Our society is more conscious than ever of the detrimental effects our actions have on the environment, and the business world is no different. As a facilities manager, the role of policing the use of energy most likely falls in your lap, and with a wide range regulations around the management of energy, it’s often hard to keep up.
For example, as a mandatory programme, all large UK businesses are affected by the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) whereby they are committed to partaking in an energy assessment every four years. The aim of this is to make large organisations aware of their total energy consumption and provide metrics for improvement. Naturally, it’s within facilities managers’ interest to make efforts to work towards reducing energy consumption – not just for corporate responsibility, but also as a cost saving strategy.
But how is it possible to monitor and log energy consumption for one or sometimes multiple buildings? What was once a daunting task is now becoming increasingly easier with technology innovations.
A dynamic 3D map of both the exterior and interior of buildings delivered via a mobile application can provide facilities managers with the means to both visualise data sets relating to asset and resource usage, as well as collect live information on building use. In turn, this will enable FMs to quickly and easily derive actionable insights that can optimise efficiency and reduce costs.
By monitoring assets within the premises, usage patterns can be correlated to gain insight into staff behaviour, informing decision making to help reduce costs and minimise resource wastage. If, for example, a particular meeting room is consistently never used in the afternoon, the lighting could be automatically switched off.
Thus, a mobile app that is accessible to everyone within the building allows facilities managers to engage with staff and push notifications to pass on awareness of unnecessary energy consumption. FMs could even add a gamification element to the app and allow staff to collect points for best practice.
Optimising the use of resources can create direct cost savings as well as helping to meet energy consumption targets. Presenting complex data sets graphically with geographic context enables facilities managers to intuitively extract meaningful understanding and insight from big data.
The Internet of Things (IoT) will massively increase the volume and breadth of data available to environment managers, with all kinds of devices and building components able to report on their own status and that of their surroundings. This additional information has the potential to help in the effective management of facilities, though the collection of data itself is valueless without deriving the insight from it that delivers business benefits.
Key in analysing big datasets is to always remember the business outcomes that you are aiming to distribute. Analysis for the sake of it generally achieves little; ensuring the work provides insights that can be actioned to effect positive change in the chosen areas of the business is vital to deliver a return from the technology investments.
With an increasingly ‘mobile-first’ workforce, environment managers have the opportunity to utilise mobile applications to not only visualise the complex data they have available, but also to use the mobile devices as additional means of data collection.
Ian came to eeGeo from the world of video gaming and is well known for his role in the introduction of games such as Grand Theft Auto and Lemmings. Primarily based in the UK, eeGeo produces apps and technology platforms to allow users to experience and discovery the world around them.