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Sustainable Facilities Management


Dr. Ravi Tahilramani, Director – Transformation and Service Assurance, EFS Facilities Services Group, highlights sustainable practices in facilities management in his recent article on Construction Business News

From smart buildings to sustainability, the new decade a defining era for FM. We are already experiencing the fourth wave of technological advancement, following the lean revolution of the 1970s, the outsourcing trend of the 1990s, and the automation that took place in the 2000s. At EFS, we have been an early adopter of emerging technologies as an enabler for impacting a sustainable future; improving productivity and performance; making better decisions; reducing operational risks; addressing global sustainability & environmental concerns, and complying with regulations. Disruptive technologies are creating new business transformation opportunities for everyone involved in our business value chain, which is enabling us to transcend beyond the traditional approaches towards initiatives such as energy management, paperless operations, data analysis, and so on.

There is a vast amount of data being generated by buildings and assets we manage – thanks to various sensors, IoT technologies, building management systems, edge devices, and numerous networked or silo applications. It is critical to harness this data to attain sustainability in FM. Most of us have, however, been typically dealing with 1st principles, physics-based analytics – this was good enough with relatively small amounts of data manageable by humans. More than 90% of digital data that exists today was created in the past two years. To keep up with the exponential pace of data generation, EFS is leveraging on cloud computing, machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) to overcome the limitations of calculations that can be performed by humans, and achieve truly “predictive analysis”. This is, however, not be possible without “domain experts” and “experienced FMs” who work along with (if not as) the so-called “data scientists” to help in digitizing their knowledge of critical assets, the underpinning failure modes and maintenance strategies. We need to continue involving the views of these experienced domain experts while channelling critical asset and operational data and effectively organizing it in “data lakes” or AI-ingested data.

While growing computing power is important, the rise of smarter software algorithms is emerging as the industry’s secret ingredient, with software ingenuity that will keep the virtuous circle of ingested data going strong. So, who wins in the process? Winners will not just be solution providers. They will also be asset owners, manufacturers, assurance providers, FM providers, regulators, insurers, and other industry stakeholders. Leveraging on innovation and technology in FM is a team sport; EFS is, therefore, collaborating closely with stakeholders and strategic partners to dramatically upscale insights for efficiencies towards a sustainable future.

Source: Construction Business News

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