Home > News > The role of technology in public estate efficiency

The role of technology in public estate efficiency

Monday 29 July 2019

Craig Smails, Project Director at Kajima Partnerships gives insight into how technology and big data can provide facilities managers with powerful new tools to dramatically increase the efficiency of buildings.

Sensors for ‘smart buildings’

A large proportion of energy expenditure in the pre-big data world relied on very rough estimates of requirements – heating and cooling, ventilation, lighting, and so on. But as sensors monitor precise usage, BDA can be used to make much more accurate recommendations based on the data gathered, substantially cutting waste. Industry estimates suggest that the number of data endpoints generated by commercial buildings is in the billions, and public buildings are not far behind. As such, the knowledge that can be derived from these enormous data sets can drive dramatic facility performance improvements.  

Using publicly available data to ensure suitable location selection

A building’s efficiency is also largely dependent on its location and the surrounding environment – factors which are key to reducing business risk. There is a great deal of data already in the public domain that can be used to make this choice wisely. BDA can be used to analyse and evaluate trends in factors such as traffic, accessibility, and crime, to compare the suitability of computing locations.

Services better tailored to needs

New and conventional data sources can also help transform the relationship between tenants and facility managers. For example, residents’ surveys, mobile phone signal patterns, and online reviews can, when processed with the right analytical tools, shed light on granular trends – for example, creating much more accurate forward rent forecasts. Social media sentiment analysis could equip managers with the knowledge to tailor improvements and prioritise services based on interests and usage. Previously slow and static processes such as form filling could be made more dynamic, leading to decisions being implemented on a much faster timescale. The upshot is that facilities managers could cut out the most frustrating parts of administrative work, freeing up time to be used more efficiently and purposefully. 

Space management and strategic use of public estates

A combination of different approaches should be used to maximise building efficiency. Technology can, for example, help deliver additional revenue for public estates by optimising the use of facilities that can be shared. Schools have some of the best sporting and studio spaces in the country – yet they are typically used for less than half the day. Research shows that schools which choose to open their facilities can generate annual revenues of £70,000, which can be reinvested in new infrastructure, maintenance, or upgrades. 

To read more of Craig's insight, go to page 22 of this link- https://content.yudu.com/libraryHtml/A43o7w/FMUKJulyAugust2019/reader.html?page=1