How to Use Building Analytics to Gain a Competitive Advantage

According to David Walsh, there are four methods to use building analytics to lower operational costs, extend the life of equipment, and guide capital upgrade decisions.

The built environment in Australia is speeding progressively towards net zero goals. All significant buildings, offices, shopping centres, airports, and public attractions in Australia are increasing their focus on sustainability programmes and quantitative progress against benchmarks, according to building owners, investors, and managers.

Fast-tracking net-zero goals isn't simply a political or legal necessity; it's also good business. The cost of energy is a substantial and growing expense. Commercial buildings account for around a quarter of all energy use and ten percent of all carbon emissions in Australia. Buildings that are inefficient in terms of energy use are more expensive to operate and have a harder time attracting new tenants.

Getting the most value out of the assets you already have is the key to reaching peak performance and lowering emissions. This necessitates the use of data and analytics to comprehend the functions of built assets. Data from hundreds of different types of equipment may now be combined to get a full picture of what is going on.

Here are four methods to use building analytics to lower operational costs, extend the life of equipment, and guide capital upgrade decisions.

1. Data-driven Governance and Decision-making
Building analytics gives management teams more granular insight into present and historical building performance, making it easier to anticipate, budget, and execute scenario modelling. Analytics-generated insights and outcomes can be used to inform new policies and support company transformation.

IoT sensors allow for real-time performance monitoring and the collection of data that can be utilised to plan for preventative and just-in-time maintenance. When a machine's performance begins to deviate from its optimal specifications, an alarm can be sent to a maintenance expert, who can address the problem before it becomes more serious.

Almost any equipment can be monitored, but most of the data collected has remained opaque in the past, making its unlocking extremely important. Having timely access to the proper information is always the first step in making great judgments. A vital step is to invest in technology that can collect the proper data and normalise it so that it can be utilised.

2. Performance Evaluation
Property owners and managers can use building analytics to define key performance indicators (KPIs) and track measurable progress against metrics that can help with industry compliance and board and investor reports.

Indoor temperature, CO2 levels, customer satisfaction, occupancy, tenant and customer feedback, and tenancy renewal rates are all factors to consider. Structure analytics can help discover and repair equipment failures and comfort concerns by pinpointing the best and worst performing zones within a building.

3. Achieve and Surpass ESG Goals
For the built environment, there are a number of industry-recognized sustainability evaluations and indices. As investors and stakeholders place growing emphasis on generating climate positive benefits in addition to financial returns, environmental, social, and governance (ESG) is now at the forefront of business ambitions. Improving the sustainability performance of each asset through energy savings, increased thermal comfort, and enhanced indoor air quality will help you achieve higher GRESB, WELL, NABERS, GreenStar, BREEAM, and LEED ratings.

Each of these criteria provides significant information about a building's environmental footprint. Because different stakeholders want distinct insights and information, a single piece of data is unlikely to satisfy such a broad set of requirements. While obtaining an initial grade in any of these systems is critical, continual evaluation is also essential. Many investment bonds, for example, need to be measured on a regular basis to assure compliance over the life of the bond. Furthermore, boards of directors are becoming increasingly concerned about the long-term viability of building assets. This is why data provides access to current, historical, and modelling estimates on future performance.

4. Facility Managers and Contractors Have More Information
Facility managers and contractors can make better judgments with the help of building analytics. Teams can better understand their buildings and the complicated network of services within them if they have access to the right data. Dashboards give facility managers and contractors a place to share information, fix issues, and track results, breaking down the historical silos that have kept information hidden. This significantly reduces the time it takes to diagnose and resolve problems while also saving money.

Facilities managers may remove the guesswork and gut feel from operational and capital expenditure decisions by utilising data smartly. Technicians can detect and address issues faster than ever before by gathering data and combining it with AI and machine learning models, resulting in enhanced operational efficiencies and reduced downtime. Furthermore, the C-suite can be given more authority to make better decisions regarding how to allocate capital funds.

Many large buildings can be made to function better, but building owners and managers have lacked the data they need to know exactly what changes they need to make to avoid wasting money and energy. Building owners and managers can detect these chances for improvement by using sophisticated, data-driven solutions in the proper places.

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