The entire smart building market was worth around $5.8 billion in 2016 and is set to be worth approximately $62 billion worldwide by 2022. The implementation of smart technology continues to impact the role of the facilities manager, which we’ve seen transform over the past decade in light of evolving technology, workforce demands and green initiatives.
In this blog post, we take a look at some of the innovations, processes and approaches in FM that are set to become more prevalent in 2020 and beyond.
More companies are acknowledging that the health and comfort of their employees is a top priority when it comes to productivity, retention and workplace satisfaction. Forward-thinking organisations are providing greater amenities and resources that reduce stress, bolster teamwork and reinforce values. While this requires more of an empathetic approach, one of the common driving forces in achieving wellness continues to be technology and automation. For example, the rise of mobile technology has paved the way for increased uptake in wearable tech, such as smartwatches and fitness trackers. Such tech not only demonstrates an organisation's commitment to employee welfare but also goes a long way in improving engagement and productivity.
Virtual Reality (VR)
Not just for gamers, VR enables users to enter a completely artificial world. We’re already seeing VR used in building management for 360-degree tours to allow stakeholders to get a feel for how a project will look when it’s finished. However, it’s becoming more of a popular tool in FM for troubleshooting errors in a building’s equipment. Using VR, remote technicians can view the facility from the eye of the FM and walk them through the steps they need to take to fix the issue.
Analysis of potential energy use and daylighting remains crucial in achieving a truly green building. For example, ensuring there’s as much natural light as possible throughout a building reduces the use of electricity for lighting. Additionally, we will see more energy-saving appliances installed in modern workplaces, such as SmartGrid dishwashers, refrigerators and washing machines.
Blockchain is a distributed ledger. Instead of a single database or organisation holding transaction records, these records are available to millions of computers anonymously. It’s this massive distribution of records that means a practically tamper-proof data record is created. So, blockchain actually makes it possible to replace intermediaries in transactions, improving operational efficiency by automating the execution of processes. Within FM, blockchain will enable smart contracting (eliminating the need for paper-based contracts), automation of warranties, and tenant billing. Watch this space; blockchain is going to be commonplace in FM from 2020.