It’s a great time to be a facility manager. Not only do we get to work in and for some of the most modern and greatest buildings ever built, we now get to work with facility management systems that, a mere decade ago, were just a pipe dream. But, these new systems are here now and being used in North America and around the world.
The Wholly Integrating Building
In the facility management world, this millennium has thus far been the millennium of the wholly integrated building. Made up of components such as lighting, security, ventilation and air conditioning, IT systems, heating, water, facility maintenance tracking software and hardware, and refrigeration, the modern facility consists of one or more fully integrated buildings. This means that each of these components communicate with the facility management team via the facility maintenance tracking software and hardware to let the team know when things are running smoothly and running poorly. Moreover, the buildings in any single facility can be connected to the same network so that they can communicate with one another to prevent the overloading of any particular component.
Not Every Building is Integrated
However, despite the benefits to fully integrating the buildings within your facility, not every building everywhere has been thus connected. If this is your situation, you need to realize that in most cases it is your responsibility as the facility manager to sell your buildings’ owners on the need of integration. Remember, building owners primarily own buildings for one reason: to make money. If you can show your buildings’ owners that integrating their buildings will in the long run save them money, they will be more likely to make the investment today to earn more money tomorrow.
Two of the main ways that integrating buildings make money is due to the savings realized through the operating components and buildings within a facility through a single dashboard and through the cutting down on the wasting of energy via the same dashboard. In fact, saving energy is a huge plus to building owners. Talking about this latter point, Brad Royal, account executive at Building System Solutions Inc., said, “I think a lot of the managers ... have a lot more pressure today to look for a way to try to reduce energy… That is something that moves the needle."
If your facility is on a pathway to obsolescence now is the time to speak up about the need to integrate your buildings.