Five ways to reduce the carbon footprint of buildings and facilities

A carbon footprint is the total amount of carbon released into the air by an individual, organization, or community. It considers all activities and processes, such as transportation, operation and consumption of goods. It is no surprise that buildings (industrial, commercial, and residential) account for 40% of global emissions today.

As more and more focus from governments, institutions and the public goes towards reducing global carbon emissions, buildings can no longer remain such big polluters. Now this is not necessarily a choice, with governments enforcing low-carbon initiatives through policy and investors encouraging corporate boards to reduce carbon through ESG-based investment. Even employees and occupants of buildings are playing a role, demanding that their workplace be more environmentally friendly.

The carbon footprint of a building stretches back to the design phase and continues through construction and operation. At every stage, there are decisions that stakeholders can make that set the building on a path towards a lower overall carbon footprint.

Here are five key strategies to reduce carbon footprints in the built environment:

Start low-carbon planning early

For new buildings, the best opportunity to reduce their carbon footprints is to begin by evaluating and measuring the carbon impact of the building design. At this stage, building designers, architects and engineers can plan for optimal floorplans, layouts, materials, sourcing, and timelines that will contribute to reduced carbon footprints at the construction and operational stages of a building. As the design progresses and planning for building systems and utilities gets added into the blueprint, there are even more opportunities to design for smaller carbon footprints.

Building stakeholders need a complete life-cycle assessment of a building, accounting for all the flows in and out of the building system — including energy, water, materials, waste, etc.—to calculate its environmental impact. Such inventory data can specify and quantify the environmental impact of each sector of the building’s operation.

Many different rating systems provide standards for green building design. There are international standards such as LEED and country-specific standards like China’s 3-star System and Singapore’s BCA Green Mark Award. One of the best ways for new projects to start on the right low-carbon footing is to follow guidelines set out by these standards. However, existing structures still have many options to get on top of their emissions.

Low carbon building exterior

Properly maintain carbon-heavy equipment

One of the most effective ways to reduce a building’s carbon footprint is to ensure that all equipment and structures are adequately maintained. Building utility optimization (HVAC, electric, etc.) is essential for reducing the energy input needed to keep your building operational and comfortable.

Regular inspection and maintenance of HVAC systems, air-compressors, and electrical room equipment work to reduce carbon footprints in several ways. First, it can ensure these systems are running efficiently – meaning no leaks or flaws are causing the system to work harder (using more energy) to reach baseline performance. Second, it will reduce the need for replacements, reduce spending, and avoid creating more carbon costs inherent in the production of new materials, transportation, and installation.

A building with a proper maintenance plan reduces the amount of grid power it needs and directly reduces its contributions to carbon emissions while keeping equipment running longer reduces secondary carbon impact.

Low-carbon workplace management

A low-carbon facilities management plan should involve ways to cut emissions from both hard services and soft services. Buildings and workplaces can reduce carbon footprints not only through better equipment and system controls but also by creating a more sustainable workplace through administrative, technology and office amenities management.

Go paperless

According to statistics, 50% of commercial waste is paper. Many businesses have adopted a paperless office policy, which has greatly reduced overall generated waste. For example, replacing one paper letter with an email can reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 52.6 grams. Paperless offices reduce carbon impact by scaling down the demand for paper production, but also by reducing the transportation needed to move the waste to a landfill or recycling plant.

paperless workplace

Maintain and recycle office electronics

Electronic products are essential to office operations, but they are constantly in a state of iteration and upgrading. Both personal and office consumers tend to regularly replace and upgrade outdated electronic devices such as mobile phones, computers, and tablet computers, but this is also stressful for the environment. Most of the e-waste generated around the world comes from small electronic devices, most of which are sent to some developing countries for disposal (i.e., shredding, incineration and dismantling), producing emissions that are harmful to humans and the environment.

With the idea of reducing carbon footprint in mind, office managers should first determine if they need to replace their equipment, or if what they have now will work for a while. If replacement is necessary, electronic waste needs to be recycled appropriately. By recycling 20 pounds of electronics, your building can save 52 pounds of contributed carbon dioxide emissions.

Opt for sustainable catering and food service

Many offices, industrial facilities and remote sites provide food services for employees, guests, and occupants. The choices that they make regarding the type of food they serve and how they source it can have a significant impact on their carbon footprint. To offset this, the managers of canteens, cafes, or pantries at a workplace can scale back the amount of meat on their menus and try to source as locally as possible.

The public is increasingly aware of the impact of industrial meat production on the environment. Factory farming for livestock accounts for 80% of the earth’s agricultural land and 27% of clean water sources, while only accounting for 20% of the world’s supply of calories. Beef farming and production consume 50 times more water than plants, while global livestock produces about as many greenhouse gases as all the cars, trucks, planes and ships on earth combined. Replacing some protein on menus with plant-based protein can therefore reduce the carbon footprint of your facility.

The supply chain for food likewise can take a toll on overall carbon impact. Even beyond the fuels used for transportation, there are factors such as refrigeration and climate-controlled greenhouses necessary for out-of-season produce. Eating locally and seasonally can reduce the carbon footprint of your food by around 10% and is well worth planning menus to do so.

Waste management

Proper waste management can bring value from the three dimensions of sustainable development: environmental, economic and social. In terms of the environment, waste management can reduce environmental impacts on groundwater and air and reduce the threat to ecology and communities. Identifying byproducts or waste with some resell value can also be a source of income. A more holistic approach to managing waste, however, also reduces carbon emissions.

Having a robust recycling and reuse program cuts down on the need to produce more materials, and therefore the emissions inherent in that process. It also reduces the size of landfills – one of the largest sources of methane (another greenhouse gas) released into the atmosphere. Adopting a disposal strategy that cuts down on the need for pick-ups and transportation distance will also cut the emissions caused by (usually) diesel-burning vehicles.

Reducing waste is extremely important because how it pollutes air, water and soil damages local ecology and can hurt communities that depend on the environment near production sites or landfills. However, it is equally important as a way to reduce a facility’s contribution to carbon emissions as well.

digitalize building operations

Digitalization

Digitalization is one of the most effective ways to reduce carbon footprints because it creates the transparency necessary for optimizing carbon-saving operations. From building design to maintenance to waste management, the centralization of a building’s data and processes in a single source of truth enables businesses to reduce carbon footprints more effectively than ever before.

With a mix of hardware (sensors) and software (AI, data processing), a smart building is not only capable of streamlining day-to-day operations but can automate many processes as well. For example, data-driven maintenance can automatically remind relevant responsible persons to conduct timely inspections and assign tasks appropriately, while digital systems can track and collect data and generate reports on maintenance activities and costs.

Most importantly, a smart building gives every party from upper management to building managers and technicians the power to operate their facility in a low-carbon way.

 
 

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How IFM is key to better ESG compliance

IFM, integrated facility management, is a one-stop solution that brings together asset and equipment maintenance, workplace experience services, supply chain management and more. Because IFM operates in the built environment, from factories to office towers, it influences the overall business operation, which then impacts the economy and environment. It has a direct, effective and visible impact on a company’s ESG performance.

ESG is an investment concept and global standard that focuses on how businesses operate regarding the environment, society and their internal governance. Based on ESG evaluations, investors can assess the overall contribution of a given company towards sustainable development and responsible social practices. Companies with a higher rating carry less investment risk, as they are more likely to remain compliant with environmental regulations and employment policies.

ESG was born out of necessity; it is proactive, forward-looking risk management established upon the planning for real and emerging issues. As IFM spans nearly every industry and business sector and involves operations that touch on a variety of ESG factors, done well – IFM can be an engine to boost ESG performance.

Environment

The “environment” in ESG generally covers corporate practices relating to climate impact, environmental protection, waste prevention and control, green technology, renewable energy and more. In the built environment, it involves carbon emissions and pollution. Co2 emissions produced by the built environment account for approximately 40 percent of total global emissions, 90 percent of which is generated during the actual operation of the facilities (as opposed to construction).

For any company of scale, a corresponding carbon reduction strategy is indispensable, so in what ways can IFM add value to these strategies?

Energy and environmental management dashboard

ESG management dashboard in Akila

HVAC optimization

At present, the technology and market development trend of HVAC mainly focuses on energy saving and low consumption, as well as the application of new equipment and technologies such as solar energy, air and water source heat pumps, and energy storage. Digitization is driving HVAC optimization. Innovative technology like IoT and AI is upgrading traditional systems to achieve higher heating and cooling efficiency with lighter environmental impacts.

Smart energy management

In building operation and maintenance, monitoring energy consumption is essential. Building managers need to look at overall energy used as well as consider variables like price fluctuations and weather to plan and predict how to conduct operations in a way that optimizes use and conservation. Meeting energy efficiency targets is core to better ESG performance, but proper management of the energy-using assets themselves is necessary to maintain operational efficiency. A holistic approach to smart energy management needs to integrate a preventive and predictive maintenance plan to avoid unnecessary energy waste in the daily building operation.

Digitalized maintenance management

Sustainable supply chain

A key aspect of ESG ratings is ensuring compliance throughout the supply chain, which requires proactive supplier and vendor management. There are four key features of sustainable supply chains – low carbon, low waste, social responsibility and transparency, which can reduce costs and risks while creating value. Regular evaluation of your supplier’s impact on the environment is needed to maintain higher ESG ratings. 

Digitalized waste management

Waste treatment and management have a complicated governance structure, but digitalization offers improved transparency. Through the application of digital software systems, the integrated collection, reporting and sharing of data offers full life cycle supervision of waste. With deeper analysis, businesses can make more educated and comprehensive action plans to address waste production and treatment. IoT, AI, blockchain and other advanced technologies are being used to digitalize waste management, reducing the complexity, difficulty and danger of improper waste practices, and optimizing governance capabilities.

