Originally published to the Sydney Morning Herald.

With property trusts facing pressure around valuation, energy price and tenant satisfaction, building strategies are quickly evolving to drive control and visibility over building operations. Owners want evidence that their properties are being optimised, at a lower cost base, without sacrificing customer experience or shareholder returns.

In the past, this has been a hard ask, despite pressure on Building Management Systems (BMS) contractors and vendors to share operational data from their connected systems.

It’s often been a case of “garbage in, garbage out”. Neither owners or their facility managers have had confidence that their BMS contractors are optimising assets, including fault detection and remediation, energy efficiency, equipment performance and comfort conditions for tenants.

Next-generation building technology is now changing the game, with big data analytics, artificial intelligence and automation helping drive faster, better decision-making.

Operations managers can have a new level of control over their assets. Cloud-based collection of engineering data over the top of traditional BMS systems, coupled with machine learning and analytics, means that non-technical asset managers can have better information and engineering smarts than their BMS contractors.

Real-time fault identification that details the location, root cause, cost impact and solution for each fault reduces the need for onsite human expertise to understand problems.

Simple dashboards with deep drill-down capability put knowledge at the fingertips of asset owners and facility managers and can go a step further to automate alert management, prioritisation and assignment of tasks.

There are many benefits, including improving NABERS ratings and lengthening the lifespan of expensive equipment, not to mention contractor management.

At a portfolio level, the benefits are amplified. Reduced energy consumption and cost is multiplied and non-technical managers gain visibility across entire portfolios, with insight and intelligence to drive more commercially focused operations and asset management.

Owners can monitor, measure and make decisions around what’s really happening, instead of what they think might be happening.

This level of independent, data-driven insight, management and reporting will increasingly be part of what owners expect to have to optimise property assets for both tenant and shareholder value.

Written by David Walsh, Founder & CEO.