When people consider advancements in smart building technology and the future of the industry, they generally point to the financial benefits of implementing smart tech.
While smart buildings can cut operating costs, one huge benefit of smart building tech often goes overlooked: safety.
Asset safety and risk reduction are two areas that facility managers need to focus on. Thanks to smart tech innovation, safety in these areas has never been easier to achieve.
Through a combination of centralized data storage, secure remote logins, and real-time alerts, facility managers can manage assets and mitigate risks more quickly and efficiently than ever.
Centralized Storage Reduces Risk
Many older buildings have information stored on paper, filed among hundreds of other papers. This setup makes sorting through the information difficult and slow and creates a lot of risk..
This is where smart building tech comes in. By backing up data on the cloud, facility managers can store and organize records in a secure location, remove the need for paper documents, and find information faster than ever to make quicker decisions. This can be done remotely from anywhere with internet access, too.
Cloud storage mitigates two types of risk:
- The risk of losing documents in the event of a disaster
- The risk of information being stolen through online data theft
When information is recorded on paper, any damage to the documents could result in the complete loss of that information. Storing information in the cloud eliminates this vulnerability.
With the cloud, you can also limit who has access to this information, and you can give some people limited access to specific pieces of information. This greatly reduces the chance of someone releasing information, either on purpose or by accident.
Smart Tech Enables Real-Time Decisions
For facility managers, the time lag to implement fixes has always been an issue. Electrical problems would first have to be noticed, and then information on the electrical system would have to be retrieved to determine a solution. Finally, facility managers would be able to address the issue by sending someone to fix the problem.
Now, smart buildings can provide real-time updates on any problems with your infrastructure, sometimes before any problems even occur. If smart tech finds a potential issue, preventative maintenance can protect the equipment and the building.
Facility managers get information sent to their devices in real time, so an electrical issue that occurs at 4 a.m. can be addressed instantaneously. This reduces the time it takes to fix the problem and, consequently, the damage caused.
Workers can also access the information while implementing the fix, facilitating their jobs.
Smart Buildings Create Safer Environments
While smart building tech is part of the digital world, the effects are very tangible.
By protecting assets and mitigating the risk of a disaster, smart tech makes buildings safer for everyday use. Beyond protecting information, smart tech is also able to find major problems and redirect resources to protect people in the building.
Of course, smart building tech can’t make buildings safer on its own — well-trained facility managers must implement and use the technology to make every part of their buildings’ infrastructure safer and more efficient.
[Related: Best Practices for Facility Managers in 2019]