First, you need to know the aim and the objective you would like to achieve from utilising a smart building solution. Are you looking to reduce your business’ energy consumption, improve the maintenance management of equipment, assess the usage of your building or change the workplace environment to improve employee wellbeing?
Once you’ve outlined your objective, you can pick a specific smart building solution that will help you achieve it. Depending on the objective you set out to obtain, there will be a positive impact on reducing costs thanks to improving efficiency.
Lower real estate costs
National Grid implemented a smart building solution based on occupancy sensors. This allowed them to see how space was utilised and analyse the data to make informed decisions about whether or not they needed to expand or reduce office space.
National Grid were able to save £8million a year by optimising the space they already had, and which wasn't being used to its full potential.
More and more employees will undoubtedly want to work from home following the coronavirus pandemic, now that they have eliminated the commute and realised they can be just as productive. This means there will be fewer staff in the office, requiring less office space. For example if your organisation is operating across three floors, perhaps you can reduce this down to two. If you have five meeting rooms but now only three are required due to virtual meetings, can this space be optimised?
Lower employee-related costs
With the cost of presenteeism for businesses that have uncomfortable workplace environments estimated at two to three times greater than direct health care expense, it's worth focussing on improving temperature, lighting and building cleanliness.
Utilising a smart building solution to control your HVAC system, lighting or cleaning schedule of bathrooms, hot desks and kitchen areas can help to improve air purity and the hygiene of your workplace, while reducing staff sickness.
Reducing sickness of your staff will be even more prevalent when helping to facilitate your staff back into the workplace post-lockdown. They will need to be confident that busier areas of the building are hygienic and safe to use at all times.
Not only does sickness cost your business money, but low productivity will too. A common culprit is your staff having to search for an available desk or meeting room. With the social distancing that will be required when returning to the office, this could prove more difficult. Staff will need to know occupancy limits of meeting rooms and that the space between desks is safe. If this is not clear they could spend time finding a less busy or bigger space that is appropriate to use.
Using a smart building solution that includes occupancy sensors to indicate where an employee can work will reduce the amount of uncertainty around meeting room and desk availability.
Lower maintenance costs
Using a smart building solution, such as an integrated workplace management system that is focused around improving asset and building maintenance, can save you money by optimising your servicing schedule.
With a smart building solution, you are able to gain data that will show if you are carrying out unnecessary maintenance just because they are scheduled on a routine basis, rather than usage demanding it.
Using sensors that detect the number of times it’s been used, or performance-related factors such as fluid levels, electrical current, sound or temperature gauges, can also tell you when a piece of equipment is starting to break and is due an update or repair. This enables you to find a long term provider to fix or update them when the service is due, and carry out predictive servicing work rather than taking a reactive approach.
Working reactively is up to 9 times more expensive than a predictive approach. A smart building solution allows you to plan your cash flow and avoid higher on-demand payouts to fix unexpected breakdowns.
Lower business amenity costs
Amenities such as lighting and HVAC system, if left running, can cost your business an average of £700 in wasted expenditure per year.
Lighting and cooling systems are often overlooked when leaving a meeting room or office, even if the office isn’t occupied for an hour over lunch or 15 minutes between meetings. If the amenities are turned off when sensors detected the room isn’t occupied, money could be saved.
Optimising how your office space is used can also reduce the amenity costs for one whole floor. If you have three floors that hold 20 employees each, but only 10 employees are using floor one and two, you can consolidate them by filling up capacity progressively from the bottom up, and turning the power off on floors that are no longer needed.
Using a smart building solution, such as building automation that uses real time occupancy sensors to send data to a hub that controls amenity systems, cuts costs by automatically turning off working amenities that are not required.
Take a look at our smart building solution to find out how it can provide you ROI by reducing your employee-related, business amenities and real estate costs.