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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Axxerion: What is IWMS+?


IWMS+: Optimizing Room Reservation Systems

By Mehdi Khalvati

The rise of IoT technology has encouraged many companies to augment their integrated workplace management systems (IWMS) with IoT sensor technology. This win-win combination – referred to as an IWMS+ system in this article – can be a very smart financial and operational decision for your business workplace

IWMS+: At the Intersection of IWMS and IoT

IWMS+ technology integrates traditional IWMS software with IoT sensor capabilities. By working in conjunction with each other, the IWMS software is able to function in smarter ways, while the Smart Building monitoring system can be adapted to optimize workplace productivity and efficiency. Further, an IWMS+ solution is able to obtain, consolidate and analyze a rich body of IoT sensor and BIM data, allowing for high-quality, live data that could not be accessed through just one of these systems.

Smart Room Reservations with IWMS+

An IWMS+ system can augment many different workplace management functions. One of these areas is room reservations. With a traditional IWMS system, building users can reserve a room or desk for a specific amount of time. Other reservation features with a traditional IWMS include: requesting equipment or services in conjunction with the room reservation, automating setup and cleanup pre-and-post meetings, receiving check-in and booking confirmation, and having access to different types of booking touch points (mobile, kiosk, desktop).

On the other hand, a Smart Room Reservation system combines IWMS features with IoT sensor capabilities to incorporate space utilization data in addition to traditional reservation offerings. Let’s look at three different specialized offerings from an IWMS+ Smart Room Reservation system…

[Admin: This post is related to the 08.01.16 post about the CAFM, CMMS, EAM, and IWMS competitors of IBM TRIRIGA, and the 08.22.17 post by Verdantix about IWMS competition intensifying. To see other related posts, use the IWMS 2.0 tag.]

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Verdantix: Is occupant happiness a new metric for smart buildings?


Buildings that support occupant happiness and productivity sound great. So what’s the catch? Occupant well-being and happiness is much harder to quantify compared to environmental factors such as energy efficiency. Also, there aren’t yet well-recognized rating systems, although the International WELL Building Institute is making some headway. But the bigger puzzle for the smart building ecosystem to solve is: How much do building conditions really contribute to occupant happiness? How should building investments be balanced with other areas such as IT?

[Admin: To see other related posts, use the Workplace tag or Satisfaction tag.]

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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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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…

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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…

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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.]

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Verdantix: Will LED-based Li-Fi replace Wi-Fi technology?


Li-Fi is an exciting emerging technology that’s got the communications technology world talking. By transmitting data by modulating LED lights and using a light detector as a receiver, Li-Fi is extremely fast compared to Wi-Fi, being able to stream up to 224 gigabits per second compared to 100 gigabits achievable by the world’s fastest Wi-Fi network.

It also has great security benefits as it is harder to intercept the signal outside of the building (or smart building). There are potential cost advantages too as ordinary LED lights can be used lowering operational and maintenance costs, although this will depend on the router and receiver costs once production at scale is reached…

Only in 2017, we have witnessed three significant acquisitions and partnerships.

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

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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.]

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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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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.]

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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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