Good Day Ghana, I trust you are keeping safe wherever you find yourself this side of the planet. Today we present the concluding part of a recap of the very insightful session on Re-imagining Facility Management in a Digital Age. The objectives of the session were summarized as follows:
To provide perspectives on:
- New trends in using data/tech to predict behaviour, make cost savings as well as efficient
people and process management.
- Top technology developments that are affecting the field, from the building automation
system (BAS) to big data
- The challenges and opportunities of digital transformation in FM
The panel comprised of Reginald Obeng , Head of Property-Gold Key Properties; Obed K. Ampadu-Asiamah, Head, Properties & Facilities Mgt, Fidelity Bank, Ghana; Kofi A. B. Asare, PhD Student, College of Design, Construction, Planning, University of Florida, USA; and Paul Sheedy, Uni.Fi.D, UK & China with Yaw Barnafo Head, Shared Services, CalBank moderating.
Last week we looked the distinction between property and facility management as well as the use of data in making informed decisions based on predictive and preventive insights. Today we will look closely at BIM, Regulatory Requirements and Tracking Occupants
The Role of Building Information Management (BIM)
Building information modeling involves three things; policies, processes, and technologies. Together they make up a methodology that helps us to manage building and project data.
To illustrate this model, Kofi A. B. Asare made a presentation in which he cited a few practical examples to explain the role of BIM. Referencing a building on site, he cited the following instances: If we needed to find some information on the escalator, we don’t need to go through banker boxes anymore.
Everything is attached to the piece of equipment in here and this also helps with space utilization and we’ve got every information we need on that particular asset. if we want the product documentation, we go straight to the asset and it opens up similar to as is on a mobile device, which you can take around when you are doing your work orders.
When it comes to space utilization, the system helps answer a number of questions; who have we assigned the space to? who is the occupant? has it been leased? etc. When we attach real time technologies like IOT sensors and artificial intelligence, these help us to analyze the data that is provided by these systems.
He further simulated one of the real life situations. He referred to a basic work order management system or computerized maintenance management system, which work orders can be sent out to. While admittedly, we cannot have access to all of the risks elements in 3D, a manager can go with the scans, the barcode, or the QR code.
This manager then gets an augmented reality image, and he’s able to report on repairs that they have done or things that they have been installed in real time and this goes back into that system. Kofi in acknowledging the amazing enabler that technology is cautioned not to be too fixated on the tool itself. “Technology is only a tool, not a solution, but the processes and people are the most important” He concluded.
Yaw Barnafo, the moderator set the tone by asking, “how do we leverage all of this technology to make that process also better? Things are changing around the world in terms of control also, and people want to know, they ask a lot more questions, how many people have been in this building in the last one month? They want to know and the facility manager that cannot just say, oh, I’ll go and pull up a box and you check you. Somebody needs to have that information somewhere. How do we interface with the regulators in all of this?
Reginald Obeng shared a few tips. He said “In the facilities management space now, for you to be able to work, you first need your registration documents. So of course the registration comes in play where you fall under a separate category, and that gives you the license to operate in that area.
Then the local assemblies also play a vital role wherever you find yourselves in terms of their building operating permit for the building itself as well as the need to give impact assessment reports before the building is put up. Then there are habitation permits that you also need to acquire to allow people to live in or use the buildings. Then you also have the EPA who play a very vital role.
Now, their permit focusses on the waste disposal. There are several questions that come up with wastewater and soil waste. Where’s it going? How are you treating it? And once it has been treated, does it meet the standard to be discharged? There is also fire service, who would randomly come and check your fire permits and whether your panels are working. Technology has smoothed the processes especially with the installation of sensors to ensure that when there is fire, the facilities manager is able to see in real time, who is in the building and which sectors they are in, and this has enhanced the evacuation processes.
Paul Sheedy shed light on new trends regarding tracking occupants within buildings. He intimated “So the whole idea of tracking occupants on the movements is absolutely a total necessity now. What we do is we deliver you ways of tracking behavior of your tenants to identify clearly where you are going to make a cost savings. There is no point in me being on this conference today if I am going to tell you this technology is going to cost you a fortune, I’m only on this because actually all we focus on is the return on investments. Your security teams for instance will be able to digitally detect every single breach of security that happens. If someone moves your television screen, we will know who walked out with that.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) also plays a key role in managing Evacuations. For instance, it assists to know how long should a building take to evacuate at 10 o’clock in the morning with 2000 people compared to 10 o’clock at night with 20,
We got COVID hands like Deloitte to all of the Lloyd staff in the UK, all 25,000 have a triple technology card that allows us to build what we call virtual doors, where there’s no longer doors with security there because we allow them to walk in and out freely and therefore not touch against door handles, which is going to spread COVID. And this is always built this across the world, but in Saudi Arabia, in stem USA, you’ve got an office in China. And again, I seen Africa the next 10 years, Africa is going to be the one golden opportunity in the world. It’s where growth is going to happen beyond path far beyond or anywhere else. I have no doubt about that. Hence, this is why I’m here to take on.
The writer is the Executive director of Yecham Property Consult & the Founder of the Ghana Green Building Summit.
Email: [email protected]
LinkedIn: Cyril Nii Ayitey Tetteh