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.]

Continue reading

IoT: Should we design smarter buildings that think and learn?


This is my building’s final offer

One day in the not-too-distant future, when a building manager and tenant sit down to haggle over the terms of a new lease, the building itself — not the manager — will hold most of the cards in the negotiation. The manager may have an idea about how much a tenant uses a building’s facilities. The tenant will have another. But the building — and the constellation of data that surrounds every aspect of its operation — will know the real truth and set the terms…

Continue reading

Designing buildings that learn

Our buildings are snapshots of our ideas and culture, physical representations frozen in place and time. The Empire State Building, the Roman Forum or even the Los Angeles Forum, were designed and built to serve a purpose, a population or a team of the moment. But things change. Economies shift and empires fall — yet our buildings don’t make those transitions. We tear them down because they can’t adjust to new energy requirements or new ways of working. At least, until now…

Continue reading

Creating a building’s “digital twin”

Buildings have long functioned a bit like our bodies. Plumbing circulates through the building walls, wires innervate every room while concrete and I-beams underpin the whole frame. But until recently these indispensable bedrocks of the modern world have lacked the most critical body part — a brain. Without one, humans have had to manage the lights, power and temperature; service the elevators and other equipment; monitor security cameras; keep rooms stocked with supplies. Powerful new cognitive abilities are emerging from the massive data flows…

[Admin: This post is related to the 06.30.16 post by Chris O’Connor about putting the human touch into buildings, and the 08.20.15 post about creating a connected 11-storey building in 4 hours. To see other related posts, use the IoT tag or Smart Buildings tag.]

Continue reading

How do IWMS, IoT and Analytics raise occupancy experience levels?


According to a recent Smart Building report from Aberdeen Group, modern Integrated Workplace Management Systems (IWMS) – driven by IoT, analytics, and cognitive computing – are central to the rise of the smart building. Buildings and workplaces are massive generators (and consumers) of data. The capture and analysis of data enable organizations to gain deeper insights into operational effectiveness, accelerate their ability to react to change, and increase returns from real estate-related decisions. As cognitive computing services continue to gain momentum, many organizations are starting to explore different ways artificial intelligence can help to optimize occupancy experiences.

The rise of the intelligent, connected work space

Data captured by buildings can be augmented by cognitive capabilities for use in IWMS such as IBM TRIRIGA – to help make decisions, alert management on issues, in addition to providing buildings with virtual concierge services. Improved insights, automation, and control can have a significant impact on all aspects of real estate performance – from lease accounting and capital projects, to facility maintenance, space utilization, and energy consumption.

Five smarter building transformation use cases

As facilities management moves beyond cost control, IWMS users will continue to climb the maturity curve – capturing information, identifying the signals to make better operational and predictive decisions. The end-goal of becoming more competitive through facility amenities and occupant experiences is something that only IoT can deliver – through the availability of information, automation of tasks and application of advanced analytics. Make the leap to smarter buildings. Here are 5 use cases where IWMS, IoT, and analytics are central to building transformation:

  • 1. Increase Insight into Facilities Performance and Maintenance…
  • 2. Develop New Services…
  • 3. Improved Resource Tracking and Better Space Management…
  • 4. A More Proactive Service Model…
  • 5. Better Energy Usage…

[Admin: This post is related to the 02.02.17 post about owning the building IoT, and the 10.26.17 post by Planon about technology trends by 2022. To see other related posts, use the Smart Buildings tag.]

Continue reading

How Umpqua Bank is transforming real-estate with IBM TRIRIGA & IoT


I’m Tony Bailey, Senior VP of Real Estate, Facilities, Design, Construction, TPO, Physical Security teams at Umpqua Bank… As a first time presenter at TRIMAX – the combined TRIRIGA and Maximo User Group conference – I am excited to be able to meet with other companies that are at various stages in their path towards transforming both their facilities and their employee experiences using IBM TRIRIGA and Internet of Things (IoT) capabilities…

As we continue to expand our business, we will also leverage this knowledge as we deploy the Capital Planning capabilities in TRIRIGA. The lease administration capabilities are helping to streamline operations around construction procurement. For example, we are working on deploying a new e-invoicing capability that will automate many of time-intensive processes that consumed a lot of valuable resource from our business…

At TRIMAX in November, I will be sharing more details about Umpqua Bank’s project road map and lessons learned. I will be speaking about how we are incorporating IoT technologies to support our “branch of the future” vision, discussing in depth our plans to develop a dynamic floor plan – complete with traffic sensors and asset management to optimize our model – in an effort to drive just-in-time maintenance to help control costs.

I hope you are attending TRIMAX this November and I look forward to meeting you there to continue sharing best practices about our facilities management strategy.

