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Evolve Building Management With Intelligent Insights From AI

A study presented by IBM found that 76% of COOs surveyed reported that they believe increased automation would improve operations, and that sentiment continues to grow among management. In fact, 81% of IT leaders are already in the process of exploring or executing a computer vision technology.

There’s little doubt in the value of advanced technology and automation. Still, the larger questions are now around where to start and what technologies result in the most significant return on investment. 

One of the top areas that management should be evaluated for improved processes is building management. Historically, large buildings are prone to wasted resources — specifically energy. However, current technology addresses unnecessary energy waste, along with several other ongoing building management woes. 

Understand Shared Space Usage for Improved Planning 

The problem with most large buildings are the shared space areas — banquet, conference, meeting rooms, and labs. These rooms are necessary, but they aren’t in constant use. Additionally, most of the rooms aren’t used on an established, predictable schedule. 

All of the combined variables create a quandary for building management. 

Previously, management had to decide between putting systems like HVAC on a timer or waiting to switch systems on at the last minute, leaving occupants uncomfortable until halfway through a meeting or event. Or – worst of all – leaving building systems on full-time, even when the space might not be used for days. 

Fortunately, technology has advanced and presented an improved option for refining building system performance around accurate, tracked occupancy data as opposed to best guess estimates of use timeframes. 

McKinstry, a leader in high-performance commercial buildings, put computer vision to the test in several areas of their headquarters. They were committed to decreasing their current systems’ unnecessary usage while keeping the spaces comfortable, including controlled room temperature and air quality while in use. 

Under their previous setup, their HVAC system was set to stop running at 5:00 p.m., so when an after-hours meeting would pop up, the room was uncomfortable. However, with the Nomad Go visual intelligence set up, the HVAC system was triggered when the space became occupied and immediately started to improve the comfort of the room regardless of the time, and that was just one of the ways we were able to optimize their current system.

Employ Insights to Refine Building System Performance

The ultimate solution for all building system management is data. Often, patterns or trends exist that aren’t easily observable in the day-to-day operations but become clear through insights intelligently collected over time with computer vision. 

Computer vision works around the clock to track occupancy levels, usage, and, optionally, policy compliance for necessary safety precautions. Data that could take months for personnel to gather are compiled in days or weeks with AI technology.

Moreover, the technology can pull in information on outside factors such as weather and temperature fluctuations to further hone system outputs without additional monitoring required by management. 

The decision-makers in charge of shared building spaces finally have access to the information they truly need to understand how the spaces they operate are functioning. The data can then be used to strike the right balance between reducing energy usage and occupant comfort.

Because the insights are continually updated, smart decisions around when to utilize building systems can be adjusted as the needs change within an organization. 

Reduce Cumulative Energy Waste and Carbon Emissions

The pressing need to reduce energy waste and cut carbon emissions is one of the leading reasons building management is eager to take a deeper look at improving their systems.

With mounting pressure from regulatory agencies and incentives to develop better practices for the sake of the environment, every industry is looking for areas where they can advance their sustainability efforts. The first logical step is to build on systems where energy waste and carbon emissions are too high.

When Nomad Go AI partnered with Greystar – a premium property management company – to work to decrease their energy use, the visual intelligence solution was able to take the daily run time of their HVAC system down from 92% of the day to 34%. That’s a usage drop of 58% and a reduction of 280 tons of carbon emissions. Imagine how an energy savings of 50% can compound over time, especially across multiple large buildings. 

Technology that taps into current systems to enhance their performance can help move companies toward better energy practices without massive infrastructure investments, and visual intelligence with computer vision and AI is capable of doing precisely that. 

Accurately Schedule Maintenance Based on Use, Not Time 

Insights gathered through computer vision don’t only help reduce energy waste and the costs associated with it, but they help current building equipment last longer. 

Traditionally, maintenance and even replacement of vital equipment – such as HVAC systems – were based on timelines. On a predetermined schedule, a professional services the equipment regardless of usage — expending vital resources in the process. 

Recently, buildings have spent long periods vacant with systems barely running, and with a shift to remote or hybrid work environments, that trend may continue. At the very least, it’d be misinformed to maintain the same level of maintenance given the decreased use. 

By implementing condition-based maintenance, businesses can eliminate unnecessary service costs while ensuring every piece of equipment is still appropriately monitored.

Generate Predictions on Future Needs

Ultimately, ongoing data collection is the path forward to evolve building management practices. Across industries, management is looking for cost-efficient avenues to gain insights, reduce wasted costs, and cut their environmental impacts. Computer vision and other AI is the resounding solution to each problem. 

The current economic costs of energy – specifically fossil fuels and natural gas – is alarming. Unfortunately, experts don’t predict that costs will go down in the near future. 

With the energy future in constant flux, the value of current precision data cannot be undervalued. Insights gathered can assist management in everything from keeping energy costs in balance to determining if a space should be repurposed.

Data gathered in accessible dashboards provide each department with the necessary information to make sophisticated, strategic decisions without any conflicting or assumed details. 

In short, investing in data-driven technology – especially multi-use occupancy-based solutions that tie into current infrastructure – will bring buildings up to speed to compete with an ever-changing environment and exponentially increase long-term ROI.

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