Long-term Building Operating Cost Reduction Strategies
There are countless ways for commercial property owners to lower their building operating costs....
Key performance indicators, or KPIs, are critical for teams to track the performance of their commercial building’s operational systems. Gathering and understanding data around areas such as energy efficiency, maintenance, air quality, and security are essential for implementing building operation improvement strategies.
With increasing demands for efficiency and productivity, facility managers are looking for creative ways to extend the value of their systems. There’s also a need to share forward-looking strategies to achieve efficiency and show progress toward maintenance improvement goals with managers and executives. Tracking KPIs can help to meet these demands by providing ongoing insight into how well a facility is currently achieving its operational objectives, and how achievement is progressing over time.
Below, we’ll highlight specific metrics for building managers to track as KPIs for your building management system (BMS). We’ll also share how working with an expert master systems integrator (MSI) partner allows you to customize these KPIs for your customers and keep facilities running smoothly.
Although KPIs may sound like simple metrics, they’re much more complex than single data points. KPIs involve rich data sets collected from multiple sources. Tracking this information is crucial to taking the steps necessary to increase system efficiency and operational improvements, as well as achieve cost savings. Once issues are remediated and new strategies deployed, the KPIs can be used to validate the fix and ensure the new optimal operation keeps up for the long run.
For a facility manager, tracking KPIs enables you to track and sharekey data-driven information that pinpoints system problems and inefficiencies. These KPIs can also inform the changes you institute across your building systems. Solutions like smart analytics and MSI services streamline the visual representation of these KPIs and automate the collection of the necessary data, with precision monitoring and systems integration to provide actionable operational insights.
Here are the top KPI categories building managers should track, and how the right MSI can help:
Particularly in the commercial buildings industry, tracking KPIs around energy use and efficiency goals are critical to reducing energy bills. Monitoring energy efficiency benchmarks to proactively address items like seasonality and HVAC optimization concerns enables managers to share valuable insights with your customers and to set internal energy consumption goals for the future.
Energy management is also a key area where an MSI can help to incorporate smart analytics and tools to track KPIs related to heating and cooling, lighting, and electrical consumption. Working with the right MSI expert provides:
Analytics platforms with machine learning (ML) capabilities enable you to learn your buildings’ occupancy patterns so automatic adjustments can take place, such as shutting off lights during no-to-low occupancy periods and altering building temperatures according to seasonality or weather changes.
Machine learning uses algorithms to analyze trends in the data related to these common energy efficiency improvement areas. ML enables a feature-rich data analytics system to discover how building energy systems are functioning, detect areas of excess consumption based on deviations from historical data, and target solutions that can be implemented through automation, with little-to-no human interaction.
KPIs related to maintenance for your building portfolio involve everything from managing work orders more effectively to reducing truck rolls for preventive maintenance. While a traditional commercial building maintenance model is reactive rather than proactive, data-driven maintenance contracts enable you to take control of the maintenance schedule, grouping issues into one service call or using the data to inform who you call to fix the problem.
The normal work-order process for maintaining your building’s systems takes time and often means multiple service contractors deploying technicians to your site to diagnose the same problem. This means you’re being charged double while being expected to manage the entire process and verify that the work done actually solved the problem.
Facility managers that institute a proactive, data-driven maintenance program find that the cost of maintenance service goes down because they are experiencing fewer emergency calls and being more efficient with their service provider’s time by grouping multiple related issues into a single service call. Smart analytics make it possible to deliver this maintenance value, because they’re constantly coming through your systems to identify faults and present the information to you in a way that doesn’t bog you down or overwhelm you with alarms. When the analytics include KPI pages, you’re also able to validate the resolutions.
Maintenance metrics, such as the number of hours a piece of equipment is in a fault state, is another key piece of KPI data for stakeholders to know about.
Regular maintenance reports, contractor and maintenance deployment, and cost savings reports are all a part of ongoing KPI reports that may be provided and customized for your customers. When you present this information with an actionable plan for diagnosis and resolution, you’ll be able to demonstrate substantial value.
Your building health score is a KPI that tracks your air quality measurements against baselines to make it easier for you to understand how your building health stacks up against other indoor spaces. These details empower decision-makers with the information required to maintain a healthy environment.
Air quality measurements are derived from sensors installed to detect particulates and dangerous conditions in the air such as high CO2 levels. It’s critical to resolve those issues to ensure air quality is optimal.
With advanced analytics designed to securely gather data from these sensors, your stakeholders will be able to view air quality KPIs via mobile- and desktop-accessible dashboards. This allows you access to information such as:
Tracking this data ensures compliance with WELL building requirements and American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers. Inc. guidelines for heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and air quality.
While identifying your KPIs and leveraging the right technology to track them is the first step to ensuring you are meeting your operational objectives, having a way to easily access and visualize the KPI data from your building management system is critical. And, it’s even more meaningful when the information is shared proactively along with actionable insights.
KPI data presented using a browser-based and mobile friendly dashboard is the best way to access KPI data from any location using a laptop computer, tablet, or smartphone. Information can be published and emailed as PDFs, as well as pushed out via Slack, or embedded in other forms of reports. This enables everyone from your operations team to the building’s owners to have the KPI data they need to make frontline or remote decisions.
The goal of a custom mobile dashboard should be to provide a quick view of your building management system and KPIs across your facilities. The ability to pull this KPI data related to the core defined areas of energy, maintenance, air quality, and security is essential for reporting to your stakeholders.
While KPIs for your building management systems may be different from building to building, by working with the right provider, you can customize KPIs for key integration areas.
Buildings IOT is a highly-reputable master systems integrator partner for facility managers. Our MSI experts provide:
Our team offers you and your customers’ seamless integration services from the ground up, including a smart dashboard of critical KPIs that share your value, purpose, and efficiencies.
Clint Bradford writes about problems encountered and solutions delivered during our smart building project process.
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