Localized catering services

Companies that provide on-site food service have to consider a multitude of environmental factors that come from food; ESG metrics will encompass the energy used and waste produced from food service. It will also involve sustainable sourcing – what is the environmental impact of your suppliers and the transportation used to deliver it to your site. 

Cooperating with local suppliers to achieve centralized food purchases can reduce related emissions and pollution and help companies reduce their carbon footprint. Closer proximity to a supplier also offers more transparency into their operations, with site visits as a possibility. Paired with digitalized waste management, on-site catering done the right way can boost ESG compliance. 

Social

The social requirements of ESG standards measures how a company contributes to society, and IFM is naturally inseparable from it. Office occupancy and overall employee satisfaction are two of the key areas measured by ESG standards, and good facility management is integral to performing well on those fronts. A better workplace experience provided by IFM will directly improve scores along with ESG social metrics, and at a secondary level, help contribute to employee retention.

Some of the ways that IFM contributes to a better workplace experience are:

  • Improving the energy efficiency of buildings and facilities can create more comfortable workplaces;
  • Proactive air quality monitoring and excellent indoor air quality contribute to employee health;
  • Adopting an eco-friendly, local, innovative catering service strategy.

It’s not just the policies of the business that affect ESG social scores. Because an IFM provider is part of the supply chain, the IFM company itself must adhere to proper ESG-compliant employment practices, such as fair hiring and pay.

Investing in good IFM is one of the best methods to improve ESG social ratings. Building a better work environment with an ESG-conscious IFM provider can significantly increase employee wellbeing and ensure a more positive social impact.

IFM operations managers building a better work environment

Governance

Corporate governance in facilities management comes down to transparency, trust and ethics. Businesses and IFM providers must work closely to set a structured, sustainable commercial building operation model. A tech-driven IFM solution improves efficiency, optimizes resource utilization and saves time. It also helps companies better comply with ESG guidelines.

Digital transformation places data at the core of corporate business governance and workplace data management is crucial. Today, workplace and facility data systems make corporate governance an actual reality, and the rationalization of facility management processes is supporting the other two pillars of ESG. IFM that strives to be fully digitalized is an IFM that places compliance and transparency at the center of its foundation.

 
 

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AR technology is broadening the vision and scope of facility management

Augmented/assisted reality technology is finding practical and beneficial applications in IFM, especially in maintenance.

Written by Guillaume Gimonet Aden Group’s Head of Technical Services Solutions.

Making strategic choices in operations and technology applications has been helping Aden tremendously to provide value to our clients, even under harsh conditions like the recent Shanghai lockdown. For many of the sites, the lockdown restrictions are still in place after two months, and this makes the case, once again, for resilience, creativity and strong tech integration facilitating remote team collaboration.

This challenge is a golden opportunity for Aden’s clients to fully appreciate the capabilities we build through our long in-house operation of remote site management, and a disciplined approach to maintenance plans execution and monitoring.

With 25 years of experience, Aden has leading expertise in the built environment and is anchoring the next big revolution in facility management with cutting-edge technologies. Aden’s technical asset management solutions now utilize Akila, the digital twin platform incubated by Aden Group which is at the core of our digital transformation.

AR is future-focused technology

We’re thinking beyond the traditional technical facility management, and new technologies are catalyzing the ways technical assets are maintained and managed. One of the technologies that in particular attracted the attention of our readers is AR (augmented/assisted reality). In an industry where even the most basic steps of digitalization are hardly implemented beyond glossy pictures in company brochures, how can such tools find their place in the IFM arsenal at Aden?

I found the remark extremely interesting. I have been toying with the topic for at least five good years, with many failed attempts on this tough journey. Between solutions providers overconfident in their offering, often overweighting the new product’s benefits, and actual professionals on the ground that must consider switching costs and are prone to status quo bias, the path to adopting AR technology is a bumpy one, riddled with irrational idiosyncrasies blended with real practical challenges to address.

At the onset of 2022 a couple of facts had to be recognized:

  • The tech became significantly more reliable and robust than in pre-Covid times. The main issue that connectivity was is not as salient as before. New powerful algorithms used to process compression and picture stabilization are now mature enough to support work in real conditions.
  • With rising expectations in compliance documentation, and the availability of cloud and digital twin technologies that are creating the right infrastructure to store and handle massive data, recording technicians’ work is becoming both easier and even incentivized. This is especially the case when the work is directly linked to health, environment, safety, security, or reputation.

Covid restrictions added the few incentives that tipped the balance towards the adoption of AR, with collaboration between remote teams (the benefit initially pushed forward by solutions providers, but our experience made us realize that it was secondary in FM business – relative to compliance) becoming a key thing.

As of today, we already identified a couple of practical cases where AR glasses have been useful to us – and valuable to our clients. The most recent case involves a client wishing to relocate a production line from one country to another. Since the relocation expert couldn’t travel physically from his office in Shanghai to the plant in Beijing to inspect the line, there was no way to even consider a quote. All the client’s plans were stuck.

At Aden though, we wouldn’t accept the status quo easily. We decided to ship our AR glasses to Beijing and let one of our engineers wear them and visit the site. The relocation experts have been able to guide the on-site engineer around the machines, and verify important details regarding surroundings, availability of cranes and other handling equipment, connections, and shape and form of the various equipment of the line. Two days later, we were able to provide a quote.

These quick wins are important as they are normalizing the technology, increasing the number of technicians and engineers familiar with it, and ultimately reducing behavioral switching costs while redefining the status quo.

In parallel, we’re now going a step further with inspections. For the most critical ones related to fire risk control, we are setting the stage for our technicians to wear the AR glasses and use the technology to record the inspection, while scanning QR codes displayed on site to link the digital records to the physical world in the facilities digital twin.

We’re pushing on this use case since it requires minimal disruption for the technician (we are already making QR codes-based inspections with the Akila App), and we have a strong justification for imposing the new tool – fire safety, which is a top concern for everyone. We are getting good results that are inviting us to explore further steps such as displaying asset health scores coming directly from the digital twin, creating incident notices that would be posted directly to the digital twin, or feeding-back information to the technician about task achievement.

Building a business metaverse

This effectively forms an IFM metaverse with persistent digital information being created and shared in context with the real world. Our clients can step in the shoes of our technicians when they execute critical inspections. Experts borrow the eyes of on-site engineers when they evaluate the size and shape of a large production line before relocation. Those experiences are not unlike a 4th Industrial Revolution version of the “Avatar” movie.

Focusing on value-oriented use cases touching on the topics of risk management, compliance, and increasing transparent conversations with our client on performance management, while crafting ways to make these transitions as painless as possible for our staff, we are making this new reality a daily habit, one practical use case at a time.

Stepping forward in the mission to provide transparent, efficient, and digitalized solutions for our clients, earlier this year, Akila has formalized a partnership with AMA, a world leader in AR wearable technology, to integrate AR as a powerful tool to assist in facility management. Aden engineers can equip with AMA ExpertEye glasses to perform inspection works and provide remote assistance.

 
 

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Localism and sustainability are key in Indonesia’s growing economy

Indonesia is the largest economy in ASEAN by nominal GDP and continues to push forward aggressively in commercial, industrial, and mining sectors. With a recent carbon tax policy, Indonesia has signaled that this growth need not be at the expense of the environment.

The push towards sustainability and ESG is happening all over Asia, Indonesia included. Domestic and multinational organizations that fuel the Indonesian economy still strive to be greener and more responsible for investors and employees. Businesses operating in Indonesia – especially in the built environment – should pay close attention to the developments concerning carbon emissions, ESG and digitalization.

A strong signal for low carbon development

One of Indonesia’s biggest sustainability signals is a recent set of regulations calling for carbon pricing mechanisms. This new regulation makes it the second country in Southeast Asia to establish a carbon valuation scheme. Indonesia has tried to balance the growing trend of improved environmental regulation to meet COP21 goals with its desire and need to attract FDI and foreign technology. Increasingly, to qualify in the eyes of some investors, companies must be able to meet investor ESG criteria—and while this new policy is a positive development, history has shown that there are challenges turning regulation into action. This is even more reason businesses must lead the way in low carbon development.

To fully realize Indonesia’s potential, partnerships are key

Indonesia isn’t waiting to embrace the digital and green revolutions. The country has even stated its intent to relocate and build a brand new capital city to be a haven for sustainability and foreign investment. Commodities and raw goods, which account for a large part of the Indonesian economy, have, up until recently, been offshored for manufacturing purposes, but that is shifting as well. Indonesia is taking its resource-richness and access to strategic metals and minerals like nickel and lithium to build itself into an EV battery powerhouse. As the country broadly progresses from commodity extraction to manufacturing and technology, the old way of doing business won’t be viable for much longer.

Aden Indonesia sustainability fact sheet thumbnail

Download the Aden Indonesia fact sheet>

There are huge amounts of opportunities for newer, upmarket businesses in Indonesia, but without the right partnerships, several challenges remain. The nation’s dynamism, diversity, and scale—more than 17,000 islands in its large archipelago—means deploying in this dynamic and diverse environment requires strong local cultural knowledge as well as an established supply chain network. Being able to understand the environment, stay up to date with regional policies, work with local communities by hiring locally, and meet changing demands from both consumers and labor means clients have effective, uninterrupted, locally compliant service.

