Verdantix: Can predictive analytics work in commercial real estate?


Improving maintenance procedures through predictive analytics has recently seen many notable developments. Siemens is integrating IBM Watson Analytics into its MindSphere platform to help implement predictive maintenance schemes. Rockwell Automation recently launched its predictive analytics capability for factories and machinery. And PTC and Deloitte Digital announced that they are jointly developing predictive maintenance solutions for factory operations.

These developments are hardly surprising. Predictive analytics enables users to detect if, and when, machinery is likely to breakdown. For example, predictive analytics enabled Duke Energy to identify a slight increase in the turbine vibration of a steam turbine – after maintenance was performed. The subsequent repairs resulted in $4.1 million of potential power generation loss being prevented. Facility managers at plants and factories are therefore likely to be looking for such solutions to keep things running.

But is predictive analytics a natural sell in the world of commercial real estate? There is certainly some evidence of this. Since 2009, UK-based retailer Sainsbury’s has used software provider Verisae’s (now part of Accruent) predictive maintenance solution to reduce product loss from refrigeration failures. Since 2016, engineering firm KONE has partnered with IBM Watson to embed intelligent analytics in its elevators and escalators to improve their performance and reduce instances of unplanned maintenance.

Nevertheless, such examples are not necessarily the norm. According to our 2016 Global Energy Leaders Survey, 46% of the 250 facility managers surveyed said improving the collection, analysis and reporting of energy data from their electrical assets is a very important priority. In contrast, more granular asset-level energy management was only considered very important by 22%. And in our 2015 Green Quadrant for Building Energy Management Software, only 18% of the customer panel we interviewed considered maintenance scheduling and predictive maintenance to be a very important asset management functionality.

The average facility manager is therefore more likely to be concerned with basic data capture than advanced solutions like predictive analytics…

[Admin: This post is related to the 07.13.17 post and 03.16.17 post about IBM Watson Analytics, and the 08.01.16 post about the competitors of IBM TRIRIGA. To see other related posts, use the Verdantix tag.]

Continue reading

Advertisements

Verdantix: Employee-facing tech makes buzz at World Workplace


Verdantix attended IFMA’s World Workplace Europe conference on 31 May to 01 June. This major event for the facilities management sector had almost 400 attendees including facilities and workplace management professionals, service providers and technology companies.

So, what was the hot topic? One major theme of the event was how to connect people to the workplace using digital technologies. For example, we heard that facilities management firm ISS is piloting a digital concierge service which assists occupants in managing everyday tasks such as room booking or organizing catering. It is based on providing occupants self-service apps, as well as chatbots which simulate conversation to respond to worker requests.

Engaging occupants has become a hot theme across real estate, energy and facilities management software markets. For example, incorporating crowd-sourced insights on temperature preferences is gaining momentum in energy management applications, witness Energy Deck or Honeywell’s Vector Occupant App.

In the integrated workplace management system (IWMS) space, developing modules to engage everyday office workers has become a recent focus. For example, in May 2017, IWMS provider iOffice launched a set of employee experience solutions which can be layered on legacy IWMS solutions, to quickly make systems more employee-centric…

[Admin: This post is related to the 06.30.16 post about ISS and IBM transforming the management of 25,000 buildings. To see other related posts, use the Verdantix tag or iOffice tag.]

Continue reading

Verdantix: 83% firms used energy management to optimize assets


According to the 2016 Verdantix annual survey of 250 energy and facility decision-makers, 17% of firms continue to separate energy and asset management processes, 58% use energy management to inform asset management, while the remaining 25% of firms have fully integrated energy and asset management…

The landscape of vendors providing solutions for improved asset management is broad and highly competitive. Firms range from integrated workplace management system (IWMS) providers such as Accruent, iOffice, Planon, Qube, and Trimble Manhattan; to computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) providers, such as Dude Solutions and eMaint; to building energy management software providers, such as Envizi, Schneider Electric, and Siemens; and smart building platforms, like Switch Automation. The next five years will see an increased emphasis on partnerships as vendors seek to provide additional value add capabilities including advanced analytics and enhanced data capture functionalities

[Admin: This post is related to the 08.01.16 post about the competitors of IBM TRIRIGA. To see other related posts, use the Verdantix tag.]

Continue reading

Verdantix: Energy vendors expand to facilities or exit the market


Among traditional energy management software players, we are witnessing new roadmaps that include expanded value propositions.

For example, Panoramic Power has transitioned from energy management to using asset-level energy data for operational insight. And Powerhouse Dynamics has gained strong momentum in the restaurant, retail and convenience store markets, which is largely a result from providing added benefits beyond energy management including asset control and condition monitoring, and food safety audits.

In the future, we expect that vendors will continue the transition away from purely providing energy management solutions to broader offerings including operational optimization and asset maintenance. If not, they are likely to get acquired by players in the REEFIM market such as FM:Systems and Lucernex that are competing with other IWMS vendors to be the most comprehensive real estate platform.

To learn more about the Real Estate, Energy, and Facilities Information Management (REEFIM) ecosystem, see our recent report: IWMS Emerges As The Apex Platform In A Complex REEFIM Ecosystem.

Continue reading

How are existing buildings moving toward net zero energy?


The U.S. Department of Energy defines a zero energy building (ZEB) as one that produces enough renewable energy (electricity, fuel combustion) to meet its own annual energy consumption requirements. The building terms “net zero energy” and “zero net energy” are synonymous and are broadly used in the industry.

Energy consumption is averaged over a one-year period. The measurement of energy consumed and energy exported is highly dependent on the site boundary, which could encompass a single building or a cluster of buildings. Not just a building, but a campus, a portfolio, or a community can be zero energy.

Title IV of the Energy Independence and Security Act draws a line in the sand, challenging the building industry — which accounts for 38 percent of total U.S. energy consumption, according to DOE — to build net-zero only buildings after 2025 and retrofit pre-2025 buildings to net-zero by 2050.

California, the world’s environmental leader, has set more aggressive goals, requiring all new residential buildings to be ZNE by 2020, new commercial buildings to be ZNE by 2030, and 50 percent of existing commercial buildings retrofit to ZNE by 2030. Both the federal government and California acknowledge that the zero-net energy goals are ambitious, pointing to the elimination of fossil fuel combustion for generation of heat and hot water as very difficult to implement…

Continue reading

Verdantix: Siemens trains the next generation of facility managers


The real estate industry has the perception of being a slow-moving adopter of emerging technology – across its lifecycle. Once building systems are installed, they are generally not upgraded or replaced until absolutely necessary because of the cost intensive nature the renovation work required.

Recently, however… increased use of technologies such as smart equipment and sensors and cloud-based software for energy, maintenance and space utilization management begs the question – How is the facility management industry to stay up to date and relevant in the era of smart buildings? There are three routes the industry needs to pursue to stay on top of new technologies.

  • The first is to use FM training programs, such as those offered through industry associations like the British Institute of Facilities Management or the International Facility Management Association…
  • Secondly, aspiring facility managers need to be trained on the use of new technologies from the start. Siemens is assisting the Tallahassee Community College (TCC) to design and equip a “Living Lab”…
  • Finally, firms may find it too cost intensive to continuously provide training on new technologies to staff – it may be more beneficial to consider contracting with specialist services providers, such as Siemens…

Continue reading

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…

Continue reading