|This article is part of the Disruptors Series, a special quarterly edition of our blog where thought leaders contribute with their industry expertise.|
Many of the responsibilities in Facilities Management consist of manually recording and archiving temperature checks or verifying that tasks have been completed at the site level and in folders. Then, an intelligent sensor came along to help us automate some of these responsibilities.
Over at JLL, we have worked with Disruptive Technologies (DT), the manufacturer of the world’s smallest wireless sensor, for the past 3 years to help digitize some of the Facilities Management tasks in our Real Estate. The DT smart sensor technology is a real-time data network providing simple and effective monitoring and tracking solutions.
Here are three ways we have automated our facilities management tasks with DT sensors.
One of the ways we use DT sensors in facilities management has to do with water treatment tasks within a building, related to compliance with legionella requirements.
Legionella is a type of bacteria found naturally in freshwater environments. It can become a health concern when it grows and spreads in human-made building water systems like:
Legionella cultivates in an environment between 20℃ - 45℃ and where nutrients are available. The bacteria lay dormant below 20℃ and do not survive above 50℃.
Due to the risk of Legionella, the industry requires you to manually flush water outlets regularly, as we don’t know if someone used the water outlets or not. Therefore, the most widespread method of preventing legionella is to flush all water outlets and record the task manually to ensure the temperature parameters are always met, and that water is safe.
This not only uses unnecessary labour, but it is also not very sustainable. We waste on average 600L of water per tap per year by flushing these outlets. We then need to re-heat the water source and further energy waste is being generated.
Through DT’s smart wireless sensors, we can monitor the temperature and flow of our water systems. This improved management of water temperature provides us with instant alerts in a situation where the water temperature declines into the bacterial growth danger zone.
This then allows the team managing the water systems to merely focus on the outlets that fail the parameters throughout the month.
This also saves on average 80% of labour tasks associated with managing the water flushing tasks and reduces the need for sending engineers to sites with vehicles, which has a further impact on the environment.
It is imperative to monitor the indoor environmental conditions inside properties to ensure the working environment is at its optimal conditions. This maximises the effectiveness of people utilising the space.
The safety and well-being of people are the most important assets in our buildings. Having these wireless sensors monitor our environmental conditions in real-time allows us to manage the space proactively and get actionable insights and alerts that improve the air quality during the workday.
Heatmapping inside a space can display valuable visualisations on space-measurement metrics like temperature, humidity, light, noise, energy consumption and human activity.
A heatmap is also a good tool for identifying the peak usage of spaces and their HVAC (Heat Ventilation and Air Conditioning) systems. The parameters that can be tracked include desk occupancy, room temperature and energy consumption.
With this data, we can also assist in optimising the plant efficiency for the building to save on energy and reduce our carbon footprint.
Occupancy monitoring can enable the effective management of desks, offices, and meeting rooms.
Occupancy sensors provide real-time visibility on the utilization of rooms, desks, and breakout areas, to enable instant access to information about space availability. This visibility minimizes the time spent on searching for available spaces while avoiding double-bookings. We are also able to set up specific cleaning regimes that allow us to maximize cleaning efficiency at a reduced cost.
Some of the outdated cleaning regimes are put in place due to our limited understanding of how spaces are being used and how often they need to be cleaned.
By strategically placing the DT smart sensors underneath desks, we can, in real-time, analyze the peak occupancy of desks and use this data to set up specific and targeted cleaning regimes.
We are also able to use these sensors in washrooms to provide feedback and alerts if replenishment of products is required, or increased cleaning is required.
Another manual cleaning task is manually completing and signing the cleaning attendance inspection sheets at the start of the cleaner’s working shift. This is then used as a verification of service.
These wireless sensors now allow you to automate this process completely and run monthly or quarterly reports based on the cleaner by simply clicking an attendance button.
These are just three examples of the FM-related responsibilities that could be automated by wireless sensors to create a much more efficient, sustainable, and healthier workplace. Due to the versatility of DT sensors, we are confident that we will discover and share many more in the years to come.
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One of the challenges that all building owners face is the constant effort to prevent legionella bacteria in..