August 9, 2016

How adaptive maintenance can improve your office

Tomi Teikko

Founder, Advisor and Evangelist, Tieto

In the past, one of the biggest challenges when designing and planning an office environment was that it wasn't easy to predict exactly how and when a space would be used.

Sure, you can look at historical data and say, we'll need this many meeting rooms for this number of people based on what similar organisations have done in the past, but at the end of the day, there was still a lot of guesswork involved.

Not so today. With there being many more opportunities for gathering data, managers and designers can gain a much clearer picture of what is actually taking place. And this doesn't just affect the design of a building, but also how it's maintained day-to-day.

Making maintenance more efficient

A typical contract with a cleaning company may include an agreement that spells out how often a room is cleaned, and how thoroughly. But this may not always reflect the actual usage. For example, if a meeting room is only in use a few times a week, it makes no sense to conduct a complete clean every evening. 

But with sensor data such as heat maps that provide insight into what employees are actually spending their time, you could create an application that highlights when cleaning processes are actually needed - offering cleaners a 'route map' that guides them to the most-used parts of an office.

If implemented effectively, this could not only show cleaning staff the most efficient way to complete their tasks, but also give them a much clearer idea of what supplies they will need for any given location. This can save them hauling too much around with them, or having to make return trips because they don't come prepared.

The right place at the right time

A key factor within this could be the use of location-based reporting, to help cleaning and maintenance crews home in exactly on where they are needed. So, for example, if there is a spillage or stain, an individual can report it exactly using this technology and make it a priority.

The good use of data can also help make maintenance and repairs more predictive, rather than waiting for a problem to arise. So for instance, data can monitor the performance of equipment and sent out alerts when a service is required. So if an item has a 25,000-hour service life, warnings can be sent when this is approaching.

By giving facilities managers and maintenance providers access to this information, these companies can also stand out from their competitors and offer them totally new ways of selling their services.

The new era of building maintenance

The use of data can extend to almost any part of building management capabilities, such as lighting and HVAC equipment. By being able to proactively monitor where there is a need for this, managers can make sure their building is able to adapt to how it is actually being used. 

This can result in significant energy and cost savings, ensuring that only rooms that are occupied are heated, but it also helps boost satisfaction among end-users. But automating the process, they know they will also be able to work in a comfortable environment. And by monitoring conditions such as air quality, facility managers can offer a much higher level of service.

But none of this can be done without access to the right information - and the tools to transform this raw data into usable insight.

Take buildings into the digital age

Do you want to take buildings into the digital age? We join Junction hackathon in 25-27 November to innovate the future of building maintenance. We offer you outstanding possibility and access to data from 6000 sensors at Tieto HQ building in Keilalahti. Take the possibility and sign up here: Junction hackathon - Intelligent Buildings.

Please do not hesitate to contact me to discuss how your building could be more informative. Read also my previous blog: How the smart office transforms the way we work and visit

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