Managing a healthy building requires overcoming an endless series of challenges and doing so at a cost-effective rate. In order to accomplish this, managers need to continuously stay abreast of the latest developments in technology.
Becoming complacent and failing to stay up-to-date with the latest best practices can quickly translate into increased costs and reduced efficacy. It will also become harder to adopt new technology the longer that you wait.
At FCP services, we work hard to ensure that our clients are on the cutting edge of trends in the facilities management space, and we enjoy keeping those we serve abreast of relevant developments. As we get later into the year, we thought we would take a look at the technologies that have made the biggest splash in the last twelve months and our thoughts about their applications in the industry.
Facilities Management Technology to Watch
It is no secret that the digital revolution continues transforming all types of industries and the facilities management space is no different.
Note: Technology continues to advance at exponential rates, and the human capacity to keep up with the “best” software or tools is near the breaking point. Helping companies find what is best for their unique needs and challenges is part of our personalized services and would require much more time than a single post would allow. With that said, the following are the meta trends, not the specific tools, that are shaping the industry.
Using Drones for Facility Condition Assessments
In recent years, drone technology has advanced to incredible efficiency and cost-effectiveness. With drones, companies can get a site map in less than four or five hours. Compare this to the days of needing scaffolding or assessing the entire building envelope with a pair of binoculars and a sketchpad. This same technology is used to survey historic sites and memorials since it allows for much more efficient workflows and less risk to personnel.
Drones bring opportunities for far more efficiency when managing a facility. Here is Dave Bishop, Corporate Director of Capital Projects, Atrium Hospitality, talking about the benefits that drones have brought to his workflow.
A drone operator can quickly get access to all exterior areas of a facility and can map your project down to the tiniest millimiter. This can be applied in a number of ways:
- You can use infrared and thermal imaging with a drone to generate detailed inspection reports. These drones allow you to detect hard-to-see damage in mechanical elements or piping that a routine inspection may miss.
- High-speed roof analysis with high-resolution imagery. Much easier and less intrusive than traditional methods. Get high-accuracy reports in hours.
- Create virtual tours of large commercial spaces with an extensive array of technologically sophisticated additions.
Smart Buildings and Building Information Modeling (BIM) Technology
BIM allows contractors and architects to model and create a virtual simulation of a building, which in turn can be used for various purposes. While BIM is not new, today’s technology puts much more data at our disposal than ever before.
Simply put, modern BIM is a new generation of 3-D modeling with many more features. Facility managers have begun to use BIM technology to help them put together well-researched reports around specific aspects of a building (like energy usage by room) which allows for better and more purposeful maintenance schedules and project plans.
Building Information Modeling allows architects, engineers, and other professionals to plan and design a structure within a single three-dimensional model.
BIM of today can not only give facility managers a total visual model of all assets and connecting infrastructure, but it can also be integrated into various forms of software and smart tech to help in scheduling work orders, planning projects, and a wide variety of other purposes. There is little limit to how this technology can be leveraged into meaningful operational decisions with a bit of ingenuity.
Data-driven insights into exactly how a building is being used is invaluable for making the best use of energy, maintenance, and other operational costs.
As time goes on, it is evident that BIM will become ever more common as owners and financers will begin to demand the exacting level of detail in the planning stages that these computer models allow.
Don’t Get Left Behind the Curve
At FCP services, we work hard to provide our clients with the absolute best options for maintaining healthy building and infrastructure operations. This service is provided by helping our clients enhance efficacy and reduce costs however possible. Understanding and leveraging the latest technology is often a big part of what we do and how we help those we serve thrive. Contact us today, and we will work with you to give your team and your building every possible advantage.