Updated: Apr 26
The real impact of the pandemic is now being felt by commercial landlords with more than 60% struggling to attract tenants to traditional offices according to an article in FMJ magazine
This means that 71 per cent of office landlords plan to increase their flexible workspace offering in the coming five years. Hybrid working and flexible working patterns means that employees are only using some of their commercial space for just 1 or 2 days per week. That's clearly not enough.
Reconfiguring the office space
Converting Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing systems to accommodate smaller office areas that allow for tenants and their associated HVAC systems to operate under localised areas, means a substantial amount of physical reconfiguring work - which isn't always as easy as its sounds, especially with large centralised systems that provide building wide Heating, Cooling, Ventilation to the entire property.
Sub-dividing these systems into hybrid working spaces will also mean that occupiers will want the ability to monitor and control the on-off times and temperature settings of the equipment covering their own occupied areas and that they are being billed accurately for the energy they consume.
IoT sensors have the ability to offer bill validation independently by providing accurate heating, cooling and water consumption data based on actual consumption. With reduced occupancy means better control of the energy consumed based on the actual number of people that need heating or cooling rather than an entire area or floor. That includes local light switching and local heating/cooling.
Businesses have a legal obligation to provide a safe working environment for the staff and that includes water hygiene and indoor air quality. IoT has the ability to manage these automatically and report any exceptions whenever standards drop.
Smart sensors can monitor water flow and temperature to reduce the need for labour intensive manual monitoring and determine if taps require flushing and generate reports that meet regulatory needs (e.g. legionella)
Indoor air quality is a hot topic and the ability to monitor up to 10 different things that affect employee wellness from a single device is important and employees can instantly see the air quality conditions from mechanical ventilation systems affecting their own occupied areas. All accessible from a web browser.
Its been interesting to see the different views that people have in other countries about IAQ and to support it according to this article in Cooling Post
Cyber Security Concerns
One of the most common concerns for Landlords and occupiers alike is about Cyber Security and especially the vulnerability of smart systems especially when connected to the buildings IT infrastructure. BMS systems have been seen to have been vulnerable in the past - especially those that are connected via Broadband or insecure WiFi networks.
For landlords and developers, if their systems are perceived to be insecure, then this can often limit their ability to attract new tenants and be seen as failing to secure assets properly.
There are many ways that FM teams can protect themselves and others and this excellent article in FMJ goes into great detail about this.
Fortunately Our IoT systems operate via a single cellular gateway which aren't connected to a buildings infrastructure. All the communications to/from the sensors is on the LoraWan RF network, which in itself has been widely tested and as the software runs on the Simpro platform this has also been tested
These two documents detail exactly what our systems do and how the tests have been carried out.
Why not see what an IoT solution can do for your office reconfiguration? You'll be surprised how low-cost and easy it is to install. Book a demo by clicking on the link below.
You can find answers to the most common IoT questions https://www.enviro-logik.co.uk/faq