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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Verdantix: Solution providers step up IT security in smart buildings


One of the biggest barriers to growth in remotely accessing building management systems (BMS) – one of the key features of a smart building – is IT security.

The IT industry has established a sophisticated process for monitoring and protecting IT networks, but these concepts are not as well developed in building systems and many of the equipment that make up the Internet of Things (IoT). Additionally, there is often lack of communication and collaboration between the IT department and the facilities department. There is also increasing pressure on service providers to provide an out-of-the-box security solution.

Smart buildings are particularly vulnerable as every added connected device is another potential door into the building’s wider network. Even one of the most high-tech companies in the world, Google, was hit by a cyberattack in 2013 through a building management system. Retailer, Target was hacked through the HVAC system in 2014. This year, we have seen severe ransomware cyberattacks, such as the WannaCry ransomware attack that affected computers in over 150 countries.

This type of attack now feels very regular with a similar one occurring as we write. Individual buildings such as hotels have also been targeted and hacked through building automation systems (BAS) – witness the attack on a luxury hotel in the Austrian Alps in February, where the card system got breached, shut down, and a ransom demanded to restore the system to enable guests back into their rooms…

To learn more about the market for remote monitoring solutions see our recent report – Now Is The Time To Implement Remote Monitoring Solutions.

[Admin: To see other related posts, use the Smart Buildings tag or Vulnerability tag.]

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Verdantix: Is your workplace strategy costing you millions?


Recently, Verdantix reviewed a range of data on real estate operating costs for both renters and owner-occupiers. Data was pulled from our global annual decision-maker surveys, BOMA surveys and ASHRAE HVAC maintenance surveys to determine a typical baseline operating cost for commercial buildings in the US. An analysis of this average cost data with potential savings from various strategies finds the following.

Over 50% of operational cost savings can be achieved through improved space utilisation. This should come as no surprise for two reasons. First, better use of existing space can reduce the amount of space required for operations leading to reduced costs across all real estate OPEX categories (fixed expenses, utilities, maintenance, and rent costs). More can be accomplished in an existing workplace without incurring the extra cost of acquiring more space for business expansion.

Secondly, the nature of the workplace environment is changing. Work forces are becoming increasingly mobile as the nature of work becomes more collaborative. A Gensler survey found that 32% of employee time is spent in a mix of focused, social and learning environments. Combine this with various teleworking schemes and its no wonder firms like space management vendor Rifiniti finds that, on average, only 45% of workstations are used on any given day, instead of the hoped for 80%. With workstations costing an average of $5,000 to $20,000 apiece, poor space utilisation is like throwing money out of the window…

[Admin: To see other related posts, use the Verdantix tag.]

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Making the business case for smart buildings


From: Making The Business Case For Smart Buildings, FacilitiesNet

In the past decade, facility managers have witnessed dramatic development and maturation in building systems, smart technologies, and the ability to collect, analyze, and share data across the building infrastructure. The building automation system (BAS) has long been the center point of logic and control in building operations, and can be very effective in optimizing HVAC, lighting, and other energy-consuming systems. But the facility world is changing, and to capture the true opportunities of building intelligence, it is necessary for facility managers to think beyond the BAS as the future engine of intelligence and optimization…

Here’s a modern definition of an intelligent building: A truly intelligent building is informative, predictive, responsive, adaptive, diagnostic, corrective, and self-healing. It will understand and respond to occupancy and activities and provide information and personal awareness that will drive and change behavioral responses. In doing so, it will create asset value and competitive advantage through continuous improvement and enhanced experiential satisfaction…

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Passing the Energy Efficiency Improvement Act of 2015


The United States Congress, with bipartisan support, has passed a bill titled the Energy Efficiency Improvement Act of 2015. Authored by Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), the legislation passed the Senate in late March and the House in late April 2015. The bill aims to promote energy efficiency in commercial buildings in three ways:

  • Better Buildings Act: a new voluntary energy program within the current Energy Star framework;
  • Grid-Enabled Water Heaters: new regulations for smart grid-enabled water heaters; and
  • Energy Information for Commercial Buildings: benchmarking and public disclosure of energy usage for buildings so facility managers and building occupants can better understand current energy performance level of their space…

While it is presently unclear in the current language of the bill if or how the public disclosure of energy usage for individual buildings will be accessible to the general public, the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) industry could greatly benefit from such legislation if that is indeed the case…

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Reason to implement IWMS in 2015: The Internet of Things


This couple better be careful what they say in front of what used to be an unthreatening passive product, the television. Little do they know that if they had accidently selected a voice activation option on their remote Samsung Smart TV, the set would “listen and record their conversations” which would be sent to a third party to most likely do a speech-to-text conversion for the company. As the BBC pointed out this week, this is eerily reminiscent of George Orwell’s telescreens in 1984 which listened to what people were saying in their homes. Welcome to the world of the smart, connected product…

For facility management, it is not entirely new as we have been using sensors in building automation systems for years, but this represents an opportunity to pull all of the current disparate sub-systems (HVAC, lighting, security, elevators, window blinds/shades, fire/noxious gases detection, etc.) together not unlike we did in the early days of CAFM (80’s) and IWMS (early 21st c) when we integrated all the functionality of niche, siloed systems together into one database application. Now we will go way beyond building automation with connectivity and real time input into IWMS from buildings, people and equipment as IoT is predicted to connect 28 billion ‘things’ to the Internet by 2020 and most of these objects will have some location information attached to them…

[Admin: This post continues from the 02.04.15 post.]

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