Spacewell: IWMS+ Smart Comfort


Turning Comfort Monitoring into Action

By Nicole Weygandt, Ph.D.

One consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic has been a surge in interest in air quality and comfort monitoring. With employees worried about possible viral exposure in the office, better understanding and communication about environmental conditions is becoming a key part of reassurance strategies.

Likewise, many companies are investing in improvements in HVAC and filtering systems to reduce the risk of circulating the virus. As in the previous cases discussed in this series, IWMS+ brings together the monitoring capabilities of smart building systems with the practical side of the IWMS…

Why Air Quality Matters

The benefits of good air quality seem apparent in the light of a public health crisis, but even before the COVID-19 outbreak there was growing recognition that healthy buildings lead to positive outcomes for users and owners alike…

This research suggests that there is significant value in investing in monitoring and maintaining comfort and air quality in office buildings. IWMS+, while not a stand-alone solution for this use case, can play an important part in delivering a healthier, better office environment…

Long-Term Benefits

While the IWMS plays a less visible role in the IWMS+ equation around comfort and air quality than in some of the other use cases that we’ve discussed, we can only unlock the value of monitoring when data lead to action. Particularly when it comes to user health and comfort, we don’t want to stop at merely diagnosing a problem, we want to ensure that the right person will be informed and will take steps to resolve it.

This post is Part 6 of an ongoing series on IWMS+. Earlier posts introduced the concept of IWMS+ and a range of smart building topics…

[Admin: This post is related to the 08.01.16 post about the CAFM, CMMS, EAM, and IWMS competitors of IBM TRIRIGA, and the 08.17.20 post about using IWMS+ to optimize room reservations. To see other related posts, use the IWMS+ tag.]

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IWMS+: Greater than the Sum of Its Parts

By Nicole Weygandt, Ph.D.

In our article, we refer to IWMS+ as “the software backbone of the future.” IWMS+ combines the power of an integrated workplace management system (IWMS) with Smart Buildings technology in a way that augments both of those distinct software categories…

IWMS+ technology integrates the two software platforms to make the IWMS function smarter and lets the Smart Buildings solution drive greater behavioral changes and other performance improvements. The result, we argue, is that IWMS+ is greater than the sum of its parts.

Why is this the case? Because both types of software platforms thrive on high-quality data, whether that’s IoT sensor data or embedded BIM/rich asset data. By integrating across the two systems, IWMS+ is able to access more high-quality, real-time data than either system would be able to do individually and deliver those insights across business silos and user types.

Effectively, an IWMS+ is a type of digital twin for workplaces…

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Planon: From Smart to Learning Buildings with Machine Learning


Organisations and more specifically, their facility and real estate managers are constantly looking to improve our work environment and the buildings that we work in. They want to be cost-efficient, increase productivity, and create a healthy and attractive workplace for their employees.

The Internet of Things and Smart Buildings are providing interesting opportunities to improve our work environments. Achieving this, however, is a big challenge for organisations. What Smart Building solutions are organisations looking for? What is the real value to organisations? How will organisations realise these benefits?

From a reactive to a proactive approach through “machine learning”

The ability of buildings to measure every action or change in behaviour by the building or its occupants is changing rapidly. Nowadays, affordable sensors are available that measure for example space occupancy, air quality, usage of specific spaces or the state of building installations. Data collected from these sensors provides information about these items. We can use this data to make improvements to the work environment, building or user experience.

For example, when sensor measurements show that a meeting room that was reserved is actually not in use, it can immediately become available for a new meeting. In addition, when sensor measurements show that a specific toilet area is used less than expected, the cleaning schedule can be adjusted. However, these useful examples are based on an “If This Then That” scenario, meaning that if an event occurs we react to that event. This is a reactive approach rather than a proactive approach, so can we really call this “smart”?

[Admin: This post is related to the 11.01.17 post about designing smarter buildings that learn. To see other related posts, use the Planon tag or Smart Buildings tag.]

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FM trends in high-performance buildings and workplaces (HPB+W)


The annual High-Performance Buildings + Workplaces (HPB+W) conference takes place at the Arlington (Texas) Convention Center, May 17-18. Registration is free!

Greg Zimmerman brings more than 13 years of experience and knowledge to the facility management field. He discusses the changes and trends he’s seen in the quickly evolving occupation. With technology rapidly influencing the profession, facility managers can expect to see the effect in their everyday jobs and the overall performance of their buildings.