[Admin: To see other related posts, use the Umpqua Bank tag or TRIMAX tag.]

Continue reading

ValuD recognized on Inc. 5000 List for a third consecutive year


Inc. magazine ranked ValuD Consulting #1085 on its 36th annual Inc. 5000, the most prestigious ranking of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies. Out of the nearly seven million private companies moving the economy forward every day, only a tiny fraction demonstrate consistent high growth. ValuD’s Inc. 5000 recognition, for the third consecutive year, puts the firm in rarefied company, given that only one in five companies make the list three times…

To propel results over the past year, ValuD has:

  • Grown to 230 people to deliver IBM TRIRIGA, IBM Maximo, and Motors@Work Internet of Things solutions.
  • Built an industry leading FASB/IASB Lease Accounting practice, complete with CPAs, to facilitate rapid TRIRIGA Real Estate implementations and to streamline FASB compliance.
  • Developed and delivered MobilD, a mobility product solution purpose-built for TRIRIGA.
  • Enhanced pre-packaged Motors@Work integrations with Maximo Asset Management, Maximo Asset Health Insights, and IBM Watson Platform.

[Admin: This post is related to the 08.18.16 post about being recognized for a second straight year. To see other related posts, use the ValuD tag.]

Continue reading

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.]

Continue reading

FM:Systems: Integrating IoT-based sensors for real-time utilization


I’ve been closely watching the evolution of the modern office over the past several years as many organizations embrace alternative workplace strategies. This has been particularly driven by the ability of employees to work anytime and anywhere due to really incredible mobile technologies. While this has offered new and incredibly efficient ways to work, it’s also provided companies and institutions alike with new possibilities for better utilization of space. But it also has created some unique challenges when an organization asks itself, “How well are we using our space when our employees rarely sit in the same space day-to-day?”

Real-time Space Utilization Analysis

The answer is newly emerging Internet of Things (IoT) based sensor technologies that include a range of techniques such as heat sensing, vibration sensing, triangulation and 3D stereoscopic people sensing cameras. FM:Systems has formed a partnership with CoWorkr for instance…

3D Stereoscopic People Sensing

A second technology that I am very excited about which we just integrated and introduced at our annual User Conference is 3D stereoscopic cameras that perform people counting in and out of specific areas that have delineated on your floor plans! We’ve integrated the Hella APS-90 and 180 cameras

[Admin: This post is related to the 08.20.15 post about creating a connected 11-storey building in 4 hours. To see other related posts, use the FM:Systems tag.]

Continue reading

Serraview: High-tech occupancy sensors for agile space planning


The following is a guest blog written by Itamar Roth, CBO at PointGrab.

Agile workplaces are a smart strategy for solving a number of pressing corporate problems: reining in mounting property costs by optimizing space, supporting workforce mobility, and attracting and retaining talent.

However, planning and managing these flexible environments is challenging because of the nature of agile spaces: people are constantly moving around and occupancy shifts from day to day, even hour to hour… Innovative occupants’ activity sensors can provide up-to-the-minute intelligence about space utilization that’s needed to plan and manage modern workplaces… Today, intelligent Internet of Things (IoT) sensor technology can be used to help lower expenses and design workplaces that provide the optimal employee experience.

Here are some of the latest advancements in commercial occupancy sensors and how they overcome some of these challenges.

  • Horizontal sensing vs. traditional commercial occupancy sensors…
  • Image sensing and AI improves ability to count people…
  • Edge analytics technology protects occupants’ privacy…
  • Extending range and reducing maintenance…
  • Demand-controlled ventilation reduces energy use…
  • Daylight harvesting provides smarter lighting control…

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

Continue reading

Smart buildings success includes dashboards and data analytics


The past few years have seen a surge of products and options that facility managers can use to examine, analyze, predict, and improve building performance and reduce energy costs. But connecting the dots in an increasingly complex web — the Building Internet of Things — often takes serious consideration, practical attention to budgets, and resolute effort.

Many organizations currently collect data, but want to use that data more effectively. This is the case for Texas Christian University. The university does a lot of data collection and monitoring but not a lot of data analytics, reports Chris Honkomp, assistant vice chancellor for facilities. “We have that on our list of issues to address in the next year, but are focused on installation of a new maintenance management system right now, and will address analytics as a part of this process.”

Many organizations have been collecting data for years, but as prices on the software that aggregates and trends these information points comes down, more facility managers are buying into data analytics of one sort or another. Just how far any specific organization has gone depends on a range of factors, including expertise, staffing levels, available data, time, and of course budget. A look at three facility organizations shows the range of current practices and challenges…

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

Continue reading

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…

Continue reading