How Will Automated Building Analytics Impact My Job as a Facility Manager?
May 10, 2016
If you’re a facility manager, you know the feeling: The costs are rising, the buildings and equipment are aging, yet you have no idea where to begin to reduce costs or improve performance. Maybe it’s that pesky air handler over in Building 1, or maybe it’s a leaking valve over in the lab, but how do you really know?
You might be spending your days digging through the data in trend logs from your building automation systems (BAS), when you could instead be automating the collection and analysis of this data with a dedicated building analytics solution. That means you can finally get back to doing what you got into building management for in the first place — working with real insights to achieve impactful business outcomes and keep occupants (your customers) happy, comfortable and productive.
At KGS Buildings, we’re passionate about helping facilities managers turn data into prioritized action in an intuitive and advanced platform so they can get back to the more meaningful parts of their jobs. When that happens, facility managers, in fact, become even more valuable and integral to the entire organization.
Here is a rundown of how automated building analytics improves day-to-day facility management functions:
The driving force of day-to-day decisions, diagnostics define what issues to fix, where to fix them, and why. Unlike “rules” or “alarms” that the BAS already triggers when setpoints are not met, diagnostics connect the dots between multiple rules to identify root causes and direct resolution. That means diagnostics do the heavy lifting for you, piecing together related rules and prioritizing them based on their impact and urgency. Considering the massive volumes of data flying in from buildings and systems today, having the power to automate diagnostics can save you a lot of time, prevent headaches or address them quickly, and enable you to derive more value from those building automation system data points.
Not only can building analytics streamline diagnostic findings, but also solutions like KGS Buildings’ flagship software Clockworks can also prioritize these findings for facility managers, surfacing the highest-priority issues to fix based on key criteria, automatically and continuously. For large portfolios trying to get a handle on their building data, this is immensely important.
Take this real-world example: A large university with 100 air handlers across 20 buildings needed a way to prioritize actions so they could define exactly where the team should spend time, energy, and talent to keep students comfortable and happy. Clockworks’ automated building analytics solution helped them prioritize the diagnostic findings from their HVAC data based on cost and energy savings, improved comfort levels, and extended longevity of systems. With this level of sophistication, they are now able to determine on a day-to-day basis which air handlers are having issues and the root cause behind each of those issues, so they can direct accurate resolutions. This, as you can imagine, has fundamentally changed the way they manage their buildings, resources, and budget. And that’s just with their air handlers!
With teams now able to shift their focus from digging through data to implementing high-impact changes, the next step is being able to report on energy efficiency, cost reductions, and system improvements (among several other factors). The right automated building analytics solution can provide all of this on-demand by using reporting features. With such reports, facility managers can finally answer questions like:
- How did this building’s energy consumption change this year relative to last year or a historical baseline?
- Which operational changes made the biggest impact on energy usage and cost reduction in this building?
- How did the team’s focus shift this year from reactive to proactive maintenance, and what were the results for occupant comfort, mechanical life, and operating expenses?
- How has the cost-to-run improved for major HVAC equipment and systems?
With the ability to report on these high-level performance metrics across the entire portfolio, facility managers can quickly and easily demonstrate the financial impact of changes to upper management or utility providers. In other words, automated building analytics can streamline the path to getting insight and buy-in across the organization or to proving out savings for utility incentive programs.
Adopting a Proactive Approach to Building Performance Management
The role of each facility manager is unique, differing based on their individual building portfolio, but the problems faced are much the same. Continuously tasked with doing more with fewer resources and reacting to problems faster, facility managers can benefit immensely from automated building analytics to help them do their jobs more quickly and easily — just what the doctor ordered.
Interested in learning even more about how building analytics provides automated fault detection and diagnostics? Check out our free whitepaper: Defining The Growing Market for Automated Fault Detection & Diagnostics.
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