What misconceptions do people have about smart, sustainable buildings?

A common misconception I hear is high-performance buildings or smart buildings must be super expensive and complex. That’s simply not true. Even small buildings that are easier to operate can be smart, high-performance, and sustainable. Most buildings in the United States are smaller, so we can really start making a dent…

What excites you about the future of the facilities business?

The rate at which high-performance building technology is being implemented is really encouraging. The Internet of Things, IoT, is one example. We have adopted IoT technology in our personal lives, and now we’re doing that in our professional lives. People have been using smart phones to remotely control things…

What advice would you give to facility managers just starting out?

One thing to focus on is learning about what’s going to be important in the future. The biggest topic in facility management right now is high-performance buildings and sustainability. Technology is second nature to young professionals just coming in. Understand and learn the technology. Be the “go to” person for your building…

What do people need to know about HPB+W?

This is really the only show of its kind, covering such a wide range of topics. It concentrates on energy and water efficiency, air quality, IoT, technology; all falling under the umbrella of high-performance buildings. This is our third year of the show and we are really hitting our stride…

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Verdantix: Take note of new efforts to standardise well-being data


On March 7, 2017, the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) launched a programme to develop a set of global standards for sensors and systems that monitor the range of variables which impact worker well-being (e.g. air quality, light levels and humidity). The IWBI, with partners including the Green Building Council of Australia and RESET, aims to improve the quality of data collected on occupant well-being by providing standards for sensor performance, as well as guidance on how firms can analyse this data. This is a potentially interesting development for software vendors across the real estate, energy and facilities information management (REEFIM) market – it has the potential to improve the quality and consistency of well-being data.

Improving occupant well-being continues to be one of the hottest themes across the REEFIM market. Suppliers are positioning existing and new service offerings around occupant well-being, on the promise it can boost productivity and help to reduce absenteeism. For example, Integrated Workplace Management System (IWMS) vendor Planon collects and analyses data on lighting levels, thermal comfort and air quality, to provide recommendations to customers for improving occupant comfort. Honeywell has developed the Occupant Vector App to allow workers to provide feedback on thermal comfort levels. Mitie is piloting an Intelligent Buildings Solution which looks to boost worker productivity and concentration by optimising internal environments…

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Webinar: Smart buildings – 6 Steps to maximize investments


Webinar: Wednesday, February 24, 2016, 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM Eastern Time

The challenge for facilities and finance teams today is how to leverage building data to make better decisions. Thanks to ever more affordable building technologies in everything from indoor air quality sensors to circuit-level sub-metering, valuable data exists, but rarely are leaders able to get a cohesive picture of total building performance to clearly inform capital investment decisions like retrofit projects.

While every building is different, proactive facility executives consistently use six steps to make their building data accessible, transparent, and actionable for better business outcomes.

Join us for this free webinar and learn:

  • The six key steps to getting continuous value from building performance data.
  • How actual projects have used this methodology to achieve savings in resource usage and employee productivity.

Attend this free webinar to learn the six steps needed to maximize your capital investments. To register for this event, sponsored by Lucid and brought to you by Facility Executiveclick this link.

Vladi led Lucid’s early product and engineering teams and has driven the evolution of the company from its inception in 2004 to the launch of BuildingOS. A recipient of awards from U.S. EPA and Cleantech Open, Vladi has dozens of widely-cited publications in the field and has delivered many distinguished presentations, including at TEDx. Vladi helped pioneer groundbreaking research in commercial building monitoring systems and real-time feedback technology.

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New UL program tackles building indoor air quality (IAQ)


According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, on average, Americans spend the vast majority (about 90%) of their time indoors. As improved health and productivity move to the forefront of facility management concerns, a key area to pay attention to is indoor air quality (IAQ). For green building efforts (including certifications) there are many factors considered, including: energy consumption, carbon footprint, and water conservation. However, IAQ is not addressed to a comprehensive degree, despite its proven health impacts.

To combat this issue, UL (Underwriters Laboratories) has established the first comprehensive IAQ certification and preventive maintenance program for buildings. The program serves both new and existing buildings; it is being launched during the first quarter of 2015.

In a recently released report, UL outlines how facility executives and other building professionals can design, construct, and manage buildings with healthier indoor air. Facility Executive recently spoke with Henning Bloech, General Manager, Building Performance Programs at UL about the program.

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