Facility management: the frontline of sustainability

Facilities management provides businesses an everyday opportunity to make progress in sustainability: it’s where the battle is fought and won. But, until recently, businesses in Indonesia have taken a traditional view of FM—single soft services or hard services often with multiple suppliers. A more modern FM approach recognizes that a broader, more holistic approach is needed to create more sustainable facilities.

Waste and water management, for example, is a major problem in Indonesia, where open dumpsites predominate the waste management system and have led to pollution and environmental degradation. Likewise, utility assets like electricity, HVAC and compressed air are run inefficiently – leading to increased carbon emissions. Meeting increased pressures to stay sustainable and low carbon from the government, investors and clients means that managing facilities must address environmental and carbon impacts. The best way to do so is to have a single integrated supplier who can provide a holistic approach to more sustainable and responsible corporate practices.

Furthermore, digitalization is a key element of ensuring transparency. Any modern approach to facility management will be smart, digitalized and managed by experts who use tech like digital twins to make data-driven decisions about how buildings can operate more efficiently. Integrating modern FM and data offers businesses powerful new insights into performance and sustainability, alongside verifiable ESG benefits.

Indonesia’s next generation

Indonesia is still a young country—and the new generation won’t settle for business as usual. The economy is moving up the value chain with tech deals booming and the EV battery sector on track to expand rapidly. As the economy strengthens and more skilled labor starts to enter the workforce, there will be a real demand from the employee base to work for companies that are more environmentally conscious. They will also expect higher standards of workplace experience, and businesses that can offer those will have a distinct advantage for attracting better talent.

Embracing the challenges of a changing Indonesian economy

Looking at the current trends in Indonesia and the greater ASEAN business world, we can see that to be successful requires more than great staff and powerful tools—it requires a mindset that takes every challenge seriously. Greenwashing business practices no longer work in the ESG age. Knowledge and experience in the local business culture are a must for international companies as technology improves how a generation of more skilled workers communicate. Sustainability efforts like carbon reduction, community-forward policies like hiring locally, and a deep understanding of creating lasting supply chain infrastructure are all instrumental to the success of businesses in a changing Indonesia.

Robotics is already a reality in China’s facility management market

Workplace robots have been with us for a long time. Manufacturers have used them for decades in the assembly line, revolutionizing industrial processes. Over the years, the robotics industry has produced innovation after innovation, resulting in advances in the agility, precision, and functional intelligence of robots.

Now, with China’s recognition of robotics as a strategic industry, and personnel pressures on the horizon, there is no question we will start to see them moving into a wider range of facility management functions, technical services and other operations for the built environment.

China’s five-year development plan for robotics

The transformational opportunities of robotics are being recognized at the highest levels. For instance, one can look to China’s recent development plan for the robotics industry, unveiled by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology 14 other government departments as part of China’s 14th five-year plan. The plan sets out detailed targets and priorities for robotics between now and 2025, with an overarching ambition to make China the center of global robotics innovation. The plan outlines five key points on its agenda:

  • Boost innovation in the Chinese robotics industry
  • Consolidate the foundations of the robotics industry’s further development
  • Increase the supply of high-end products
  • Expand the depth and breadth of applications
  • Optimize the innovation structures of the Chinese robotics industry

China already leads the rankings for robotics patents, and over the next five years, the government expects to average more than 20% annual growth in the robotics industry’s operating income.

There is more at stake here than impressing neighbors; robotics will increasingly be needed to answer growing economic and social challenges. Labor costs are growing, and will only continue to grow, creating a challenge for every business in the coming years. Since 2016, wages have grown an average of 8% annually in China – with a considerable 10% bump in the private manufacturing sector in 2020. China’s slowing population growth rate is also exacerbating this problem. As China’s population becomes more and more educated, the supply of young employees willing to take on unskilled work will only shrink. Put together, it is not hard to see that labor shortages will continue in traditionally man-powered roles, or that there will be a great need for new solutions in automation.

Robots to the rescue in the built environment: transforming facility management

With a variety of factors driving the need for robotics, and support from a government that considers it a strategic industry, the integration of robots into the built environment will continue to accelerate. Robots are already proving useful in a variety of applications in buildings – from soft services up to more complex technical procedures. When combined with smart building technology such as IoT and digital twins, they have the potential to do a whole lot more.

Here are just some of the most impactful ways robotics can transform facility management:

Maintenance and inspection

The monitoring and maintenance of critical utility assets (such as electricity) are among the most important process in a building. However, it is still heavily reliant on 24-hour rotating on-site teams. Additionally, these teams may be put in dangerous situations due to environmental conditions or machine and material-based hazards. Robotics not only reduces the need for round-the-clock manpower but also reduces cost and removes people out of harm’s way while allowing personnel to focus on higher-level tasks.

Drone working at industrial facility

Inspection robots can be ground-based or air-based (like drones) and come equipped with advanced cameras and sensors. Technicians program the robots to take photographs of gauges, thermal imaging, and video recordings and send the data back to a centralized monitoring station. Meanwhile, the onboard sensors can detect anomalies in machinery through sound or heat. When used together with a digital twin or smart building management platform, they can even predict when a fault might happen to the facility or equipment.

Beyond sensing, robots equipped with robotic arms can operate physically in the environment by handling dangerous operations, performing high-precision tasks on machinery, or repairing components. From this perspective, robots are more than just replacement eyes and ears but highly customizable workers that can cover routine tasks.

Cleaning and disinfection

Cleaning and disinfection robots were already being integrated into buildings before the break of COVID-19. Since then, however, they have become more and more in demand. Cleaning went from a topic discussed at the operational level to one discussed by top leadership. Executives now take an active interest in how their organization cleans, including how frequently, with what resources and efficacy, and how performance is measured. Customers, employees and partners now demand a safe and clean environment free of dust, dirt, debris and biological contaminants—meaning cleaning protocols have increased across industries.

In terms of value proposition, a cleaning robot is a fully autonomous floor care solution that delivers an efficient, consistent and measurably clean environment. A robotic scrubber is ready to clean 24x7x365. It can clean up to 4000 square meters an hour with a single charge lasting up to 6 hours. In theory, with interchangeable batteries, an organization could clean its facility non-stop. Cleaning efficacy is also measurable. Using sensors, we can obtain metrics to optimize floor care operation over time.

Every facility needs cleaning, whether schools, offices or factories. Organizations that choose cleaning robots or disinfection robots can reallocate labor to higher-value tasks, moving cleaning from a cost to a source of revenue.

Security and surveillance

The use of security robots in business is downstream from the defense industry, which has been using robotics with proven results for well over a decade. One of the most powerful features of security robots is advanced facial and vehicle recognition attachments, which allow robots can identify intruders. If linked to a smart security platform, any detections will trigger alarms or notifications to personnel who can respond more quickly.

Robotics positively disrupt the current arrangement of building security – which relies heavily on patrol. Enhancing or fully replacing patrol duties with robots can provide 24/7 continuous and unpredictable surveillance (a deterrent to thieves). Instead of guards assigned to repetitive tasks, they can focus more on management and response. Through a combination of ground and air devices, site security and surveillance can be managed more efficiently with fewer people.

Food, delivery and service

Robots are excellent at taking care of rote and repetitive tasks, but they are also proving useful when it comes to responsive service-based tasks as well. That task might be as simple as those for fixed-location delivery robots or information kiosk-style robots, which help guests navigate through spaces like malls, aquariums or large corporate offices. On the more complex side, service tasks for robots could even cooking and delivery.

Delivery robot on the street

While navigating as a guide or on delivery, robots can sense space accurately and move in a more precise way due to a stereo camera system, seamlessly meshing with built environments. This allows them to navigate busy streets, sidewalks, hallways, and floors quickly, avoiding obstacles in its path due to sophisticated sensor systems. Outside, they can even reduce congestion caused by delivery vehicles, with the added benefits of reduced pollution. Inside, they increase safety for all due to less human contact.

One example of a largely robotic service force is what was deployed at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. The Olympic Village set up an autonomous workforce, who provided service ranging from guest information to fully robotic dining halls, where robots prepared food, cocktails or coffee and delivered it to tables or rooms.

New trajectories in robotics: AI, data and multifunctionality

While we can expect continuing advances in the physical capabilities of robots such as agility, precision, battery life and durability; the biggest jump for robotics will be seen in the realm of data & IoT. The biggest value of autonomous robots is multifunctionality and modularity. Robots can perform their main tasks in the facility while simultaneously carrying out advanced data collection. Depending on the needs of the facility manager, robots can be equipped with AI-integrated sensors and cameras to gather environmental and operational data metrics related to air quality, occupancy, acoustics.

A cloud platform is a fundamental component to support and manage a fleet of facility robots. This platform centralizes and processes the valuable data collected by robots and plugs it into any smart building management platform to be made accessible for key stakeholders from anywhere across the world.

 
 

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MRO is more than spare parts: it’s an insurance policy for your assets

MRO. Spare-parts supply. Supply-chain optimization. Whatever you call it, keeping your site properly stocked is a core business concern for any industrial facility. While the term “MRO” (standing for maintenance, repair and operations) may sound like technical jargon, the consequences of good or bad MRO strategy directly affect your bottom line. Lacking the right spare parts when needed can have devastating consequences for asset owners or operators. MRO is essential to technical asset management and is best seen as insurance against various risks threatening facility operations.

Bad MRO is a cost you don’t want to pay

Take one instance from a retail store in Ningbo, East China. Recently, during a power outage, the diesel engine on the site’s backup generator failed to start. Discovering that they lacked the needed spare parts for a repair, and would need 24 hours to source a replacement, the facility was forced to shut down for a full workday, with all fresh and frozen food thrown away. For lack of proper MRO strategy, the site lost huge sums of money on revenue and inventory – a disaster that could have been reduced enormously by having the MRO inventory on hand and combined with a solid preventive maintenance plan.

