we spoke about managing energy savings using the insights gained from the powerful analytics offered by our automatic fault detection and diagnostics (AFDD) service, and its ability to unlock insights in your BMS data. You can read that article here.
At PointGuard we set a lot of stock in KPIs, given our focus on transparency and business case data for energy efficiency projects. Our analytics platform can measure just about any KPI related to your building’s performance, but there are three KPIs that we value above all else. In our experience if you get these three things right then everything else, including return on investment, improves.
It used to be the case that you couldn’t manage what you didn’t measure. But, in the past few years, thanks to the rapid development of sensor technology and the internet of things, we very rapidly gained the ability to measure anything and everything: how many steps we take; how long we sleep for; and even our hearts’ electrical activity thanks to the electrocardiogram capabilities of the latest Apple Watch.