“We require from buildings two kinds of goodness: first, the doing their practical duty well: then that they be graceful and pleasing in doing it.” : John Ruskin
In previous blogs, I had spoken of the importance of facilities management for business enterprises and also of some of the key features of Facilities Management. In the latter post, I had glossed over one of the key areas of FM, i.e. Building Operations Management. In this article, let me shift the focus there and how BOM can be beneficial in different ways as well as touch upon some key features.
In a nutshell, Building operations management solutions are useful for the smooth and efficient functioning of industrial and commercial buildings and for keeping the environment within safe and comfortable for the occupants. As a centralized system, building operations management controls and monitors the environment inside the building. The electrical, mechanical, lighting, security and emergency systems are all included here. Efficient building operations management can help in reducing the operational costs through improved energy efficiency and lower building maintenance costs.
Why do we need Building Operations Management?
Buildings operations management solutions offer automatic centralized systems that control heating, lighting, ventilation, energy, air conditioning, security, and other aspects of building management. The main purpose of implementing such solutions in buildings is to reduce the challenges of managing their operations and make it easy to manage and maintain them. There are other valuable benefits of using such solutions:
1. Better energy management and reduced costs
One of the key advantages of using building operations management solutions is to boost efficiency in energy management. It’s possible to control the cooling and heating within the building more easily. There is uncontrolled energy consumption with heating and cooling along with lighting systems normally, but with effective building operations management, different zones of the building can be easily controlled and adjusted according to specific requirements. It’s possible to set up schedules such that there is less energy consumption, when there is less usage. It is estimated that the efficiency brought by such systems can help in saving 5-30% on energy bills.
2. Improved security
Building operations management solutions can be customized to meet the specific security needs of the premises and can be programmed to provide conditional access to authorised people. Such solutions can provide notifications with alarms in times of danger or security breaches. It’s also possible to prevent false alarms using intelligent filters so that non- critical events do not interfere with security matters that do involve urgency. Exterior parking lights, security cameras including CCTV’s and lighting systems in the building can be controlled and managed efficiently to provide more comprehensive security to the occupants.
3. Makes building maintenance simpler
Building managers can identify issues early using effective building operations management. This can save costs and effort as issues can be addressed proactively. The systems are specifically designed to gather data across different building zones regularly which makes it easy for the building managers to review them and take necessary action. Besides, it’s possible to have remote access using a secure Internet connection which enables building operators to have access to relevant data from anywhere.
Key areas addressed through Building Operations Management
1. Lighting Automation Systems
Building operations management systems come with sophisticated sensors, occupancy controls, and scheduling that shuts down lighting systems automatically, when not in use, at scheduled times of the week or when the specific areas are not occupied by individuals. The building’s interiors, walkways, parking garages can also be maintained centrally. In fact, the security system also works along with the lighting system. This enables the sensors to pick up activities around key areas that may pose a threat.
2. Heating, Ventilation and Air-Conditioning(HVAC)
HVAC usually consumes the maximum energy in the commercial spaces. Much of this expense can result from inefficiency in the heating and cooling systems. Building operations management solutions allows pre-programing the HVAC settings so that cooling and heating of the building can be optimized for efficiency. Besides, ensuring better comfort, it helps in saving on electricity bills by reducing unnecessary wastage or consumption of power.
3. Security systems
These solutions also offer added security through access control, video surveillance, and intruder detection using CCTV’s. With real time monitoring systems and remote access, building operations management can be also used to monitor security from a centralized location. Video Analytics may be used for locating suspicious activities and for monitoring areas that are security sensitive.
4. Emergency systems
In the event of emergencies such as fire, these systems can help in preventing loss of life or property damage. They can help the smoke from spreading and can shut down systems like elevators in the affected areas. The fire suppression systems can be activated and security personnel can be provided access through security doors to take charge of the situation. This can help them quickly respond to emergency situations, reduce damage to property, and save lives of the occupants.
5. Data Diagnostics system
One key feature of any modern building operations management system is to enable gathering, assessing, and interpreting the data for making intelligent decisions regarding the building. With the use of such analytics, facility managers can get better actionable insights about the various factors that impact building efficiency and take the necessary action.
All facility managers want to reduce energy consumption, improve operational efficiency, reduce wastage, and provide a workplace that is safe and comfortable. This is a hard task at the best of times. With an effective solution in place for building operations management that task could be made just that bit simpler – that’s my opinion, at least!