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A Brief History of Daylight Saving Time

Daylight Saving Time impacts everyone who has to live by a schedule, from students, to farmers, to facility managers. Every year, we lose one hour of sleep in the spring, only to gain it back come autumn. How did the whole process of springing ahead and falling behind begin, and does it benefit us?

The History of Daylight Saving Time

Benjamin Franklin is sometimes credited as the "inventor" of Daylight Saving Time, after he penned a satirical letter to the editor of the Journal of Paris in 1784. In his letter, "An Economical Project for Diminishing the Cost of Light," he jokingly suggested making people get out of bed earlier in order to save on candles. In 1905, an Englishman named William Willett campaigned for the adoption of what he called "summer time," or moving clocks forard by 80 minutes during the months of April through October. Sadly, he died in 1915 without ever seeing his idea put to use. For the real creators of Daylight Saving Time as we know it, look to Canada and Germany.

Daylight Saving Time, or DST, got its start in Canada in 1908. People living in Port Arthur, Ontario, turned their clocks ahead by an hour on July 1st, 1908. Gradually, other areas of Canada began to follow suit. By 1916, the practice of DST was established in bylaw. Still, despite DST's success in Canada, it didn't really catch on until Germany decided to adopt the practice. Two years into World War I, the German Empire employed DST in order to lengthen the workday by an hour and thereby reduce the use of indoor lighting and save fuel. Other countries embroiled in WWI followed suit, though most of them dropped the use of DST after the war.

When World War II began, the practice was re-adopted and stopped at the conclusion of the war. In the US, some areas continued to use DST even after the practice was officially halted, resulting in a chaotic patchwork of areas with different times. In 1966, DST in the US was finally given some consistency with the Uniform Time Act, which both standardized DST and gave states the option of remaining on standard time year-round. Today, Arizona (with the exception of the Dine’é reservation), Hawaii, and overseas US territories do not observe Daylight Saving Time.

The Modern Impact of DST

Though Germany originally instituted Daylight Saving Time as a means of conserving fuel otherwise spent on indoor lighting, it's debatable whether following DST actually has any tangible energy benefits. As many facility managers can attest, changing the clocks doesn't really result in lower energy consumption. A study by the US Department of Transportation found that the total energy savings due to DST only amounted to about one percent. Unfortunately, the increased use of electric heating and air conditioning more than makes up for that savings. There is also evidence to suggest that gasoline consumption increases during DST, as people take advantage of that extra daylight hour for leisure activities.

DST can affect more than just energy use, too. Facility managers may find themselves dealing with clocks that need to be manually adjusted, and some automated systems that need extra attention navigating the time change. There's some evidence to suggest that DST impacts the body's circadian rhythm, triggering underlying health conditions and resulting in more accidents by sleep-deprived people. Workplace accidents and employee absenteeism often increase briefly right after the time changes, until employees are able to adjust to the new schedule.

Contrary to popular belief, Daylight Saving Time has nothing to do with farming. (In fact, many farmers were strongly against it!) If you live and work in an area that uses Daylight Saving Time, you've probably noticed some of the impact it has on you and your workplace. Though it has its roots in conserving energy for the war effort, it is debatable if DST still provides a benefit to either businesses or residential areas.

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Does Your Building Need an Electrical Service Upgrade?

The electrical wiring in your building plays a crucial role in your convenience and safety. When it has reached its point of usefulness, it may be time to replace or upgrade the entire system. These circumstances should signal to you that it is time for an electric service upgrade in your building.

Insufficient Number of Outlets

When you do not seem to have enough outlets for all of your electrical gadgets, you should take this as a sign that it is time for an electric service upgrade. Running extension cords and power strips from the outlets may give you the power you need for now. However, it also poses a fire and electric shock risk to the rest of the building.

Rather than use multiple power strips and extension cords for your TV, phone charger, computer, and other devices, you can get the number of outlets you need by rewiring your building and putting in new outlets. This option can be easier and less risky for your home or business. It also lowers the chances of a fire breaking out because of an electrical overload.

Flickering Lights

Another tell-tale sign that it may be time to upgrade your electrical system is if your lights regularly flick on and off without warning. For example, when your lights flicker as your air conditioner comes on, it could signal that your building is not getting enough power. You are using more power than for what your building was designed.

Upgrading the system will prevent the lights from flickering on and off whenever other electrical devices power on in your home or business. It also provides your building with enough power to operate safely on a daily basis.

