The practice of facilities management is transforming to meet the demands of a new group of decision-makers. Stakeholders from engineering, information technology, and the C-suite are now coming to one table to determine goals, budgets, and priorities for facilities management.
The bottom line is that commercial buildings are inefficient when it comes to energy consumption, and that waste is expensive and dirty. One result is that the wasted energy associated with operating commercial buildings translates to a hit on corporate bottom lines because of rising and increasingly variable energy costs.
But this also signals an opportunity for operational improvements that can support broader strategic corporate goals including sustainability and GHG emission reduction.
The opportunity to overcome energy waste in commercial buildings is enormous. Earlier this year, IDC Energy Insights forecasted global spending on Smart Building technology solutions will grow to over $10 billion by 2015 at a compound annual growth rate of 27 percent.
Vendors from traditional information technology to building controls to specialty start-ups are jumping in the game with solutions for next generation energy management. These vendors are developing an increasingly sophisticated array of Smart Building solutions to give facility managers heightened visibility into the operations of the energy-consuming assets in their buildings.
Building operators can utilize Smart Building systems to control, automate, and integrate lighting, heating, air conditioning, ventilation, plug loads, and fire & security systems to meet the specific requirements of their new energy management platforms.
A significant challenge in effectively evolving a facility to a Smart Building is managing and utilizing the increasing speed and volume of data coming from the systems monitoring and controlling the energy-consuming assets in a building.
Energy Analytics is the software solution that becomes the interface between the Smart Building systems and the facilities operators. Most commonly, the user interface will be a dashboard that illustrates a customized suite of information from energy loads related to specific assets, utility costs and pricing, occupancy to weather. Underlying the most useful dashboards are statistics and algorithms that enable project prioritization and management for facility optimization.
Smart Building Energy Analytics are crucial to the process of optimization for evolving a facility to a Smart Building because it enables management of information. The user can track specific changes in energy consumption that signal improvements or decline in an energy management program's progress toward specific goals.