When you think of facility maintenance, you might not think about being on the edge of technology. It’s true that the industry is great for those who want to work with their hands, tackling everything from mechanical and electrical to plumbing issues and working with tools.
But even so, as technology advances, facility maintenance workers also need to advance. Nowadays, smart technology isn’t just for your phone or in your home—it’s making a move to offices and larger properties as a whole.
Facility Executive featured some of these big trends as we headed into 2019, and many of these new ideas are now making their way into the mainstream of facility maintenance. Check out some key advances in technology those in the field should be on the lookout for.
Business information modeling is taking off.
Contractors and architects have long been using business information modeling (BIM) to create virtual models of facilities, but those in facility maintenance are starting to see the value. Facility maintenance departments have started to turn to these models for easy access to floor plans and resource information, streamlining many processes.
Internet of Things is providing insightful building data.
The Internet of Things, or IoT, basically allows better communication with different devices throughout a facility. With the use of sensors, thermostats and actuators, facility maintenance technicians are able to track data that shows the levels of light, temperature and sound in a facility. This allows technicians to pinpoint issues like energy use and fix the problem for a better overall system.
HVAC technology is going green.
Traditional HVAC technology uses a significant amount of energy and raises the costs of operation. Now, building automation systems can be added to HVAC systems to notify technicians when something isn’t operating properly. This allows facility maintenance technicians to recognize an issue before it becomes a costly repair and expensive power bill.
Automated technology streamlines scheduling and tasks.
In the past, facility maintenance technicians have had to rely on physical blueprints, spreadsheets or memory to know what needs to be serviced in their facilities. Now, they can now use automated technology to store facility information and create work orders. This not only streamlines day-to-day operations, but it also makes it easier when a new employee joins the team.
Drones are creating an extra level of safety.
Facility maintenance technicians may have found themselves completing dangerous tasks like checking roofs and windows on a tall building, but now drones can do that work for them. Facilities are beginning to use GPS programmed drones to complete facility inspections and eliminate dangerous tasks from their technician’s workdays.
The new technologies emerging in facility maintenance departments are being adopted to further reduce our carbon footprint, streamline technician’s work information, provide more accurate data and insights, and provide safety for technicians, residents and staff—and it’s only likely to continue advancing and improving.