Changes to the Electrical Code

Cities and states make changes to the current electrical codes all of the time. Builders may follow the most current code when creating a new building, only to find out that the code was changed shortly before the project was finished.

Even if you live in a new home, chances are that the electrical codes are currently or will shortly be outdated. When you want to keep your place updated with the most current electrical code, you should follow the recommendations as laid out by city or state code enforcers.

Some of the changes may include getting rid of outlets that are located on the kitchen back splash. It also may require you to put in more outlets in the kitchen, which could in turn force you to rearrange your appliances. Nonetheless, your home will be up-to-date with the most current electrical code until it is changed again in the next few years.

Energy Code Changes

You also may need to upgrade your electrical service whenever there is a change to the energy code. The code's most recent update recommended the installation of LED and compact fluorescent lighting, for example. It recommended that incandescent lighting be eliminated.

It also recommended that every room in a home or business have light switches that are easier to use and control. These changes are designed to prevent the overuse of electricity.

Deteriorating Electrical System

Finally, your home or business may need an upgrade to its electrical system if its current one is quickly deteriorating. The system may be deemed to be deteriorated or out of compliance if its wiring insulation is not up to code.

Further, the conductors in the system should have flexible insulation. If the insulation is brittle and weak, it could lead to a line-to-ground fault. This in turn could result in a risk of fire and electrical shock.

To replace the deteriorated system, you should ensure that the new wiring is suitable and capable of carrying the expected electricity load. You should also replace old wiring with new conductors that are capable of carrying a greater capacity.

These signs should indicate to you that it is time to upgrade the electrical service in your building. The upgrade will reduce the risk of fire and electrical shocks. It also will help your building use electrical power more efficiently.

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Restroom Maintenance Technology

Restrooms are a bit of a necessary evil. Virtually no one enjoys using a public restroom, and no one enjoys having to keep them maintained. It's a dirty, expensive, often inefficient job, but someone has to do it. Poorly-maintained restrooms have a negative impact on employee presenteeism, workplace hygiene, and customer satisfaction. Fortunately, new advances in restroom maintenance technology are helping to make an unpleasant job far more streamlined and efficient.

Taking the Guesswork Out of Maintenance

Technology hasn't advanced to the point where fully automated restroom maintenance is a feasible option for facility managers -- maintenance staff are an invaluable part of keeping restrooms hygienic, working, and well-stocked. Unfortunately, these staff members are often overworked and under-informed, forced to rely on manual checks to tell them when something needs to be cleaned, refilled, or repaired. The average maintenance worker also can't readily supply information on things like traffic patterns, and ordering cleaning supplies can be a matter of guesswork for the purchasing department. Utilizing facility management software and sensors is an easy way to simplify restroom maintenance by providing information that unconnected restrooms can't.

Monitoring Hygiene Compliance

Only about two thirds of Americans regularly wash their hands, and roughly 70% admit to not using soap when they do. Even if you aren't managing a hospital, this is a pretty disturbing statistic. Food service facilities and even office buildings all require a hygienic environment in order to operate effectively. Doorknobs, keyboards, and telephones are all breeding grounds for pathogens from contact with unwashed hands, and frequently vectors for illness. Monitoring hygiene compliance can help facility managers ensure that employees are following the proper hand washing protocol, reducing the spread of bacteria and viruses and, in turn, reducing lost productivity due to absenteeism.

Analyzing Traffic Flow

Some restrooms just see more use than others. This can be due to a lot of factors, including scheduling, location, and even general atmosphere. The trouble is, the places that see the most use aren't necessarily the ones that receive the most attention. Few things will turn people away faster than a grimy, smelly restroom. This can negatively impact employee productivity as they seek out a cleaner one, and create a poor impression of the company for customers and visitors. Knowing which restrooms see the most use makes it much easier for facility managers to prioritize maintenance tasks, ensuring that the busiest places are cleaned and restocked as often as they require. It's also helpful as part of an analysis of a facility's overall traffic, which can help guide other maintenance decisions.

Saving Time and Money

Checking soap and toilet tissue dispensers manually is a tedious process that's often easy for a rushed maintenance worker to overlook. Unfortunately, empty dispensers have a negative impact on employee hygiene, restroom use, and the overall impression of a facility. Monitoring technology allows maintenance workers to skip manual dispenser checks entirely -- automated sensors can tell them exactly what needs to be filled, where, and when. This saves them time and energy, reduces waste, and keeps restrooms running efficiently. In turn, it provides data that facility managers can use to help determine the allocation of their maintenance staff and respond to maintenance issues before they are formally logged (or even noticed) by employees or customers.

