‘Big Data’ is shaping the human experience within buildings

Empire State Building

As the cost of implementation comes down, the same “Smart” technology that is harnessing the predictive power of “Big Data” to help solve congestion problems in cities is being more routinely deployed in buildings. The Changing Face of Smart Buildings: The Op-Ex Advantage, published by Jones Lang LaSalle, explains how bringing a Big Data analytics-based approach to facilities management can increase employee comfort, engagement and productivity; whether helping organisations adapt more readily to supporting flexible workplace practises or using sustainability as a hook for engaging employees. In one notable example; by adding smart building components to a major Empire State Building energy refit, real-time energy displays enable tenants to better monitor and control their energy consumption, and even compete with other tenants in the landmark building to achieve energy savings.

“Technological advances have finally converged with long-existing and significant opportunities for improving energy efficiency and the user experience within buildings,” said Dan Probst, Chairman of Energy and Sustainability Services at JLL. “We are seeing tenant satisfaction improve while building operating costs are reduced, especially when tenants are actively engaged with controlling energy usage.”

Computer-controlled “smart” building systems can be programmed to accommodate the needs of building occupants. Lighting and temperature, for instance, can automatically adjust during peak and off-peak occupancy periods. In addition, these automated systems generate reams of data that a smart building management service can transmit to a remote data center for analysis by facilities professionals.

Using predictive analytics, facilities managers can anticipate and address user needs and requests related to heating, ventilation, lighting, way-finding, security and more. Smart building technologies can be used to provide a more customized and energy-efficient experience for building users—think, better temperature, lighting or security control for offices, and more reliable power for manufacturing facilities.

“The Big Data generated by smart building systems is a major force shaping the human experience within buildings,” said Probst. “Building data analytics provides unprecedented insight into energy use and facilities operations.”

Of course these systems have been around for a while, but the report confirms that recent significant price reductions in cloud computing-based building management technologies are now making these systems more affordable.

Along with next-generation buildings comes a new generation of building occupants, with new workplace preferences and expectations for their work facilities.

“The trend for employees to connect from anywhere, or to bring their own devices to custom-fitted work settings, will profoundly change the way building owners lease space,” says Probst. “Demand for more network sophistication that can adapt to changing work patterns will play to the advantage of smart building owners.”

To download the full report: The Changing Face of Smart Buildings: The Op-Ex Advantage, click here