The facility management sector is one of the fastest growing and changing environments within the real estate world, due to the technology, which has emerged in Internet of things IoT. These IoT devices and sensors enable cities and our buildings to become smart. A smart building does not only collect and provide data from its facilities, instead it has an automated system, which enables different facilities to communicate among each other.
The application of IoT Internet of things are endless. The sensors give a command to execute, if a condition has been met. The combination of different sensors interacting next to each other in a building can already be considered as a property with an integrated building management system (BMS). It is a controlling system, which regulates the HVAC, lighting, fire and security system of the building independently. This could mean that you are walking into a room and the light goes on, because the sensor detects movement in the room.
In the past facility managers were responsible for repairs and maintenance works. A large sum of the work was very reactive. These means facility managers inform the property manager that a building might require some reparation work and waited until he has received confirmation to conduct the reparation work. Preventive maintenance was hardly possible due to the waiting time until reparation work have been approved. Due to such a long waiting time facilities or components of a building could not be repaired before they completely broke down. This caused higher cost and consequently a lower return for the asset manager.
Through the usage of sensors and digital platforms, which provide information about the condition of the building and its facilities, it is possible for us and our property manager to see data, which shows the condition. This means before the facility manager reports something, the property manager and us already have this information on the screen. Furthermore, it is not a subjective opinion of the facility manager or the contractor, instead it is an objective capture of the situation and condition of the building. It is therefore possible to react immediately and approve funds for maintenance work before the facility breaks down completely. The cost for maintenance can be much lower than an entire replacement.
By managing an entire portfolio, it is now possible to compare the individual buildings and their cost. Our digital platforms are able to predict by using big data the operational expenditures OPEX and capital expenditure requirements CAPEX of our individual buildings. This was not that easy in the past, as cost which have accrued was generalised into one category such as repairs and maintenance. With this new technology it is now possible to determine where, when and how exactly a defect has happened. With this information it is possible to analyse the cause and install a preventive mechanism to avoid further defects.
However, this is not necessarily a smart building. Buildings become really smart once they get a brain. This means the individual components, facilities and the corresponding sensors need to talk and communicate with each other and are interoperable. This could mean e.g. if someone walks into a meeting room, the lighting, the projector and heating or cooling goes on and informs other facilities of the building that this meeting room is now occupied. It could then inform the waiting client at the reception that his meeting can start and directs him to the meeting room with an indoor navigation through augmented reality, where the employee of the firm is already waiting for him. At the same time, it informs the other employees of the company that this particular meeting room is occupied.
For the private and residential property market a number of large firms such as Amazon or Google have already positioned himself to make the home smart. The focus for Amazon can be the ideal delivery, which means the courier will have an option to leave the packets at the premise of the client even without the presence of the customer. This could be achieved by using smart locks. This large and growing market enable the resident to control access to a property without geographical barriers. This could simply mean that a courier is delivering a parcel or a good friend makes a visit, but the resident is not at home. By ringing the doorbell, the resident receives the information on the smart phone through an app, and sees the person and the camera and is able to open the door or gate for the visitor.
On the other hand, Google might be interested in collecting resident behaviour data and wants to use it. Once they have this information they can analyse it and optimise advertisement.
Optimising energy consumption is also key for our smart homes. By installing smart metres, now it is possible for us to analyse the usage of energy of individual appliances and to predict which of those appliances might break in the near future. This information can then be forwarded to energy or insurance companies to evaluate the premium according to the usage behaviour of the resident.