It was announced today by Chris Grayling, the Transport Secretary, that 7 local authorities that applied for a share of £22.9m to fund Live Labs for Smart Places and /or Smart Roads, have been successful. Two of those are county councils that we have been working closely with for a while now and enLight has been officially named as a partner to 2 of the winning proposals.
In previous blogs we've discussed ways to reduce energy consumption, make savings through better space utilisation and looked at considerations for maximising resources outside the building, but how about those assets we already have? It's a great idea to be able to measure and monitor some of the equipment that is already in situ and to make sure it's being managed and maintained in the most efficient way. Being able to gather data on assets means that you can keep on top of their performance and ensure that they're maintained to prevent disruptive failure, which is costly financially and in terms of down time. Assets that need servicing at regular intervals can be monitored to investigate whether time between services can be extended reducing costs and manpower.
It's almost been a year since we presented at Think FM2017. We spoke about a number of issues Facilities Management face on a day to day basis and looked at ways technology can take on these challenges, enLight Think FM 2017 presentation.
As we prepare for this year's event we've taken a look at what is current for Facilities Management and how our new product range will address these challenges of reducing costs and improving efficiencies.
Fast approaching on 1st May 2018 is the annual Think FM event in London. Without doubt, if you are involved in Facilities Management, in any capacity, this is an event not to be missed. There'll be numerous sessions covering topical subjects within the Facilities Management field such as;
As covered in previous blogs, there are a number of excellent cost, energy and manpower savings to made within your smart office building's infrastructure when using an enLight® system. It doesn't stop there though, enLight offers a number of beneficial solutions when it comes to your outside space, to complement and extend your enLight network further. With the network extending out into the grounds, it is now possible to monitor and control car park and footpath lighting, take air quality measurements, measure the pavement and road temperature for gritting, warn of localised flooding, monitor noise levels and provide
Managing energy reduction and utilities is close to the top of most businesses agendas these days. We're all being asked to find ways to reduce consumption, use energy more efficiently, recycle, reuse and above all save costs. It's not as easy as it might seem. There are a number of devices available that help you measure energy consumption in order to identify heavy use areas but they often rely on manpower to physically go around testing usage in different departments and buildings. The data collected isn't always accurate and not carried out in real time. It can show you how much you're using and where, but doesn't actively help you to reduce consumption.
Smart Office Solutions - Space Utilisation
After salaries, the cost of the rental of office space is often the next biggest financial outlay for any business. It makes sense, therefore, that organisations use their space efficiently. It can be hard to determine which areas are not being maximised, are those meeting rooms that seat eight people just being used for the odd 121 or is someone tucking themselves in there to work quietly? Are employees with permanent desks always there or are they away on business travel or working from home a lot? Maybe hot desking is the answer but who is using the hot desk? Collaboration areas are also becoming the norm but are they an effective use of space? Are employees using them properly? Are they too noisy? Are they dormant and could the space be used for something more valuable?
Labour intensive management - is there a solution?
Managing and maintaining commercial property around the world is still a very labour intensive endeavour. Despite many modern buildings having advanced controls for HVAC or lighting systems, they tend to work in isolation from each other and it still leaves many of the key assets of a building in the analogue world that can only be checked by someone with a clipboard. For many older buildings, even the HVAC and lighting is manually controlled and huge amounts of energy and cost from labour is being wasted given that the technologies are here today to link everything together.
Budgets within the public sector are a continuing challenge, there is no sign that changes to funding are going to improve within the foreseeable future, if anything further ‘efficiencies’ will continue to be sought. We all understand that the overall size of the cake has reduced, but what makes investment for the long term even harder is the way budgets are allocated and accounted for. This can drive unintended consequences and have the perverse outcome of creating inefficiencies.
Last week saw enLight embark on the first of our series of Smart City Innovation workshops for local authorities. We spent the day in Chatham with Medway Council for what turned out to be a highly energetic and engaging session which identified some options for how Medway Council could apply new Smart City solutions to address some of the current and emerging challenges they face as a fast growing combination.