Siemens Steps Up To The Challenge Of Helping To Train The Next Generation Of Facility Managers
The real estate industry has the perception of being a slow moving adopter of emerging technology – across its life cycle. Once building systems are installed, they are generally not upgraded or replaced until absolutely necessary because of the cost intensive nature the renovation work required. Recently however, new facility software applications, smart technology improvements, massive cost reductions for equipment and an increased focus on building operational efficiency have begun to increase the pace of new technology deployments. This increased use of technologies such as smart equipment and sensors and cloud-based software for energy, maintenance and space utilization management begs the question – how is the facility management industry to stay up to date and relevant in the era of smart buildings?
There are three routes the industry needs to pursue to stay on top of new technologies. The first is to use FM training programmes, such as those offered through industry associations like the British Institute of Facilities Management or the International Facility Management Association, which provide courses on supporting change and growing skills.
Secondly, aspiring facility managers need to be trained on the use of new technologies from the start. Siemens is assisting the Tallahassee Community College (TCC) to design and equip a ‘Living Lab’. This facility is envisioned as a training ground for TCC’s building technology program students to gain experience and better understanding into how newer building systems operate under real-world conditions.
Finally, firms may find it too cost intensive to continuously provide training on new technologies to staff – especially as software solutions continue to play a significant role in facility optimization strategies.
In these cases, it may be more beneficial to consider contracting with specialist services providers, such as Siemens, who can provide the needed level of technology expertise to operate and maintain new technologies for optimized building operations. This can prove to be quite beneficial for managers of buildings under 10 or more year leases or owner-occupied buildings. For example, Siemens has contracted with the US Army’s Joint Systems Manufacturing Center and the building operator General Dynamics Land Systems to provide an energy savings performance contract. The 15 year contract is estimated to save the US Army $20 million, with building performance upgrades completed in 2017 and savings accrued for the rest of the contract.
Use of new technologies to implement facility optimization strategies promises to boost the FM industry and thaw the perception of real estate as a slow mover. To learn more about facility optimization strategies subscribe to the Verdantix Real Estate, Energy and Facility Information Management newsletter.