Good MRO is increasingly digitalized & strategic

Optimizing MRO is a highly specialized inventory management task, requiring deep understanding of each asset’s operational context and its contributions to overall plant performance. In short, different assets have different levels of criticality and the best MRO strategy draws on principles of ISO 55000 to identify the strategy for each spare part. As seen in the case from Ningbo, the single biggest source of savings lies in harmonizing your site’s level of MRO inventory against the criticality of various assets they serve.

For MRO, risk analysis usually takes precedence over logistics and direct cost reduction considerations. A good MRO team can conduct this important task jointly with the client, facilitating the whole process through a digital platform, such as Akila.

Integration with a digital platform brings many advantages. Among two of the biggest:

  • Providing a single source of truth on information about asset criticality, asset health & maintenance plans, as well as spare parts movement based on data (either collected from a fresh audit or from clients’ existing system).
  • Continuous running of advanced marketplace analytics. These can proactively point out optimization opportunities.

Through this continuous analysis, substantial performance improvements are identified & captured:

  • Better protection against unanticipated breakdowns whose costs can quickly reach millions.
  • Reduction of “ghost stock” and an immediate clean-up of inventory not related to critical or important use.
  • An opportunity to integrate multiple teams doing MRO on their own as “small fish” with little pooling or coordination.
  • Definition of an MRO care plan. This typically avoiding 5-10% write-off yearly through the proper preventive care of stored items.

Business benefits from an MRO plan

Once the risk & opportunities are clearly established within the framework of the overall asset performance, and the MRO stock is managed accordingly, the following optimization strategies – or a combination of those – can be executed:

Cost control

Optimizing MRO procurement has a measurable impact on your bottom line. Too many businesses underestimate the total amount they’re spending on MRO due to hidden costs within the procurement process. While individual products are typically inexpensive, research suggests that the average organization spends twice as much on procurement as on the product itself.  With the right strategy, you can find and eliminate those inefficiencies and maximize your purchasing power.

Strategic partnership keeps your costs down in several ways:

  • Supply chain consolidation
  • Price deflation – volume leverage, global supplier network
  • Inventory optimization – inventory reduction, buyback, etc.
  • Reduced downtime

Easy plugin, easy scale-up

When you shift from decentralized to unified MRO, getting all teams on board can take time. The fact is, different teams may have different levels of readiness for change, and some may hesitate to disrupt familiar purchasing networks.

The good news is that nothing speaks like results. One of MRO partnership’s greatest advantages is how easy it is to run a pilot that plugs just one team into the global MRO network and then scale up after value has been proven and wider acceptance begins building up.

Aden’s MRO team has done just this for hundreds of MRO customers in Asia. But, by linking one team into our wider MRO services by being on-site for collaboration every week, and delivering concrete value in a short time, we were able to produce an immediate gain that opened the door to further gains on other teams.

More time for core business

MRO is a high mix, low-volume business. If you do it on your own, that means continually making small orders, with plenty of time drain on various teams. Remember, switching to a strategic MRO partner isn’t just about what we’ll do for you. It’s about what we free your people up to do after we come in.

The fact is, many companies only realize how much of a time and energy burden doing their own MRO is after they have outsourced to a strategic partner. The numbers can be staggering – hundreds of suppliers and thousands of purchases at a time.

With a strategic partner, that’s all shifted away from your employees, with your teams seeing a marked freeing of resources and attention to detail in work.

Sustainability & waste reduction

Good MRO is about pinpoint accuracy: forecasting maintenance needs and parts replacement, then buying just the right amount – no more, no less.

This leanness isn’t just a financial win, it’s an environmental win. With every surplus purchase comes extra packaging, energy consumption and carbon burning through the shipping and transport process.

With a strategic MRO partner, you can improve sustainability and reduce your carbon footprint by:

  • Streamlining your supplier network – ship more parts in fewer C02-burning trips.
  • Cutting out redundant purchases.
  • Specifying what kind of suppliers you want to buy from and making sure all purchases meet your in-house sustainability commitments.
 
 

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Technical asset management: more than maintenance

We tend not to think very much about the equipment that keeps workplaces comfortable and functional. Technical assets can be described as a sort of “invisible infrastructure” under a building, behind the walls and over one’s head, but not often noticed. Yet, this infrastructure is absolutely central to the experience of a building. How would you feel working in a building with poor heating, lighting and air circulation?

It is also critical to the carbon footprint of a facility and the total cost of ownership (TCO) for building owners. Technical asset management is a strategy designed to optimize performance and reduce carbon impact with data-backed transparency.

What is a “technical asset” anyway?

According to ISO 55000 GB/T 33172 an asset is anything that can create value for your organization. Technical assets, in this regard, are highly critical equipment and machinery that power the most essential systems in a building, such as electricity, heating and water. In other words, technical assets are the bedrock of your entire operations. If any one of these assets went offline – your production and operations would have to stop, leading to potentially disastrous financial impact.

Technical asset management (TAM) is a holistic and comprehensive approach to keeping critical machinery and systems running reliably and efficiently. It covers the spectrum of needs regarding upkeep, namely:

  • Corrective, preventive & predictive maintenance
  • Flying teams & remote asset management
  • MRO (Maintenance, repair and overhaul) & spare parts
  • OEM (Original equipment manufacturer) & asset installation

All these services rely on robust documentation, equipment data & processes; the whole operational chain is highly digitalized. Aden clients see the results & monitor in real-time the asset management performance through digital dashboards.

TAM is a service that provides businesses with comfort and safety in the office, a controlled production environment and creates a context in which businesses are freed up to focus more on their core needs.

CMMS, MRO, OEM… why are there so many acronyms?

Engineers and technicians love acronyms, but too often they are used as magic words to solve operational and industrial problems. Most of the time, the real answer lies in a deep understanding of the operational and material situation of the client, long experience, and healthy work discipline based on international standards. Never let your service provider hide behind jargon!

Is TAM only used at manufacturing and industrial sites?

Wherever an organization is relying on an asset to perform well and sustainably, TAM has a role to play. We all need high-performing office buildings, schools and hospitals as much as industrial clients need a reliable supply of compressed airHVAC and electricity. Technical asset management is a service needed across the built environment. By ensuring assets are running properly, TAM ensures the safety, comfort and performance of those relying on them to do their daily work.

What is the difference between predictive, preventive and corrective maintenance? And which one is best?

Corrective maintenance is the basic form of maintenance. In short, it means responding to problems after an issue or a breakdown has occurred. If your maintenance plan is heavily reliant on corrective maintenance, you probably have a problem – but that said, corrective maintenance has its place and is often sufficient for rudimentary and less essential assets. Paired with a good maintenance management system, corrective maintenance work orders can also happen in a timely and efficient manner. For critical assets, however, corrective maintenance is something you want to avoid.

Preventive maintenance relates to upkeep before a breakdown happens; it includes inspections and regulatory visits to standard exchange. Highly critical assets at your site should all have a preventive maintenance plan and MRO strategy in place to ensure that assets perform more reliably and at their peak for as long as possible.

Finally, predictive maintenance sits somewhere in the middle, where patterns of wear & tear are identified (often detected through high-level expertise and devices) and used to predict the breakdown potential of an asset before it impacts operations. Using a combination of IoT devices, vibration analysis, and even AI, engineers can pinpoint red flags and act on them to avoid costly downtime or asset failures.

But which one is best? Don’t get fooled by companies that say you need all predictive maintenance, all the time. Proper technical asset management uses a mix of all three types of maintenance, according to the risk profile of the client (operational, reputational and regulatory). The goal is to strike the right balance between the three to optimally use available manpower and to keep systems functioning better and without interruption.

Good asset management vs. bad asset management

In simple terms, a bad TAM provider thinks in day-to-day terms, while a good TAM partner builds a strategy based on where a client wants to be in the coming months and years, proactively finding ways to bring the organization to that point, whether the goals are financial, environmental, or both.

The best asset management takes a deep dive into a client’s operations to understand the criticality and risk level of each piece of equipment, machinery or system. It comprehensively documents which assets are linked to strict governmental regulations, compliance requirements, or ESG targets. All of this information is then used to craft a customized and responsive TAM strategy.

Good technical asset management systemically ensures transparency of this process by digitizing and centralizing all information, making it easily accessible for all stakeholders as required by ISO 55000.

Finally, technical asset management relies on its teams. TAM professionals should be certified, trained and evaluated using a standardized framework focused on the client’s success and asset lifecycle performance.

What’s the connection between technical asset management and Net Zero World Initiative?

TAM combined with digitalization is one of the most concrete areas for action for net-zero efforts. It’s estimated that the building sector accounts for 39% of global C02 emissions. A huge share of this can be traced back to technical assets such as chillers, boilers, compressors, HVAC systems and more.

The lowest carbon-emitting assets are the ones that have been properly designed or selected, correctly installed and tested, and given the proper amount of care throughout their lives. This is the fundamental work of technical asset management. Selecting a TAM partner rather than a simple provider is a critical investment in your organization’s impact and future.

What are the main business outcomes of good TAM strategy?

Businesses with a successful TAM strategy consistently outperform their peers in terms of supply chain agility, operational efficiency and financial profile. Most importantly, they can sustain their performance over long stretches of time, benefitting in the long term from all the value created.

Better performing assets means more comfortable facilities and more reliable business operations, which leads to higher performing employees, steadier business development and stronger relationships with clients. It also makes you more prepared to present operational data for clients, governments and investors. This puts your business at a distinct advantage over your competitors.