Dirty floors, foul odors, and a lack of toilet tissue, soap, and paper towels used to be a standard part of using a facility's restroom -- sometimes to the point where employees or customers would refrain until they could go home. Modern restroom maintenance technology helps improve the experience for both restroom visitors and maintenance staff, allowing restrooms to be cleaned, restocked, and kept in good repair with far greater efficiency. The end result is a healthier workplace, happier customers, more productive employees, and maintenance workers that are able to respond to problems as soon as they arise.

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Is it Time to Replace Your Building's Boiler?

As a facilities manager, one of your most important duties involves making sure the building's hot water boiler functions correctly. This appliance provides the building with hot water and heat and ensures that critical daily functions can be carried out efficiently.

Even so, you may wonder at what point you will need to have it replaced. You can know it is time to have it replaced by learning more about the tell-tale signs of an aging or malfunctioning hot water boiler.

Puddles of Water


Anytime you see puddles of water standing near or under the hot water boiler, you can be certain that it needs to be serviced if not replaced entirely. Puddles indicate that the boiler has sustained a leak somewhere in its system. Even the smallest crack in the boiler can result in a hot water leak that can be costly to repair.

Further, a water leak from a boiler leads to a host of expensive and devastating damages in your building. For example, standing water under or near the boiler invites fungus like black mold to take root and start growing in the floors, walls, and elsewhere. Mold can be costly to get rid of and dangerous the health of people who work or do business in the building.

Further, water leaks often rot the floors, walls, and sheet rock. Rather than face these costly damages, you can avoid them by having the hot water boiler serviced regularly and by replacing it when it has outlived its usefulness.

High Energy Bills


When the utility bills for your building start increasing steadily, you might suspect that the underlying cause could be a faulty hot water boiler. Boilers that have lived past their prime typically cause gas and electricity costs in a building to rise. The aged boiler must work overtime to produce the required heat and hot water, putting a strain on the building's utilities and thus raising their costs.

You can likewise know it is time to have the boiler serviced if not replaced entirely if you hear the appliance making knocking or banging noises or if you suspect that sediment has built up in the bottom of the boiler's tank. When these damages cannot be repaired, it is time to invest in a new boiler for your building. You could save up to 40 percent of your utility costs by purchasing a new boiler to replace an outdated one. 

Age


Boilers that are 20 years old if not older should be replaced immediately. Most of these appliances cannot last beyond 20 years. Once they reach that age, they have long lived out their usefulness to your building.

If you are not sure how old your boiler is, you should ask a service technician to examine it and estimate its age. Replacing an aged boiler not only reduces the costs of your building's utilities. It also ensures your building will have the heat and hot water it needs to function properly on a daily basis. 

Reliability


When it seems that you are having to have the boiler serviced numerous times each year, it may be time to have it replaced entirely. In fact, repeated malfunctions should be taken as a sign that your boiler has outlived its usefulness and no longer can keep up with the demands put on it. You will only waste money by having it repeatedly serviced.

Instead, you can save money in the long run by investing now in a new boiler for your building. The new boiler will be able to function at a more efficient pace, thus saving you money on both repairs and utility costs. It also will be able to keep up with the demands for heat and hot water placed on it.


Hot water boilers have finite lives and at some point will need to be replaced rather than serviced. These indicators should signal to you when it is time to invest in a new boiler for your own building. You can carry out one of the most important duties as a facilities manager by knowing when to have a new boiler installed.
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Staying Competitive in the Facility Management Sector

Smart facilities management is crucial when it comes to inhabiting work spaces and recruiting and maintaining talent. It has the ability to drive employee performance and increase productivity as well as maintain a company's competitive edge in the market.

Because of its importance, facilities management must evolve and change with the pace of the global marketplace today. These strategies could allow for your own building to stay competitive in the facilities management sector.

Value Creation

Until recently, one of the primary focuses of facilities management involved keeping costs as low as possible. You may have looked for every way to shave a few dollars off your building's operating costs. You aimed to reduce expenses while getting the most return for every dollar you did spend.

As facilities management strategies evolve, saving money will still be important. However, the main focus will shift to finding ways to create value with work space inhabitants and stakeholders.

You will need to adopt progressive technologies that will permit for increased mobility and provide for better conditions for training your employees. It also will allow for a healthier workplace environment that will increase productivity, decrease absenteeism, and minimize the level of stress.

