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Smart Buildings Enable Smarter Facilities Management

Smart Buildings Enable Smarter Facilities Management
26 May 2022

Shumon Choudhury, who has over 15 years of experience managing PRS & FM portfolios, writes about his experiences helping his clients to embrace smart technology.

Shumon, Residential Property Manager at Lendlease, has over 15 years of experience managing PRS & FM portfolios on behalf of investment landlords, landed estates, charities, non-profit organisations & private trusts. Holding an MSc in Property Management from the University of Salford as well as fellowships with several professional associations, he is a committed supporter of raising professional standards in the property industry.


“FMs now have the opportunity to become digital champions; let us all seize it.” 



Smart Facilities Management


The smartest buildings can join up all operations, regardless of various system interfaces, to enable interaction and automation, making buildings efficient and responsive, thus allowing real-time decision-making.

This century has sparked a technological revolution in our industry, which some have embraced while others have been apprehensive about adopting.

Transitioning into the fifth industrial revolution, we have become accustomed to the fast pace of innovation. We continue to demand a more effective and efficient technological solution to our problems.

Given that smartphones are now widely accessible, the focus shifts to artificial intelligence (AI) and smart technology to lead the next stage in innovation in our built environment.  

The demand for real-time & reliable data is immense; we are all facing tremendous pressure to meet our business objectives whilst maintaining standards. 

Translating the data from smart buildings can help to have a significant impact on a building's performance, operations, and customer well being, resulting in well-balanced decisions with the ability to reduce operational costs & the administrative burden.

Smart Facilities Management allows us to enhance the management of a building's facilities by using technology to improve processes and team synergy. 

Let's now take a look at the some of the reasons embracing SMART Technology will help future proof our most important assets:


What is SMART Technology? 


Netlingo has defined the word "SMART" refers to "self-monitoring, analysis, and reporting technology".

It is a technology that uses Artificial Intelligence, machine learning, and large real-time data analysis to provide rational awareness to commodities that were in the past considered inoperative.

The benefits of successfully integrating SMART:


  1. Real-time decision-making - Using technology and smart building systems to review real-time data and make proactive decisions rather than being reactive, therefore enabling organisations to be a few steps ahead. 
  2. Driving sustainability - The ability to manage energy consumption will be hugely beneficial as it will allow organisations to identify areas of consumption and ensure that the building's energy usage is optimised, resulting in accurate energy bills and saving time compared to other avenues of gathering data manually. Organisations have the ability to control environmental impact through Smart buildings; data which leads to management of emissions, ensuring services are being shut down at non-peak periods all factors into optimising the building to be as efficient as possible.
  3. Advanced building management - Using actionable data to understand building conditions and the performance of facilities can help FMs understand when an M&E equipment is underperforming or requires maintenance before equipment failure occurs. This will undoubtedly aid in maximising a building's life span.
  4. Reducing errors - Errors have the potential to affect budgets, timeframes, quality, and service applications. Using Smart systems allows FMs to digitalise and minimise manual work and capture more quantifiable data, which then can be actioned in a precise and methodical manner. 
  5. Improve Compliance- Ensuring high standards of compliance through automation. The raft of industry standards and health & safety legislation is ever-growing. Smart systems allow organisations to continuously monitor buildings and machinery, resulting in streamlining standards and health and safety compliance. From my own experience, managing compliance through a digital dashboard can be made bespoke to your priorities and ensures nothing slips by with reporting at a click of a button.


I recall a time in my career when my employer at the time decided to invest in a tailor-made CAFM system; it was time-consuming & soul-destroying; the process was extensive, for example, choosing the right developer, mapping processes, UAT testing to practical implementation. We all dreaded the entire process, but collectively we knew deep down that it was the right decision to future proof ourselves and ultimately help to deliver a more robust & efficient FM department. 

Adapting to the new technological revolution is essential if we are to continue being committed to delivering a high level of care to our customers and future-proofing ourselves. 

FMs now have the opportunity to become digital champions; let us all seize it. 

Picture: a graphic showing an arrow moving upwards, indicating rapid growth. In the background, a person can be seen reading from a notebook. The whole image has a grid overlayed. Image Credit: Pixabay

Article written by Shumon Choudhury | Published 26 May 2022


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