 
 

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Digital twin technology and the built environment

A digital twin is a contextual, data-driven model of a physical object. It is a system of systems (SoS) built on the Internet of Things (IoT) and AI technology. While traditionally used in manufacturing, digital twins are now used in many other contexts, particularly in buildings.

Built environments are gaining unprecedented operational efficiencies from digitalization. A digital twin enables users to manage their assets proactively by simulating conditional changes and quickly surfacing inefficiencies. In doing so all building stakeholders can work in sync to extend its lifespan while providing a more comfortable and ecologically sound environment for occupants.

What is a digital twin?

Simply put, a digital twin is a 1:1 virtualized version (or “twin”) of a physical object in time and space. A digital twin can be described superficially as a highly complex digital model of an object. If that object is an engine, the twin incorporates every single component from screws to chassis and entirely replicates its functions. If that object is a building, it does the same for every component of every asset, all its systems, processes and environmental data (temperature, humidity, AQI).

A critical point to note is that a digital twin is not just a 3D snapshot from one point in time. The 3D model is only the top layer, a visual interface for a much deeper and more powerful system that actively monitors, structures, and transmits rich, real-time data occurring in the physical space. Whatever the object does, and any changes which occur, are quantified and precisely represented in the digital twin, which continually feeds data into AI applications and machine learning.

A short history of digital twin technology

Although digital twins are considered an emerging technology and have only recently begun to gain attention among the general public, their history is much longer than might be expected. NASA implemented the first rudimentary digital twin during the 1970 Apollo 13 mission. In the early 1980s, Dassault Aviation pioneered some of the first commercial applications of digital modeling for product design and testing, subsequently expanding these early endeavors to a widening range of uses.

Since then, digital twins have continued to evolve, becoming vastly more powerful and sophisticated. Today, a digital twin can be created with an almost limitless number of applications and scopes. For instance, the entirety of Singapore now exists in parallel as a virtual Singapore.

Virtual twin Singapore

Virtual Singapore, made using Dassault Systèmes Catia

Digitalizing built environments

Digitalizing the built environment in some ways is more complex than a digital twin of a rocket ship. That’s because a digital twin of a building is more than just a model of the structure itself. It integrates every system, object and process occurring within it. Asset monitoring, operational management, energy use – all systems within the building feed data into the digital twin. The digital twin building is a system of systems, which takes all siloed data into a central platform powering an interactive, scalable, and actionable single source of truth.

Digital twin application in the built environment is the logical culmination of previous developments in smart buildings and PropTech. The functional capacities of the built environment are exposed and digitalized, enabling a wide variety of use cases. With this powerful tool, building management is no longer limited by what is readily apparent but regulated by a single source of truth, fed by real-time data. And the market is noticing. Digital twin usage in the built environment is exploding in growth currently and is predicted to reach nearly $36 billion in value by 2025, an increase of nearly 1000% since 2019.

Building a digital twin building: BIM, BAM, BOOM

Architects and contractors have been using 3D technology to design and construct buildings and other structures for decades. Today, around 2/3rds of all architecture, engineering and construction firms in developed markets are working digitally using BIM (building information modeling) software. When integrated with Information and Communication Technology (ICT), this is the beginning of the single source of truth.

Dassault Systemes Catia platform

Dassault Systèmes CATIA

BIM is the 3D blueprint of the structure created during the design phase. It is a complete mapping of all physical aspects and functional systems, such as lighting, HVAC, and mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP). A BIM is not only a powerful tool for architects; it also offers benefits to engineers, like the ability to share data and collaborate with building designers. Collaborating digitally with a single source of truth streamlines traditional mires such as compliance and compatibility checking.

After the design is complete, the construction stage also benefits from the data and technology handed over from the BIM. Many contractors rely on BIM data to help optimize construction processes, known as a Building Assembly Model. BAM continues to build on the BIM database created during design, bringing in new information related to budgeting, materials, timelines, inspection data and more.

Using the BAM as the single source of truth and collaboration platform significantly decreases construction costs and timelines with enormous gains in efficiencies and accuracy. For example, ARUP saw dramatic cost reductions in planning and executing Queensferry Crossing upgrades for Transport Scotland in 2016. In partnership with Jacobs Engineering UK, ARUP leveraged BAM and BIM systems to deliver an incredible cost reduction from 4.2 billion pounds to 1.4 billion in budgeting, with additional savings in project management.

Queensferry digital twin

Queensferry digital twin construction

A 67% reduction in costs is impressive, but when put in perspective of the total lifecycle cost of a building, construction accounts only for 1/3rd (Source). That still places the lion’s share of the financial burden in the operational phase. This is what led building and property managers to utilize BIM as a tool for operations. At this stage, the model is known as a Building Owner-Operator Model (BOOM).

BOOM offers more potential to increase operational efficiency in the built environment. After construction, the BIM can continue to serve as a single source of truth for processes such as asset management and maintenance. It can track the lifecycle of various parts, the installation dates, physical properties, servicing history and more. As a BOOM, the system acts as a record keeper, warranty manager and maintenance scheduler.

What is the difference between BOOM and a digital twin? Real-time data, simulation and actionable insights.

The difference between BOOM and a digital twin is the real-time virtualization of the building and all its systems and processes. To do so requires linking the entire building components, assets, systems and processes, with IoT. It also requires migrating the BIM into a platform capable of receiving and processing data.

Once linked, the digital twin aggregates data from all building processes and operations and replicates them visually on the BIM. All asset and systems performance data, maintenance records, environmental data – everything perpetually feeds into the twin. Digital twins also leverage the power of AI to help managers and owners optimize daily operations by simulating conditional changes and turning raw data into suggested actions.

Akila Asset platform

Akila Asset platform

The power of the digital twin rests in its dynamic data quality and its ability to fuel machine learning algorithms and control. These algorithms are capable, for example, of optimizing power use based on seasons. China Energy piloted a digital twin system for managing power plants and was able to realize annual cost savings of 4 million RMB per generator unit through algorithmic management based on BIM data—optimizing for power demand differences in summer and winter automatically.

Smart from the start…or better late than never

Every building has a lifecycle, moving from design, engineering, construction, use and eventually replacement. It is more convenient to create digital twins for buildings constructed using BIM (and BAM and BOOM), but they can still be made for existing buildings. IoT installation and retrofitting allow digital twins to be developed as part of a building upgrade plan. A BIM can also be created for existing and heritage structures using 3D scanning technology and original blueprints. Considering most of a building’s lifetime costs come from its operation, digital twins still serve their purpose for built structures.

Using digital twins in the built environment

Digital twins are an exciting technology because they enable dynamic and powerful building or facility management. The ultimate purpose of the digital twin is to manage costs via surfacing a contextual, data-driven model of the building. There are a variety of ways this model is used to enhance building operations.

Growing plateaued operational efficiency

Constant streams of data fed into a single source of truth model of operational intelligence enable actionable insights into business operations. Digital twins link operational data across building systems and processes such as energy use, maintenance and occupant health. It surfaces multifaceted insights that might look like this:

  • If you don’t fix this broken air purifier, it will lead to x amount of energy increase, x amount in risk of viral spread.
  • The air purifier is predicted to have a serious issue in x amount of time, leading to increased energy use and causing x amount of excess carbon

The digital twin is the visual symbiosis of all building systems and processes, unlocking unprecedented decision-making power. Which areas of operation are lagging? Which areas of operations are excelling? The built environment can speak to you via digital twin and offer compelling new information through simulation and advanced analytics.

Cutting carbon footprints

According to Ernst and Young, digital twins can realize up to a 50% increase in sustainability and resiliency for buildings by reducing emissions. It can do so by integrating energy management into every level of a building ecosystem, from assets to systems to processes, and leveraging AI algorithms to optimize energy use.

Improving occupant satisfaction

The human-centric goal of a digital twin building is to improve user wellbeing; in the case of a building, the occupant. Data surfaced in the digital twin, such as environmental data (air quality, cleanliness, etc.), building space and infrastructure use, and maintenance and asset management provide actionable intelligence that can improve the occupant experience in a building. A building backed by a digital twin is a visible, built manifestation of a commitment to occupant comfort and environmental responsibility.

Akila digital twin

Akila digital twin

Transitioning from reactive to proactive operations and maintenance

Building operators and facility managers commonly use Computerized Maintenance Management Software (CMMS) to manage and optimize maintenance processes. Digital twins go further by integrating the functions of a CMMS and then contextualizing asset information and maintenance history with wider building operations. This provides more insight into the why and how while surfacing more actionable insights than just a CMMS. It also opens up the realm of predictive maintenance by running all data through AI algorithms, which can identify at what point in the future a given asset would need repairs in regular use and offer the same for simulated alternative conditions.

Improving the efficiency of new construction

Implementing digital twin early in the lifecycle of a building allows for the simulation of new equipment and architectural changes at each stage to optimize the assembly of the building. Building Assembly Modelling is a key component of a digital twin approach used in sustainable construction and operations.

Full Business Digitalization

Transitioning to a modern model for business intelligence and operations requires, almost definitionally, the transition to a single-source-of-truth model which a digital twin provides. The SSoT model has innumerable benefits for business processes, but it requires a constant and steady input of data to be usable.

Optimizing building operations using digital twin simulation

The ability to simulate equipment, infrastructure and environment is one of the high-powered capabilities of a digital twin. The digital twin can use current data to forecast interoperability issues, energy use, airflow, foot traffic and many other aspects of building use data. It also enables the user to project the multitude of effects on operations arising from environmental, infrastructure, or equipment changes using simulation models. These models empower stakeholders to make accurate and informed predictions about operational efficiency and forecast and eliminate bottlenecks before they appear in the real world.

