Space sense continuum

by Tiffany Paczek
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FM Workspace360 delves into the importance of space within a building, and the new innovation that is allowing FMs to utilise every available space and understand just how it’s used. By TIFFANY PACZEK.

While we’re quite blessed for liveable space in Australia, especially in comparison to other countries and cities the population numbers of which outweigh the balance of liveable space, it is becoming an increasingly debated and sought after asset. Australia’s population is one of the fastest growing in the world, and with its increase comes the need to make the most and best use of the space we have. That is to say, it’s vital for buildings and facilities to make use of as much of their space as physically possible.

It’s this line of thought that has led global software solutions company Honeywell to develop the Vector Space Sense – “a smarter way to manage building spaces and make every square foot count”.

A building’s value is based on what it can provide an organisation, and how its spaces can contribute to organisational outcomes. However, it can be difficult to know exactly how building spaces are being used at any given time, or if they are being used to their full potential.

For a facility manager, knowing their building inside out and being able to utilise its full potential can and will improve the experience for the building’s users, occupants, visitors and employees. Conversely, the ramifications of not knowing or understanding the full extent of a building’s use (or it’s underuse) are substantial. Empty office space is a silent expense for organisations, with large companies potentially overpaying millions of dollars each year for the space they do not use. And lacking the insight to realise this, and to therefore combat it, is a common feature within the building and facility management industry.

DEEPER CONNECTIONS, DEEPER VISIBILITY

Enter the Honeywell Vector Space Sense. By leveraging the power of the Internet of Things (IoT), the Vector Space Sense shows exactly where, when and how building spaces are used at any given time, presenting actionable insights for more informed decision-making around space usage.

The Vector Space Sense is part of Honeywell’s broader Connected Services portfolio, and is based on a sensor-agnostic design that accesses data gathered by occupancy sensors installed anywhere within a building. These can be any sensors, from those in lighting to desks, and can help to provide a more accurate picture of the actual utilisation of the building and the individual spaces within it. Analysis based on custom algorithms, followed by detailed, information- rich dashboards and utilisation maps, provides visibility into usage that can inform space management and planning.

DATA INSIGHTS: PUTTING BUILDING SPACES TO WORK

With Honeywell’s Vector Space Sense, organisations and facilities can access more insights into their building and its use than ever before. These include recognition of:

  • where spaces are being underutilised, so organisations can repurpose them for more productive uses
  • where spaces are being overutilised, allowing organisations to regulate traffic to improve occupant experiences and prioritise housekeeping and maintenance schedules accordingly
  • actual building occupancy patterns to inform appropriate building management system (BMS) schedules, instead of following fixed timings, which can help organisations improve overall system efficiency and energy savings; and
  • utilisation trends to inform future space investments or divestments, as well as to help assess whether sufficient space is available at any given time to plan for pending headcount increases.

MEASURABLE IMPACT

Honeywell’s Vector Space Sense can contribute to an organisation’s bottom line in significant ways. Be it from helping buildings and facilities improve cost savings by estimating space change needs with greater precision, to providing information that can enable better occupant flow and usage patterns, to improving user experiences, the Vector Space Sense delivers connected, data- driven insights to inform changes that promote lasting, measurable results. ●

This article also appears in the December/January issue of FM magazine.

Image: 123RF’s fiphoto © 123RF.com

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