Smart Cities: IBM, GSA on how building data will drive efficiencies

Smart Cities: IBM, GSA on how building data will drive efficiencies

by JOE PHILLIPS, director, IBM Global Building Management Center | Aug 16, 2015

Is your building providing you efficiency data?

Listen to experts who are leading the integrated enterprise use of analytics, work process improvements, and business intelligence with data from existing sources in buildings to optimize performance, increase productivity, and reduce operating expenses. 

As architect Le Corbusier once said, "A house is a machine for living in." For organizations, their buildings house the people, processes, and equipment necessary to deliver on their mission. Enterprise buildings are machines for business. Optimum performance at the lowest cost is an essential business principle.

Aug. 7 Panel (clockwise, from bottom left): Host Christopher Dorobek, editor of GovLoop's DorobekINSIDER; Stephen Sakach, GSA, Asst. Commissioner, Office of Facilities Management; Don Coffelt, Assoc. VP for Facilities Mgmt., Carnegie Mellon University; and the author.

Most efficiency measures are projects that upgrade to newer equipment, systems, envelopes, and controls, or that re-tune the building every 5-10 years. Every machine, old or brand new, needs to be maintained to sustain its efficiency for the next 50 years of its business operating life cycle. Maintenance and operations based on a calendar --especially with 10- to 5-year, or even annual cycles-- create risk where failures, inefficiencies, and waste can not be found for years, resulting in unintentional, undiscovered loss of performance and increased cost for enterprise facilities.

Amplifying the potential for inefficiency is the complexity of modern buildings.  The number and sophistication of systems is growing rapidly and will only accelerate, as is the data from those devices. Keeping up with all the information is not feasible or possible by current methods of monitoring and skill sets.

It is necessary to change the 'work' of maintaining optimum performance and efficiency from projects and calendar maintenance alone.  The new 'Building Internet of Things' demands big data integration, advanced analytics, and business process change be included to optimize maintenance, operations and management practices to sustain optimum facility performance.

The SocialCast Replay (above) on #SmarterBuildings gives more information and depth, and illustrates how leading enterprises are changing methods and expectations to attain and sustain optimum performance.

Based in Philadelphia, the author is director of Buildings Industry Solutions, IBM Global Building Management Center. He can be reached at

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