Doosan wind farm digital twin

Doosan wind farm digital twin

Businesses such as Doosan Heavy Industries are already doing so. At Doosan’s wind farms, physics-based simulation is used to minimize waste in planning and construction and machine-learning algorithms adjust operations to match ideal performance models. Through the digital twin, the lifetime performance of any building becomes a manageable and optimizable asset.

Scaling digital twins to manage property portfolios

Up until recently, PropTech has been thought of as a way for homeowners and real estate owners to manage their equity and unlock the value of their property (AirBnB, etc.). Now, the understanding of PropTech is expanding as digital twin technology is fundamentally a way to increase property value for owners and occupants—especially when applied across a portfolio of assets.

Because digital twin represents a platform and not just a single-purpose tool, it enables scalability, meaning the digital twin platform for one environment will be the same core system used to manage another. The benefit of scalability makes multi-property management efficient and rationalizes smart building investment. Because you invest in a platform, your smart building strategies are more future-proof Digital twin enables dynamic, real-time management of diverse property portfolios with ease and simplicity. Optimizing property use via these powerful platforms reduces costs, avoids unnecessary costs, and links the totality of the built environment to decision-makers in a comprehensible way.

The built environment becomes virtual

Digital twins are the penultimate transformation of modern building management software and tools into a holistic, full-environment platform, primed for the future. It represents a new approach to management that is oriented toward continuous optimization and growth. Digital twin technology in the built environments signals the entering of a new era of digitalization and a strategic shift towards data-backed decision making to improve costs, operational efficiency, environmental impact and the human experience.

 
 

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It’s time to make workplace experience part of your business strategy

It’s the age of experience—UX for web and mobile users, CX for customer experience…now here comes WX—workplace experience. Let’s take a look at how this holistic and employee-centric approach is reshaping facility management and adding value to companies that make wellness and comfort a priority.

Workplace experience (WX) is a way of describing the complex web of business and cultural outcomes that result when companies take a holistic approach to the management of the built environment. Great WX comes when businesses invest in spaces where the physical facility, its environment and digital infrastructure are linked and optimized to work as a single-engine for greater comfort, collaboration, wellness and overall productivity for employees.

What contributes to workplace experience?

WX is a holistic system, starting from what the facility management industry traditionally calls “soft services”. But WX is fed by many other areas, all components of a typical workplace.

  • Soft services: food, hygiene & cleaning, front desk, security.
  • Hard services & environmental services: energy management, indoor air quality, asset maintenance, waste management.
  • Workspace design: floor layout and furniture, greenery, interior design, acoustics, lighting.
  • Community engagement: events, collaborative spaces, PD & training, fitness & health programs, service apps, feedback apps, etc.

And on top of all these:

  • Digital infrastructure: any and all systems inside the building collecting data from occupancy to energy consumption to AQI.

Data informs better workplace decisions

Another important element of workplace experience is data transparency and data communication. In other words, how well is your workplace standardizing and centralizing its data (often referred to as a single source of truth), and how well is your organization organizing and conveying this information once it has been collected?

What does this mean in practical terms? Imagine, for example, a worksite that has reduced its energy consumption, increased its recycling rate, or achieved a measurably better level of indoor air quality. Any of these by themselves can be counted as wins, but to make the optimal contribution to workplace experience, the company needs not only to quantify this achievement but also make it visible and well-known among employees. This is an area where the digital twin is quickly emerging as a high-value asset.

Aden HQ digital twin workplace

Simply put, perception counts and transparency pays – nearly 70% of Millennials say that corporate sustainability is a key concern and factor in whether they would stay with an employer, but phenomena like greenwashing have caused optimism about climate action to decrease. By committing to measurable sustainability plus transparency, companies can enjoy a free boost to their buildings’ WX.

The new workplaces must compete on environment, comfort and human-centricity

Greater focus and investment in WX is a trend that will only intensify as Gen Z and Millennials become an overwhelming majority of the workforce. It is also a trend that has picked up with the rise of co-working spaces that compete hard on their strengths: comfort, “coolness,” and flexibility. After COVID-19, a large percentage of the workforce returned to their old offices asking new questions, including: “if we were able to carry on work from the comfort of our homes during COVID, why shouldn’t we continue doing the same now?”

So, in the aftermath of COVID and other long-term shifts in the workforce, will the office simply disappear? Actually, it doesn’t seem that companies or employees want to eliminate the office altogether. Rather, it seems both sides are reassessing how they use the workspace and what they would like to take away from time spent there.

It is notable that while over half of employees report wanting more flexibility around work location increased collaboration and socialization are the #1 reasons employees are looking forward to a return to the officeThe difference is, as work culture evolves, talented employees are “voting with their feet”, choosing workplaces that deliver better experiences, flexibility sustainability, and environment. In a recent survey by McKinsey, 4 out of 10 respondents said that they would set workplace experience as a high priority in deciding whether or not to seek new employment.

Meanwhile, companies that have gone through the COVID crisis now have direct experience managing a large share of their workforce remotely. Moving out of the peak teleworking phase, certain questions emerge: do our offices need such a large physical footprint? Are there are ways to reallocate our facilities to accommodate new functions and mixed-use spaces that are open to all and encourage cross-team interaction?

However these modifications are delivered, one thing is clear when workplaces invest in a better environment, it’s not just morale that improves – there are measurable productivity gains. The World Green Building Council, for example, studied how user-centric building design can impact productivity. Among their findings were these productivity boosts:

  • +23% productivity from better lighting.
  • +18% productivity from regular access to a natural environment.
  • +11% productivity from improved ventilation.

Good workplace experience grows from three pillars

The best WX strategy takes a holistic approach and needs to be built on a comprehensive infrastructure with three interconnected pillars: spatial/environmental, digital, and human experience.

Pleasant workplace environment

Spatial/Environmental:

This pillar is about optimizing use and layout for the physical site, taking into account factors like floorspace and floorplan, ceiling heights and patterns of movement throughout the facility. But this pillar also factors in more subtle but highly impactful environmental categories like light, acoustics, ventilation and smell, as well as the overall tone and identity that your space sets via greenery, interior design and on-site amenities. One of the key measures here is your space’s flexibility, with the long-term trend moving strongly away from departmental silos towards shared, mixed-use spaces which can easily transition between work, training and social functions.

Flexible workplace environment

Digital:

Best practice for this pillar is an integrated approach:

  • Mobile-based tools – used by employees for everything from ordering food to making room reservations to reporting maintenance needs. Used by solution providers for task management and KPI tracking.
  • IoT sensors measure everything in real-time from space occupancy to air quality to on-site safety.
  • A digital platform that links, optimizes and visualizes the resultant data in a way that empowers better decision-making and cost savings.

While this pillar is necessarily complex, its key objectives can be summarized in fairly simple terms. One, it makes the experience of being at work more convenient and responsive to the needs of building users. Two, it gives companies and building managers much richer situational awareness of what actually happens in their buildings, from how effectively services are being delivered to preferences and patterns of behavior that employees show while at work. From this deepened understanding comes faster and better decision-making about how to optimize the workspace.

Human Experience:

While coming last on this list, human experience is necessarily both the main measurement unit of WX and its start and endpoint. This must be measured at several levels – how well does the space enhance individual employees’ ability to work productively? But also, how well does the design, flexibility and overall management of the facility orient different departments towards more interaction and a greater sense of community and purpose?

Optimizing workplace experience is a cycle, not a one-time fix

Some decisions made in a WX project will be fairly obvious at the outset. Maybe employees have been dissatisfied with workspace dining options for a long time – so, you upgrade to a higher level of corporate dining solutions; maybe you face reliability issues with your security provider – so, you find a partner that is capable of integrating more smart technologies into their security solutions.

This class of fixes (such as poor lighting, inefficient air-conditioning, leaky ceilings, and outdated décor) represents surface-level bad WX, the “low-hanging fruit” that is easily identifiable through daily working experience. Without question, addressing these issues quickly and thoroughly is a clear value-add for the morale and productivity of building users.

But great WX comes when companies and facility managers harmonize the three pillars so that each reinforces the next in a cycle of optimization. The idea is to balance direct feedback from building users with rich data from IoT and other digital tools to reveal deeper insights into how your facility and your people are interacting.

Stage 1 – Human experience level:

Start by listening to your people. How do they feel about the workspace? What are their pain points? What would they change? What do they prize most about the space? Start with these questions and continually track reactions as you unroll your WX changes in the next steps.

Stage 2 – Physical/environmental level:

Assessing the feedback from phase 1, determine what can/should be changed about the physical space and environment. Make the changes, getting buy-in from building users by communicating clearly about your intention to create better WX and responsivity.

Stage 3 – Digital level:

As much as possible, install systems and technologies to measure the impact of your changes over time. Do the IoT sensors for occupancy indicate that people are changing their behavior, gravitating towards the upgraded space? If you’ve upgraded your food service, does the data show changes in purchase patterns?

Stage 4 – Human experience level:

Now, assess the impact of change – balance the quantitative data from your sensors and other internal data with the qualitative data of feedback from employees and team leaders.

Stage 5 – Adapt, test, adapt, test:

Utilize the same practices perfected by UX specialists and web developers. One of the main reasons top apps and websites generate such high traffic and conversion rates is that they are regularly optimized based on data from A/B testing and analytics that show user behavior. This same approach can and should be adapted for better WX and business outcomes in the long term.

Stronger together: IFM partners are your best workplace experience asset

As should be clear from the article above, the best WX outcomes result from a complex interplay of teams, systems, and digital and physical infrastructure. This complexity is one reason why an integrated facility management (IFM) partner brings distinct benefits to a WX project.

