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7 Steps for Creating a Smart Building

7 Steps for Creating a Smart Building
31 May 2023

FM provider Service Works Global has released a new white paper that details the seven steps for creating a smart building.  

The paper dispels the assumption that numerous technology systems are required to have a smart building or a digital twin, or that it needs to be a costly endeavour. By following seven key steps, organisations can make incremental progress at a pace and cost that works for them.

Gary Watkins, Group CEO of SWG said: “A smart building is not something to be afraid of, or something that is unattainable for businesses. By working with the right provider, you can be guided through these steps to determine what your building needs and develop the right smart building infrastructure for you, instead of diving in headfirst and investing in a lot of technology that won’t serve your needs. We have worked through these steps with clients across various industries to help them create smart buildings, and have enabled them to develop a productive and efficient building management system. Smart buildings really are the art of the possible.”


Watch the Video





Step 1 – Selecting The Right CAFM Software


Computer Aided Facilities Management (CAFM) software enables facilities managers to plan, execute and monitor all activities that might fall under their remit. This includes reactive and planned (preventative) maintenance, asset management, space optimisation and management, room booking and a host of other customer / building user services.


Step 2 – Digitising


The next step involves digitising parts of a building in order for them to become as “BIM-ready” as possible. In existing buildings, the process is sometimes referred to as retro-BIM. Here, the first step is to laser scan the building to create a digital replica which stores key data and information about various aspects.


Step 3 - BIM Handover


The handover process should be carefully executed and it is crucial to ensure that the model is as accurate as possible – it should represent a built digital register of the building, its components and assets.


Step 4 – Integrating BIM and CAFM


The integration of BIM and CAFM enables intelligent information management, and BIM should be viewed as a process that supports optimised management of data throughout a building’s lifecycle rather than a technology in and of itself.  A CAFM solution which leverages BIM data will act as a nerve centre for FM teams which is easy to navigate and provides a complete repository of building data.


Step 5 – Real-time data


The next step or evolution in the smart building journey is to process data that is as close to real-time as possible. This is possible through the installation of IoT-enabled data sensor technology across key assets are areas within the building.


Step 6 – An ecosystem of technology


By this point, you will be operating within an ecosystem of technology and processes that work in harmony to deliver data-driven building management. That ecosystem will enable buildings to perform close to or at their optimum level across a range of key metrics, including user experience, sustainability, and efficiency in terms of finances and other resources.


Step 7 –  Digital Twins


It is at this stage when a smart building can be paired with a digital twin to view and test building performance. Put simply, a digital twin is a virtual replica of a physical building and all the assets, systems, technologies, sensors and users within it.

Download Art of the Possible: IoT, Smart Buildings and Digital Twins for free on the SWG website.

Picture: a graphic showing a cityscape. Image Credit: Adobe Stock

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 31 May 2023


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