digital Archives - Facilities Management Forum | Forum Events Ltd
Posts Tagged :

digital

IWFM teams with Microsoft for smart workplaces

The IWFM has begun a research and development collaboration with Microsoft to explore a shared vision for the role of technology in high performing workplaces.

A new programme themed around connected and smart workplaces will see the partners collaborate on new research that could influence workplace performance.

The collaboration will be launched during Workplace Week on 14 November 2019 with an industry event, while ongoing research, insights and guidance content being shared throughout 2020.  

The IWFM says advancements such as the Internet of Things, AI and big data, combined with existing technologies such as building information modelling, analytics and workplace design can contribute to improved building and business outcomes. 

As such, exploring the theme of workplace transformation in the technological age, the IWFM and Microsoft will jointly introduce new research to equip workplace and business leaders with tools and insights that could to transform their organisations into connected high performers.

The move follows research published by the IWFM last year, Embracing Technology to move FM forward, which explored the disruption and opportunities presented by technology and highlighted the opportunity cost of missing out on the digital upgrade.  

It suggested that the opportunities to be derived from creatively combining existing and new technologies to support better outcomes leave workplace professionals well placed to help businesses to stay competitive and efficient.

The IWFM says its alliance with Microsoft will combine the know-how of its own industry experts with the cutting-edge capability of the tech giant’s Smart Buildings team to explore the opportunities and challenges facing technology and workplace development. The programme will generate further insights to help individuals and organisations understand and navigate the technology and experience matters which can combine to create people centred workplaces capable of driving better outcomes.

Chris Moriarty, IWFM’s Director of Insight and Engagement, said: “We are taking, shaping and making future-ready the workplace technology conversation so its relevant to today’s businesses environment. The collaboration with Microsoft Smart Buildings team will harness our rich knowledge and resources to offer workplace optimising insights for the future, building on IWFM’s established research base. Working with Microsoft will not only speed that up, it can help us to understand the innovation most relevant for workplace leaders whose businesses will need a tech transformation to compete effectively.”

David Williams, Innovation Architect – Microsoft Digital, Smart Buildings Worldwide Community Lead, said: “Technology innovation is a gamechanger to drive new models and transform today’s businesses and workplaces. Working with IWFM, we have a unique opportunity to increase awareness of technology within the workplace. This partnership will enable us to empower workplace leaders to elevate the workplace conversation to senior levels and do more with the technology and innovation available. 

Kari Allen, Head of Partnerships at b2b partnerships Ltd, who led the development of IWFM’s collaboration with Microsoft, said: “This collaboration presents an exciting opportunity to jointly produce market leading research and insights that are unique and impactful. This collaboration boosts both IWFM and Microsoft’s aspiration to inspire and equip workplace and business leaders to transform their workplaces today into high performing organisations for the future”.

IOSH study: Apps can ensure safer buildings

Digital apps can help construction project designers create safer buildings by improving their knowledge of hazards during the design phase.

That’s according to new research funded by IOSH and conducted by researchers from Glasgow Caledonian University.

It found that the use of a multimedia digital tool can help to educate designers on typical design-related hazards and assist them in designing safety into construction projects more effectively. 

The study asserts that many professional design institutions have been gradually withdrawing the requirement for architects and civil engineers to spend prolonged periods of time on construction sites.

In turn, this has meant many designers do not have the construction knowledge needed to understand how their designs could impact occupational safety and health and often results in contractors taking on the responsibility for building designs.

However, the IOSH research shows up to half of construction accidents in the UK have a connection to the design of the building, highlighting the importance of improving designers’ knowledge of hazards and designing safety into developments from the outset of projects.

Professor Billy Hare, Deputy Director of the BEAM Research Centre at Glasgow Caledonian University, said: “A key factor for this research was the visual nature of the digital tool’s content, which seemed to work best with new graduates.

“But its real potential lies in being able to capture tacit knowledge from more experienced designers for the next generation to counter the age-old problem of organisational memory loss and prevent the same old mistakes that cause accidents and ill health from being repeated.

“We are now looking for partners to develop the prototype digital tool for full-scale industry use.”

As part of the study, a sample of 40 (20 novices and 20 experienced) designers from two typical industry groups of architects and civil engineers were recruited.

The designers were randomly assigned to multimedia user (experimental) and non-user (control) groups, who were permitted to use the internet for help. Participants were asked to review a set of computer-aided design (CAD) drawings in these sessions, identify hazards and make decisions about designing for OSH.

The experiment tested the multimedia digital tool against general internet searches and examined the designers’ ability to foresee OSH hazards in designs by measuring both the quantity of specific hazards identified and the quality of design outcomes.

Using the tool, the designers identified hazards a total of 599 times, with architects identifying over three times the number of hazards as those not using the tool. For civil engineers the figure was five times as large.

In both cases the scope of hazards identified was double that of the group not using the multimedia tool, suggesting it was an effective way of improving designers’ knowledge of hazards. This knowledge could help to create safer buildings by factoring a greater number of hazards into the planning and design of construction sites.

Mary Ogungbeje, Research Manager at IOSH, said: “Everyone would agree that it’s always best to prevent an accident from taking place in the first place, rather than reduce the injury.

“In today’s age of technology, being able to utilise digital training resources to help designers do just that is great. Such tools can make a real difference in upskilling professionals, irrespective of their level of experience. Architects and civil engineers can identify hazards and come up with better controls when developing and reviewing designs. Ultimately, this will reduce injuries and save lives.

“I hope that this research and the findings are welcomed by the design community in particular, including establishments with an educational or training interest, so that the learnings can contribute to improved industry practice.”

Image by Wokandapix from Pixabay