Our Top Three Building Operations Trends and Predictions for 2024 

December 22, 2023

Over at Clockworks Analytics HQ, we predict that 2024 will be a transformative year for building operations and facilities management. As we head into the New Year, we see three key trends set to shape how we manage our buildings: Data-Driven Maintenance, Carbon Tracking, and Automated Fault Correction. Let’s delve into these trends and explore their implications for the industry. 

Prediction #1: Data-Driven Maintenance 

Data-Driven Maintenance as the New Norm 

In response to the shortage of skilled labor in the HVAC industry and the growing complexity of building automation systems, facility teams are set to embrace a paradigm shift towards data-driven maintenance. Automated building analytics, specifically Fault Detection and Diagnostics (FDD), will transition from being an added value to a standard expectation as lean teams shift away from reactive maintenance to proactive, condition-based maintenance that allows them to work more efficiently, fix equipment before a major break occurs, and focus their time on the highest-impact issues in their buildings. This evolution is crucial in managing buildings with limited resources, as it helps prioritize resource needs and accelerates issue resolution.

“Managing the performance of building systems has become central to achieving low-energy, carbon-neutral, healthy, high-performance buildings, more so now than ever. Clockworks’ Analytics creates virtual meters on every HVAC asset in a building to prioritize maintenance by impact measured in energy, carbon, environmental quality, reliability, and asset life. The days of blind, prescriptive maintenance uninformed by real performance are coming to an end.” 

Nick Gayeski, Clockworks Analytics Co-CEO

Prediction #2: Carbon Tracking 

Financial Consequences and Motivated Customers 

Buildings contribute to 40% of all global carbon emissions, with a third of those emissions coming from the building systems. With a global shift toward decarbonization, the US is anticipated to adopt a more stringent “stick” approach, backed by local, state, national, and intergovernmental regulations, while Europe has already put strict emission regulations in place. Excessive carbon emissions will result in real financial consequences, compelling building teams to consider carbon impact in all projects and actively seek ways to reduce carbon emissions.  

Holistic Carbon Reduction 

To achieve sustainability goals, a holistic approach to carbon reduction is imperative. Building teams will need to collaborate with all stakeholders, especially maintenance teams, to meet long-term sustainability objectives. With real financial consequences linked to carbon emissions, it will no longer be enough to offset carbon. Building owners will need to continuously monitor building equipment in order to avoid emissions on an ongoing basis.  

Detailed tracking of energy consumption and carbon footprint at every equipment level will become the norm, requiring extensive sub-metering, accurate traceable calculations, or a combination of both.  Energy Management Information System (EMIS) tools like Fault Detection and Diagnostics (FDD), which have been proven to drive a 9% annual reduction in energy, will continue to help operations teams monitor ongoing energy savings and verification. 

Prediction #3: Automated Fault Correction 

Streamlining Issue Resolution 

The process of addressing building issues will witness continued streamlining through advancements in self-correcting controls technology. The collaboration between the U.S. Department of Energy and Berkeley Lab with the smart buildings industry to develop this technology is a significant step forward. Clockworks is excited to be an early adopter and partner in this joint initiative. The technology enables the automatic identification and correction of controls problems, reducing the time between fault detection and resolution from weeks or months to mere hours. 

The goal is for this technology to automatically resolve the most common building controls problems, such as incorrectly programmed HVAC schedules, optimizing set points, and release of unnecessary control overrides.  

Data-Driven Operations Strategies for Buildings & Facilities 

As we journey into 2024, the building management landscape is on the brink of a technological revolution. Data-Driven Maintenance, Carbon Tracking, and Automated Fault Correction are not just trends but pillars that will redefine how buildings are managed, making them more sustainable, efficient, and interconnected. Embracing these advancements will not only lead to operational excellence but also contribute to a greener and more resilient future. 

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