Four global trends shaping buildings & facilities management

  • By Prabhu Ramachandran, Co-Founder & CEO of Facilio

People in the cities spend 90% of their time indoors in facilities like homes, offices, indoor recreational spaces, and public service facilities. So, not surprisingly, buildings play an essential role in shaping both the standard of living and the inhabitants’ quality of life in the urban ecosystem.

A recent report by Research And Markets found that urbanization will cause up to 51% of global resources to be consumed by residential and commercial buildings by 2027. This will put a substantial drain on increasingly more expensive and scarce resources like energy, natural fuel, fuel, and water, as well as the bottom line of corporations.

As the pandemic continues to change the world in unprecedented ways, facilities management (FM) teams are tasked with keeping spaces safe, green, productive, and cost-efficient.

Here are four global facilities and building management trends that are here to stay for 2022 and beyond.

Four global trends reshaping buildings and facilities management

As the pandemic changed the definition of normalcy, even the best-managed facilities struggled to keep up with safety, hygiene, and operational requirements. FM teams have since worked towards creating socially distant and remote work environments.

The increasing awareness about smart building technologies and efficient FM is only increasing. Companies adopting the right trends for their use cases will be well on reducing costs and increasing RoI on facilities management expenses.

1. Remote facilities monitoring and management

Microsoft’s Work Trend Index 2021 report revealed that 66% of companies are considering redesigning their office spaces for hybrid work models.

So, facility managers have had to rethink how much office space is really required, how it can be managed remotely and in real time, and which smart FM technology could help achieve improved operations.

Smart facilities management technologies use AI and IoT to bring real-time data from people, processes, and systems. Their ability to predict and prevent problems using IoT-informed data and insights helps reduce unplanned downtimes, optimizes asset utilization, and results in more efficient FM operations.

The facilities management software market is estimated to rise at 11.8% CAGR between 2022-32 compared with 9.5% CAGR registered during 2017-21. This speaks to the rise in the adoption of AI and IoT in FM, which will only continue to grow.

2. Data, the new oil

A recent EY survey found that data analytics is the most important vertical that 92% of real estate owners want technology to address. However, only 35% have adopted or developed a tool to date.

58% said their main challenge was with implementation. Often, existing systems don’t integrate and force businesses to change their existing systems and processes.

FM teams need a platform ecosystem that enables interoperability to house all buildings-related data centrally and derives meaningful insights, enabling better decision-making at a building or portfolio level.

Forward-thinking firms recognize that with data analytics and the right technology, predictive maintenance improves operational efficiency and reduces costs. In addition, actionable data insights will help make better investment and operational decisions.

The one thing your facilities management software must do is eliminate data silos. A wealth of data from disparate systems that don’t talk to each other cannot keep up with the dynamic needs of today’s built environment.

Given the promise and opportunities that data analytics bring, CRE owners should have it at the heart of their technology strategy.

3. Sustainability is no longer an option

During the peak of the pandemic, occupancy of office buildings fell to half or even zero in some countries. Their energy consumption, however, was only reduced by 10-15%. So it is safe to say that a lot of this energy was consumed by empty buildings.

FMs are utilizing IoT sensors and AI to automatically trigger adjustments for HVAC, lighting, ventilation, and temperature based on current occupancy levels, drastically reducing energy consumption and, consequently, benefiting the bottom line.

Sensor-driven buildings typically save 15%-40% of the total energy spending.

On a portfolio level, data analytics and AI together help understand why one building is performing better than another to improve efficiency and optimize energy consumption for the other.

Further, the increasing number of ESG (Environmental, Social & Governance) regulations will motivate real-estate owners and FM teams to optimize energy consumption and reduce their carbon footprint in 2022 and beyond.

4. AI for predictive maintenance

The promise of AI and IoT, or AIoT (AI-enabled IoT) software, is their ability to connect all data sources to predict outcomes and deliver actionable insights to achieve the same.

For instance, facilities with smart sensors and meters can track office occupancy trends, space utilization, and peak hours to help FM optimize workplaces for hybrid teams without compromising comfort or efficiency.

Facilities powered by AIoT, using context and experience, can analyze data to recognize peak hours so non-essential operations are scheduled for quieter hours. This enables FM teams to become proactive with their maintenance and achieve sustainability goals, improve tenant experience, and save time and costs for all stakeholders.

75.44 billion IoT devices are anticipated to be installed worldwide by 2025

Owners can also charge more lease fees for intelligent buildings that lower business operating costs and improve occupants’ safety, comfort, security, and productivity.

With growing energy regulations from local, state, and federal governments, data-driven operations are no longer optional for commercial real estate owners.

Concluding thoughts

The key to achieving operational excellence in a dynamic environment is to connect people, processes, and systems to enable remote and real-time operations and maintenance management.

Smart facilities, which help optimize life cycle cost management for facilities, are a critical deciding factor for the likes of giants like Amazon and businesses with distributed operations.

To realize the true value of data analytics across portfolios, CRE owners must adopt connected building operations platforms, which unify their tech stack and not just add to it.

About Facilio

Headquartered in New York (USA), with offices in Milan, Dubai, Chennai and Singapore, Facilio offers an enterprise platform for data-driven property operations & maintenance (O&M). With over 60m sq. ft managed globally, Facilio is a property operations cloud platform and a suite of SaaS applications allows real estate owners to aggregate building data, optimize performance, and control portfolio operations – all from one place.

For more information please visit:

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