Facility Managers… I bet that you’re familiar with this old adage: do more with less. Shrinking budgets and demand on limited resources make it difficult to keep up with the rising demand for building efficiency, comfort and safety. Making the right decisions about where to spend your time and money is critical to accomplishing what can seem like an impossible goal.
An important first step is to install a modern Building Management System (BMS) that integrates all of the disparate systems to provide a holistic view of your facility. From there, you can take it to the next level with building analytics software to interpret the massive amounts of data generated by your BMS. Even though analytics is fairly new to the building management space, there are several choices available to you today. Knowing your priorities, budget and staffing levels will help you choose the right option for you and your building.
Best-in-class building analytics software automatically trends energy and equipment use, identifies faults, provides root-cause analysis and prioritises opportunities for improvement based on cost, comfort and maintenance impact. This software complements the BMS dashboards because it takes the critical next step of interpreting the data – showing not just where but why inefficiencies occur. The resulting “actionable information” informs troubleshooting, preventative maintenance and even some more complex operational challenges.
Even with huge budgets and a full engineering team covering the building 24/7, it is not humanly possible to gather, analyse and interpret all of the data generated by a facility. And why would you want to? This would leave little to no time to do anything about the data you’ve collected. The analytics software enhances your building management team, helping to fill knowledge and resource gaps. More importantly, it provides clear prioritised recommendations for optimising building assets. The recommendations are based on statistical analysis, performance trending and automated diagnostics. This approach drives results that are designed to maximise building performance and comfort while lowering costs – making you and your building perform at optimum levels.
This blog series will focus on the four fundamental options to consider when incorporating building analytics into your facility:
- Build a customised solution – Build your own on-site building analytics system, customised specifically for and integrated with your building’s systems. While this affords you complete flexibility, it can also be more costly.
- Embed analytics within your BMS – An emerging market option, fully embedding analytics into your existing BMS hardware and software is great for new construction but can become challenging during retrofits or upgrades.
- Software as a service building analytics – Cloud-based software as a service (SaaS) building analytics is a cost-effective way to customise a solution to suit your building’s needs. The downside is that they require resources to manage, interpret, analyse and act on the data.
- Managed software as a service – Last but certainly not least, managed software as a service (MSaaS) combines the SaaS analytics solution with the oversight of remote engineering experts. With the best of both worlds, MSaaS enables you to prioritise based on financial and performance goals at the same time so that your team can focus on what’s important to your customer and your business.
Stay tuned for my next post in this series which will investigate each data analytic option in greater detail. In the meantime, read our white paper, “Optimizing Buildings Using Analytics and Engineering Expertise” to learn more.