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Buildings are continuously influenced by physical factors such as heat, moisture, pollutants, and sound. Building science is the scientific analysis of how these phenomena affect buildings to better predict and improve building systems performance. This includes enhancing comfort, health, and durability while reducing energy use.
Today, many of the most valuable applications of building science knowledge lie in the day-to-day maintenance of interconnected building systems. By understanding the importance of building science and allowing advanced data analytics to guide ongoing maintenance, you can optimize operations throughout your facilities.
Building science can be invaluable throughout the life of a structure, from initial architectural design to retrofitting an existing property. With the emergence of new technologies and more advanced building information modeling, it is also becoming an increasingly important part of ongoing maintenance. For maintenance contractors, an intelligent analytics platform designed by building science experts can have significant benefits, including:
Using an analytics platform to monitor equipment lets you move toward a preventive approach to maintenance, rather than a reactive one. Analytics and rules written by data scientists can continuously organize and prioritize data from an interconnected network of building equipment and automatically alert you to system and equipment performance characteristics and failures by identifying anomalies in the data patterns. By detecting and predicting faults as early as possible and recommending solutions, maintenance contractors and building system service professionals can resolve issues before they impact building occupants.
Equipment maintenance in commercial buildings is typically directed by an arbitrary schedule set at the beginning of the service contract. These scheduled maintenance visits are often unnecessary and can lead to significant waste; if you’ve ever been called to look at malfunctioning equipment right after you completed your regular maintenance visit, you know this well. When maintenance is directed by data rather than an arbitrary schedule, the time and resources spent on service calls are greatly reduced. Minimizing waste also improves the customer experience by adding value to service contracts.
Historically, transparency between contractors and customers has been challenging. An intelligent analytics platform that models and standardizes data can help you increase transparency and give your customers a better understanding of how your work has contributed to improvements across their building operations. Active reporting of work completed and issues resolved eliminates the need for manual write-ups, strengthens trust, allows customers to see value in the service contract. With a platform that tracks historical data for all connected equipment, you can also produce reports that validate your work and show performance over time to correlate fixes with long-term performance improvements.
These benefits of data analytics demonstrate the importance of building science in the day-to-day life of a building. As a maintenance contractor, the right building analytics product will help you work more effectively and efficiently.
Selecting a data analytics platform can seem overwhelming if you don’t have a background in data or building science. But choosing—and using—a platform doesn’t have to be difficult if you know what to look for:
onPoint Analytics incorporates these key features to help contractors realize the benefits of intelligent data analytics. This easy addition to your services not only enhances the efficiency and quality of your work, it adds value for your customers.
The importance of building science for contractors lies in not only resolving day-to-day maintenance issues, but in supporting the overall needs of your customers. With the right analytics platform, you can help them achieve their performance goals while improving your own operations.
Jon Schoenfeld, PE is Buildings IOT's Director of Energy & Analytics. He's been developing advanced algorithms for building automation applications for more than a decade and he applies his tremendous building expertise as he oversees the team of building scientists creating the onPoint platform.