Sustainable Energy Management

Another strategy that will come into play with tomorrow's facilities management involves increasing the sustainability of your building across all activities and platforms. You will need to rethink your building's existing assets and create a framework for it that is sustainable.

This could involve making life-cycle assessments and undertaking a new approach to life-cycle building management. It could also involve training employees themselves to maintain a sustainable workplace.

Regardless, your primary focus should involve finding cost-effective, sustainable ways to reduce energy levels, waste, and your building's overall carbon footprint. These methods will carry over to your main role of transforming energy management in your building, recycling, water management, safety, health, and other key aspects of effective facilities management.

Space Optimization

When it comes to reducing costs in your building, you could achieve your goal by optimizing the way that its spaces are used. To improve the use of space in your building, you can create flexible workstations for employees.

You also can redistribute workplace strategies and utilize mobile work spaces and mobile workers as a part of your approach to facilities management. Your focus should revolve around using less space with better space propositions.

The Best Use of Technology

Making the best use of technology is important to facilities management for several reasons. To start, it can impact the manner in which your building's employees perform their everyday jobs. It can also allow for the creation of different work spaces like assigned or shared workstations, virtual work spaces, home offices, or flexible offices.

Technology can also enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of work spaces and workplaces. You can take all of the available technology to support your building's employees while responding and proactively using it to leverage optimization in the workplace.

Personalized Delivery Service

Finally, competitive facilities management of tomorrow should focus on the creation of personalized service deliveries. Personalized service deliveries allow for supporting new ways of working and the creation of a fit-for-purpose approach to facilities management. It allows each company to be unique in this regard.

In fact, when workplace strategies among companies differ from each other, they permit customers to make demands for their individual specific and exact needs. Personalized delivery services go beyond the management of assets and systems.

In the near future, clients will require service providers to understand their businesses. You can thus train front-line service employees to deliver on that client understanding.

The future of facilities management will shift the focus from practices to which you are currently accustomed to strategies that will further enhance productivity, performance, and profit. It will require you to make the best use of modern technology while personalizing services demanded by your clients.

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Effective Management Tips for Property Managers

As a property manager, you are tasked with overseeing multitudes of projects every day. The property owners as well as the tenants on the property look to you to ensure these tasks get done on time and without fail. You can exceed their expectations and be a successful manager by using these tips for effective property management.

Be a People Person

Managing a rental property cannot be done effectively from behind a desk or while working in an office. In this career, you have to be a people person and ready to interact with a wide variety of people on a daily basis.

The people you can expect to encounter at any time in this job include the property's owners as well as maintenance staff and contractors like landscapers or roofers. You also will interact with people who live in the rental units and also prospective tenants who wish to apply for residency there.

To be a successful property manager, you must adopt friendly if not firm and professional behaviors when interacting with people on a daily basis. Being ready to greet and speak with a variety of individuals each day works in your favor when you are determined to be the best manager for the property.

Use the Latest Technology

Some aspects of your job will require you to use written communications like work orders or notices to enter rental units. However, the bulk of your work can be done effectively and quickly when you use the latest technology.

Property managers like you should feel completely at ease communicating with tenants, owners, maintenance staff, and others by text and email. You should also keep important documents stored and backed up on computer programs or even more ideally in secure cloud storage.

This technology not only safeguards important communications and paperwork. It also makes your job as a property manager easier.

Hire and Retain an Effective Team

Your job as a property manager will also be easier and more effective when you hire and retain a skilled team to work alongside with you. You may need to hire an office manager to answer phones and greet people who come into the office. You also may want to hire an assistant property manager who can help you with your daily projects and also act in your place when you take a day off or are busy handling other tasks.

Others that you might want to include in your team are skilled maintenance staff who can repair and maintain the rental units. You likewise will probably be tasked with choosing what contractors like landscapers, roofers, and plumbers with which to partner to manage the upkeep of the property itself.

An effective team will allow you to focus on the more important tasks assigned to you as the property manager. It also will improve the integrity and appearance of the property of which you are in charge.

Know the Current Housing Laws

It is imperative that you are knowledgeable in the current housing laws in your state. Housing and tenant laws vary from state to state. What is standard in one state could be entirely illegal where you live.

You can read up on tenant and housing laws by searching the Internet. You can also take courses offered by organizations like HUD to learn what laws to use and abide by while managing your property.

Carefully Screen Tenants

Perhaps the most important obligation you have as a property manager involves screening potential tenants carefully. You have a duty to the property's owner to vet and approve tenants who will pay their rent on time and also take care of their rental units.