First, there is a question of definitions– what do we mean by IFM vs. traditional FM? Let’s start by looking at the traditional models:

  • Single service: One company provides one type of service at your facility. For instance, food service. This team may be excellent, but it functionally operates in a silo of its own.
  • Multi-service: One company provides several teams at your facility, but they are managed separately, pursuing their own KPIs.

Then, we have integrated facility management

  • IFM: Several teams are managed by a single provider, with a central point of contact and management for all of these teams. This might be a combined food, maintenance, security and hygiene contract in one workplace, or it might be a series of teams spread across multiple client sites (and even borders for multinational clients)

In IFM, the focus shifts from simple service delivery to a partnership model in which the IFM provider helps the client pursue goals at the macro level. By adding a level of control above classic service teams, IFM providers are able to coordinate across services, pursuing macro goals that support better WX and finding efficiencies through careful, data-driven analysis of worksite performance.

 
 

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Smart security: an essential part of modern facility management

Scanning the current state of play for security

Smart security, in practical terms, is the integration of digital and technological elements into a traditional human security force. Technologies such as sensors, robotics and IoT networks are enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of building and facility security teams. This technology allows for more resilient systems that can be steered by smaller operator teams, with greater awareness and transparency for personnel, management and other stakeholders.

Looking at the latest concepts in security and the newest technologies available should help stakeholders discover the best way to invest in their properties – a way that meets and enhances a site’s security needs.

What are the primary security needs for buildings and facilities?

Building security needs can be broken down into several primary concepts:

  • Access control: who can enter a building, where they can go and what they can use
  • Emergency planning: making precautionary measures against disasters and threats, either natural or human
  • Crisis management: responding to unforeseen and unique high-danger situations in which people’s safety is under threat
  • Staff & training: hiring the right people and making sure they are up to speed in using the latest technology and tools
  • Cyberdefense: the protection of sensitive company data that flows throughout networks inside or between sites

Smart security at its core is the digital transformation of all of these needs. It is as much a question of software as it is hardware. For example, even if the most high-tech cameras are installed on a property, it requires a robust network infrastructure to support data transfers and integration into a central management platform. Bringing three elements together—humans, devices and networks—is what makes a security system smart.

New tools of the trade

Every site is different; therefore, each will have its own specific needs. The question of which components, in what combination, should be a matter of cautious decision-making. Every situation is different and can be audited across several dimensions. Generally speaking, however, three major high-tech devices are making waves in security systems due to their ability to enhance the abilities and response times of security personnel.

Smart camera security

Smart cameras

Upgrading camera surveillance with the newest security software – especially facial and object recognition (such as vehicles) – helps improve baseline security needs. Smart cameras assist in identity confirmation, access control and communication throughout a building or network. Their flexibility allows them to be installed the same way as traditional CCTVs or attached to drones and robots.

Robotic security on patrol

Robots

The security industry is moving quickly to build robots that can move, gather data and autonomously respond to threats. They are equipped to record 24/7 visual and audio feeds. As with drones, the scale and targeted capabilities keep evolving, but typically part of a security robot’s attraction is the heavier, grounded presence, much as a human security guard offers when they are at a post or on patrol. Inventory checks, threat recognition and instant alerts are all typical elements of a robot’s defensive appeal.

Smart drone security at industrial facility

Drones

Drones can integrate visual surveillance with aerial mobility. Businesses, paramilitary and military organizations deploy drones to prevent and respond to a variety of security and safety threats—from intruders to fires to chemical leaks. Drones can, like robots, follow pre-planned paths through interiors, while large-scale units can survey or surveil an entire structure of almost any scale. With an ever-diversifying range of sizes and abilities, drones need consideration in their operation (requiring targeted training and experience) and how their presence will support other elements in the system.

Drones in the hands of an offensive actor also represent a significant emerging threat, such as industrial espionage, so security providers are investing heavily in anti-drone R&D.

All of these devices, advanced as they may be, still depend on the proper operation by the security team. They also need to be properly linked and configured to a site’s security network to be managed from a centralized security platform.

Centralized control

The center of all building security is the control room. It is where the human, devices and networks all intersect. It is where problems are identified teams are dispatched. The control room is the brain of a site or building’s security network nervous system. As teams have smaller amounts of humans and become more tech-heavy, this brain is more important than ever.

Smart security control rooms take in all information gathered by humans and IoT devices—all sights, sounds and even smells which are cause for alarm. Sensors and data must be configured properly, and all automated or digitalized security operations must be able to follow and be checked against proper protocol to meet a site’s standards. That’s why all IoT linked smart security systems must follow three guiding principles:

Linking the ‘T’ in IoT: increasing availability of monitoring encourages adoption. For example, following an incident (whether an accident of natural origin or negligence or a deliberate attack), stakeholders may ask why, if it wasn’t, a given key asset was not connected to the network in the first place. Sensor surveillance of essential assets increasingly looks like an inevitable part of responsible design.

Network protection: exposing so many connected devices to a local network and the internet means immediate obvious dangers and the need to insulate assets from dynamic cyber threats – data theft, ransomware, cyber-attacks to stop systems functioning – and to do so remembering that the digital side must support the physical thoroughly and vice versa, as the two are ever more intertwined.

Semantic robustness: as this data flows into the network from the sensors of a smart structure, the need to organize it at each point and direct it to secure points of access is essential. Here, the resilience question comes to the fore. In an emergency affecting many parts of the building’s system, will data processing and command centers still move smoothly, for as long as possible?

It makes sense that security systems should evolve to follow the threats and risks present for anyone involved in a given project and how risks and threats will likely move in the future.

Overall we can see how:

  • Human teams will naturally become smaller, more trained in the use of digital tools and more capable of operating multiple levels of a smart security system together
  • Digital systems require deep planning ahead of time, dynamic maintenance of physical and cybersecurity, careful assessment of new types of risk, and resilience that may be tested in constantly changing ways.

A new digital frontier brings unique threats

With increasingly digitalized business operations, and especially with greater adoption of IoT / smart systems, there is a new realm of safety and security that needs to be considered in facility security: cyber defense. While many companies are already aware of one of the largest threats to their trade secrets—corporate espionage and hacking—many do not consider their network-connected physical assets.

However, the threat is very real.

Cyberattacks can immediately impact valuable physical assets, such as on the US Colonial Pipeline in May 2021. Physical devices such as rogue WiFi routers, cameras, card data skimmers, or USB data drives with hidden malware may be used within physical structures to compromise IT systems. Estimates put the global cost of ransomware attacks in 2020 at $20 billion, up from $11 billion in 2019. As profits for malicious actors grow, so do the incentives to create new tools and techniques to compromise a system via any weak elements in it.

To be prepared, businesses can take measures to protect their IoT assets through the following methods:

  1. Assess the security of the central digital platform that oversees the building security system
  2. Consistently direct and train a well-defined team
  3. Monitor points of regular access to the system – physical or digital
  4. Ensure fluent communication between IT security coordinators and building operators

Smart security: a more efficient, effective and comprehensive offer

Security for buildings and facilities is changing in multi-dimensional ways. Technology, in the form of both hardware and software, is augmenting the abilities of security personnel, which in turn is leading to the creation of smaller and more specialized teams. The new security system puts even greater importance on the control room and a centralized digital management platform to carry out protocols and respond to threats.

However, the human element is still very important. New technology can make safety and security operations more efficient and effective, but it also has its weak points. That is why a well-trained staff is critical for smart security systems to function properly. A truly smart security system integrates three elements—personnel, devices and networks—in a way where they work together in harmony, not in place of one another.

 
 

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Workplace dining is a worthy investment to upgrade employee experiences

At a glance:

  • Corporate food service is a powerful value-add for employees
  • Strategic partnerships with food service providers can bring more variety, better services and higher quality food
  • Innovative techniques can lower costs and improve ESG scores
  • Corporate dining enhances employee productivity and corporate culture
  • Businesses can attract higher-level talent with the right food service offer

Growing investment in workplace dining experiences

Corporate food service is undergoing rapid change globally. In the next three to four years, the market is expected to grow by 187 billion USD. Asia will account for 38% of that growth. The old model of a coffee room, pantry, or cafeteria is changing to meet the needs of a multigenerational, diverse and demanding set of high-talent workers. The modern workforce is putting a higher value on workplace experience, and businesses are responding. According to the Great Place to Work Instituteevery one of the top-100 companies they track is investing heavily in corporate food service. These companies are providing their employees with a higher level of workplace dining that emphasizes quality, variety, health and sustainability.

After making this investment, businesses are seeing higher employee satisfaction, worker retention and access to a higher-level talent pool than those that do not. At the same time, metrics like employee satisfaction and sustainability are more important than ever as ESG becomes a defining guideline for company stakeholders.

The new baseline for corporate catering: restaurant-level experiences

Corporate catering standards are rising to meet their biggest competition: restaurants. As younger generations in cities around Asia enter the workforce, they are bringing with them a new sense of taste and higher dining standards. They crave quality and variety in their food. Up until now, this was something they could only find in restaurants. Adding to this competition is easier-than-ever access to restaurants with the explosion of food delivery and courier services (Meituan, Eleme, GrabFood, Foodpanda). However, there are still ways that corporate food service is rising to this challenge.

The first step is meeting expectations of quality, variety and experience. High-level corporate caterers are doing this by bringing in food industry veterans and skilled chefs looking to escape the restaurant world for a position that gives them the freedom to be creative and closer contact with their diners without the same pressure of the restaurant world. These chefs are working with nutritionists to plan and design menus and help craft better operational workflows. They are also working with technical and architectural designers to create better food spaces.

