How intelligent buildings can benefit FM


Perhaps a fair, concise and accurate description is made by the Institution of Engineering & Technology as “one where the combination of technologies and interconnected systems supports the use of the accommodation by the building’s users, enables the efficient operation of the building, and enables reconfiguration of the space in response to changing use”.

Building intelligence tools have progressed over the past 35 years, including:

  • Automated Buildings – a collection of innovative technologies.
  • Responsive Buildings – a collection of technologies able to respond to organisational change over time.
  • Efficient Buildings – a responsive, effective, and supportive environment within which the organisation can achieve its objectives.

How do these impact our daily lives? When viewing an intelligent building, there are four main aspects to consider, namely: communication, information management, control and facilities management (FM).

Within these four aspects are numerous components that require consideration, such as waste management, energy management, security and fire, telecom and office, and BMS [building management systems].

Perhaps the primary component that can be realised is the use of BIM (Building Information Modelling). Although not strictly a component of the building, BIM Level 3 (Digital Britain 2015) released in February 2015, which exceeds Level 2 with a greater emphasis on data exchange and processes, can be a crucial asset in the design and planning for intelligent controls.

The added bonus to its practical benefits is financial. The BIM Task Group suggests a 20% saving on capital expenditure(CAPEX) when incorporating BIM within the project process, but is quick to point out that the largest target for reduction is the operational expenditure (OPEX).

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