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October 2017
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Analytics is Only Half the Story

A truly optimized building is a delicate balance of well designed, and maintained system through the use of digital analytics tools and a cadre of available engineers to address matters before they become major issues.
Anto Budiardjo
Anto Budiardjo,
Fractional Entrepreneur
anto@budiardjo.com


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Optimizing large and complex buildings is a challenge. The advent of big data analytics combined with professional services have created a winning combination to solve this dilemma, but how should building owners and managers decide to apply these powerful tools, given their particular circumstances.

Awareness through analytics

Cloud analytics platforms provide a way to gain visibility of how a building system is performing. By creating a digital twin in the cloud, analytics can simulate the complex engineered system of buildings to uncover sub-optimal operations. The system alerts facility managers of issues that require engineering resolution regardless of cause and tracks all issues to resolution.

Capability to address issues

In most cases, problems uncovered by analytics will need attention by an engineer. For this, the availability of in-house and external resources is critical to fully resolve issues detected to ensure the system continues to perform optimally. The technical skillset required for this work is often broad, from BMS controls to IT networking and knowledge of mechanical HVAC equipment.

New Deal Big

A mapping of a building owner’s digital awareness from analytics, compared to their engineering capabilities can provide a useful understanding of the challenges and dynamics at play in the quest to achieve the best-optimized building solution. The matrix above produces four quadrants:

Building owners and managers need to balance their resources with benefit from the expended effort. This basic economics is particularly the case where mechanical equipment and human activities impact the system performance over time, such as from wear and tear. The above quadrants can help owners and managers understand their current building optimization stance and a course of action. Let’s dig deeper.

Declining PerformanceUnaware and Incapable - Declining Performance

Owners and managers in this quadrant either don’t know how and/or do not have the resources to ensure their buildings become and remain optimized. Typical sentiments here include:

The consequence of continuing on this quadrant:

Hidden OpportunitiesCapable but Unaware - Hidden Opportunities

Buildings in this quadrant are likely to have issues that are not apparent or visible to facility managers. Available resources are not addressing the most pressing problems. Notable outcomes in these buildings include:

Recommended action:

Actionalbe Improvement OpportunitiesAware but Incapable - Actionable Improvement Opportunities

Through the use of analytics, facility managers in this quadrant have a significant awareness of the issues that need addressing in their system but do not have the time or resources to address them. Typical attributes include:

Recommended action:

Fully Optimized BuildingAware and Capable - Fully Optimized Building

These facilities depict well-optimized buildings through the reliant of analytics and availability of in-house and external resources. Notable sentiments in these buildings include:

A truly optimized building is a delicate balance of well designed, and maintained system through the use of digital analytics tools and a cadre of available engineers to address matters before they become major issues.

Originally published on A New Deal for Buildings blog.


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