Rethinking the canteen

The days of the cafeteria line are over, and they are being replaced with more comfortable spaces with a wider variety of options. Google famously developed its incredible series of Googler-only food services by changing from a cafeteria model to one with more diverse interaction points. Instead of a food line, employees can choose between multiple small cafes that serve a wide variety of gourmet dishes. Similarly, CitiGroup worked with Restaurant Associates in New York City to create a similar concept, transforming their cafeteria into a 15-concept dining hall. Companies like Google and CitiGroup are meeting the competition head-on by providing higher quality and more diverse food options. And they’re taking it a step further to beat restaurants in terms of convenience.

Workplace dining space employees working

Food service fuels productivity

The value of better corporate food service goes beyond the quality of food. Access to high-quality food on-site enhances employee productivity, welfare, and morale and increases time spent on campus. A better workplace food service experience leads to better work culture in general. The quality of the food is a motivator for coming into the office. Breakfast service encourages early attendance. Workers eating a great lunch on or near campus will find themselves back at their desks, ready to work sooner and faster. According to WorkTech, this manifests a productivity increase of as much as 20 minutes a day. High-quality meal dinner services, snacks, and events will keep workers enticed to stay late and produce more—especially when the kitchen is allowed to be innovative.

Playing to strengths: how workplace food service can get an edge on restaurants

There are several unique offers that corporate food services can provide that restaurants can’t: proximity, better pricing, personalization and community engagement. The right food services partner brings a comprehensive range of services including grab-and-go box-meals, point-of-service preparation, pop-up snack and grocery stores, themed cafes & espresso bars, online ordering, customized diet plans and online feedback delivered instantly to the kitchen. This service advantage empowers the worker through the experience of getting the food they want and being part of a community that shares in this food.

Dining: an indispensable part of life at work

Now, corporate food service encompasses much more than just lunch. The food service provider must cater to a range of corporate events such as catered holiday parties to important client meetings, executive lunches, and made-to-order, high-quality dining. For older generations, workplace food services or a dining benefit package was a nice add-on. Now, for Millennials and young Gen Z workers, it is listed among the top 15 benefits.

Even with such a strong desire for food service, only relatively few businesses are providing it. According to a 2018 study by SHRM, less than 1/3 of businesses offer free snacks and beverages, and only 29% offer an on-site dining service. However, the companies that do choose to provide food service can differentiate themselves from competitors and attract top-level talent.

Partnerships are the key to success

Building a workplace food service in-house to the standards of the modern workforce is challenging for even the wealthiest companies. Keeping the business lean and profitable simply isn’t compatible with the need for staffing up for food service—keeping up-to-date with regulations, managing insurance liability, and recruiting talent all pose significant challenges—and your competition has reach and scale. The key to success in offering high-quality food service is finding a reliable partner whose values in food service are aligned with the company’s values.

Sustainable table setting workplace dining space

Staying sustainable is more than marketing

The best practices used by food service contractors now are fully in line with ESG standards promulgated by agencies such as the Global Reporting Initiative or SASB. Today every business needs to be as green and sustainable as possible—and so do high-quality cuisine. Fresh food, sourced locally and ethically (or even grown on-site), always means better food—and this is the kind of food that supports your company’s ESG initiatives.

But meeting ESG goals goes beyond sourcing–innovative techniques to reduce food waste are now the industry standard. Overproduced items can be packaged and sold at discounts to employees as take-home items, produce boxes for fresh ingredients are sold directly to workers, and unused food is donated to local food banks and charities. Packaging is kept to a minimum when employees eat at the workplace rather than ordering delivery, and when it is used is made from biodegradable materials. The carbon intensity of food preparation is lowered when it is centralized and sourced locally. Corporate food service done right and delivered by a trustworthy partner has a high potential for a positive ESG impact.

Eat together, work together: building a community at work through food

Creating a positive meal environment on campus, and breaking away from the stress of eating at your desk gives workers a chance to meet each other, and feel like they belong to a community. Only communities can foster a positive culture, and the basis of a community since time immemorial has been the sharing of food. These intangible benefits have a material side as well—healthy food, balanced nutrition, and managed portion sizes will help positively influence employee health and energy levels. The Harvard Business Review, in a case study of Johnson & Johnson, saw a 600% ROI on investments in employee welfare through reduced costs for healthcare, missed workdays, and employee attrition and churn.

Workplace food service is worth the investment

The benefits to investing in a comprehensive benefit like high-quality corporate dining are many. This benefit is a key component of a holistic strategy improving ESG, wellness improvement, and talent acquisition, and morale will hang. The right corporate food service partner will help improve your company’s ESG rating by reducing food and packaging waste, lowering carbon intensity, supporting local agriculture, and improving employee health outcomes. Simply having high-quality corporate food service enhances the company’s image to prospective hires. Your company’s compensation package will be compared to those of high-growth, prestigious businesses.

‘The War for Talent’ characterizes modern hiring practice. The world has a demand for talent that far outstrips its current supply—and the gap is projected to widen. How can a business attract, retain and maintain talent? Amenities like food service to employees improve your existing employee’s morale and comfort. Beyond that, they will improve the reputation, quality, and consistency of business.

 
 

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Compressed air leaks: what you don’t see may be costing you millions

Compressed air is the invisible backbone of industry, critical to a huge number of tasks in industrial operations. But, as an asset that can literally float away, compressed air systems require careful monitoring and maintenance. The simple fact is leaks happen. Most utility system managers and technicians know this. The problem is that they lack the tools to understand the scope of the problem, find and fix leaks, and set up systematic monitoring and maintenance after repairs.

Compressed air leaks quickly add up

So, if you manage a site that uses compressed air, what might you be losing day-by-day, year-by-year? Even one tiny leak of 0.8mm causes losses of over 20,000 meters cubed per year, which translates to roughly 2,000 RMB (or 250 euro). This may sound small, but the scope of the problem is usually much bigger than one leak. Typically, sites that have never implemented a compressed air leak management program will find hundreds of leaks during the initial audit.

On average, sites without compressed air leak management can expect to lose 20-50% of their air per year. What happens when 50% of this valuable utility is floating away every minute? The system compensates, consuming even more energy to make up for the loss. Overproduction adds up fast and causes pain where businesses can least afford it: C02 production and energy costs.

What causes compressed air leaks?

Before looking at how to manage leakage, it is worth exploring why leaks develop in the first place. Leaks most often occur at joints, connection points and end-use applications for two main reasons.

Material factors

The quality of equipment and materials matters. Attempting to save money upfront by choosing cheaper components, such as joints, hoses and valves will lead to leaks later. Depending on the equipment and materials, deterioration may occur at a different rate of speed with different maintenance pain points. Without a leak management system, it is impossible to find every weak point.

Procedural factors

Many leaks also arise from improper installation, application and operational use. Equipment that is not in use, for example, can be a source of leaks if it is not isolated with a valve during non-operational hours. Misuse, over-pressurization and pressure drops can all also contribute to wasted energy in the air-compressor system. Proper use, monitoring and regulation of the system are integral to preventing compressed air leaks. As is one other major factor: maintenance.

Fixing compressed air leaks: fast turnaround, long-lasting value

One of the biggest advantages of compressed air leak management is a short initial setup time and a quick ROI (less than a year in most cases). Advances in software allow audits and retrofits to be implemented by a small team in a short period. Depending on the size and complexity of a compressed air system, assessments can be completed in as little as one day.

Once assessments are made, then technicians can get to work making repairs. Sometimes this may include replacing improper materials or re-installing certain equipment, addressing the material and procedural mistakes mentioned earlier. Once repairs are completed, site managers still need to ensure continuous improvement. Thankfully, leak management software can also be used to continuously optimize performance through monitoring and analysis. With the proper audit, retrofit and optimization, leaks should stay under 5-10%, the mark of a well-maintained compressed air system.

How much money and carbon do compressed air leaks generate?

If you have any doubts about the financial and environmental benefits of compressed air leak management, let the numbers speak for themselves. Imagine, for instance, you manage a factory without compressed air leak management. You might be seeing a leakage rate of 30%, the average rate for sites that are not managing leaks. Here is what that costs your business every year in terms of money and added CO2 production.

The impact of a 30% leakage rate on different compressor capacities
Compressor capacity Cost CO2 (tons)
250 KW 507,000 RMB 230
500 KW 10 million RMB 920
1000 KW 208 million RMB 4,600

So you’ve fixed your leaks – now what?

One thing to remember is that even the best fixes must be accompanied by a good follow-up plan. Ongoing maintenance and monitoring are critical to achieving the financial/environmental savings shown above. The best solution not only finds and plugs leaks, but it should also leave you better equipped to monitor and manage future leaks. There are various paths to achieving this, but you don’t have to go it alone.

Today in Asia, new energy management models are gaining in popularity. Solutions such as Energy as a Service (EaaS) contracts make it easier for companies to outsource energy management and maintenance to a trusted partner.

Depending on your company’s financial and environmental commitments, another question to consider after you’ve addressed initial leakage problems is your longer-term strategy for compressed air equipment at your site. There is no one-size-fits-all solution here, and depending on the precise situation at your facility, you may choose to:

  • Optimize the performance of your existing equipment through a blend of preventive and predictive maintenance, backed by leak-monitoring software.
  • Upgrade to higher-efficiency compressed-air management systems, possibly in combination with other high-efficiency industrial assets.

The good news is that this is not an either/or choice. All equipment must be replaced eventually – the key is finding the best timing for an upgrade when the cost-benefit ratio for cost, efficiency and C02 emissions is optimal.

 
 

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