You likewise have an obligation to the tenants who already live there. You do not want to approve the application of someone who may be a danger to the residents or at minimum be a nuisance with which they will have to deal on a daily basis. By carefully screening applicants, you can approve people who will be an asset to the community.

By following these guidelines, you could become the most effective manager for a rental property. You will satisfy the expectations of the person or people who own the property and also be a manager that your tenants can appreciate and feel comfortable approaching on a daily basis.

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Outdoor Workers and Heat Safety

Outdoor Workers and Heat Safety

As a facilities manager, you bear the all-important responsibility of keeping your staff safe in all kinds of weather. During the hottest months of summer, this burden can take on a unique challenge, however. You can ensure your workers' health by knowing what heat safety precautions to utilize during this time of the year.

Learn about the Dangers of Hot Weather

As the summer months get underway, the hot weather poses a serious hazard to people working outdoors. Statistics show that dozens of outdoor workers die each year because of heat stroke. Thousands more are sickened and hospitalized as the result of heat exhaustion.

Further, every industry can be affected by heat dangers but especially those like construction. In fact, 40 percent of outdoor workers who die from heat stroke work in this industry.

Regardless, heat stroke can affect anyone of any age even those who are young and seemingly in good physical condition. As a facilities manager, it is critical that you appreciate the dangers that come with working in hot weather. You should never assume that your employees are safe from heat stroke or heat exhaustion simply because they are healthy, young, and in good physical shape.

Plan Ahead

Once you realize the dangers of working in hot weather, you must then devise a plan ahead of time in case one of your workers does suffer from heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Your plan should include calling 911 and using cold compresses on the affected individual until help arrives. You should practice this plan often with your employees so everyone knows what to do if or when this type of emergency occurs.

Your plan should also include an element of prevention, however. You should educate your workers on how to work safely in hot weather and help them understand the symptoms of heat stroke and heat exhaustion. By educating your staff, you can prevent this type of emergency and ensure everyone's safety while the weather is hot and humid.

Offer Plenty of Water

One of the most important things you can do as a facilities manager is making available cool, fresh, and pure water to your outdoor workers. You should place the container of water in a shaded or cool location so that it stays refreshing and cold for your staff. It should also be made available at no charge to them.

Likewise, you should encourage your staff to drink at least one quart of water on an hourly basis while they are outside. This precaution will keep them hydrated and could prevent them from suffering from heat stroke or heat exhaustion.

Offer Shaded Resting Areas

You should also make sure there is at least one shaded place where your workers can go to rest while they work outdoors. Even if you have to set up a tent, you need to make sure your staff has a shaded area where they can go to cool off and recuperate from working outside in extreme heat.

You should make sure that they rest for at least five minutes on a regular basis anytime the temperature reaches higher than 80 degrees Fahrenheit. It is important that you encourage them to rest before they start to feel sick or exhausted from the heat.

Use a Heat Safety Mobile App

Finally, you can keep your workers safe by downloading and using a NIOSH or OSHA heat safety mobile app. The app is available on both Android and Apple devices. It is designed specifically for outdoor workers who are exposed to heat while on-the-job.

The app also offers live-saving information for facilities managers, supervisors, and others in charge of outdoor workers. It alerts you to the precautions you should take to make sure everyone stays safe on the job site. The app is free to download and can be a valuable resource when you want to protect your employees from the dangers of working outdoors in the heat.

Working in heat and humidity can pose a serious risk to your employees' health. It is up to you as their facilities manager to keep them safe from heat exhaustion and heat stroke. You can prevent serious illness and deaths related to working in the heat by utilizing common sense heat safety precautions.

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From Smart Buildings Come Smart Cities

The advent of smart buildings continues to transform the modern workplace. As artificial intelligence, automation, and other technological innovations take the place of old and outdated systems, facilities managers now find it simpler and more convenient to manage the buildings they are tasked with overseeing.

From the rise of smart buildings, however, comes the creation of smart cities. Smart cities show all the promise and potential of changing the manner in which people will live their everyday lives. They also could solve many of the dilemmas that arise from a booming global population.

What are Smart Cities?

The concept of smart cities comes directly from the creation and use of smart buildings today. Like a smart building, a smart building will incorporate technological inventions like automation, artificial intelligence, and other aspects of the Internet of Things. The networking of a smart city's technology will allow it to serve its residents and make everyday life within the city safer, more convenient, and more comfortable.

Specifically, a smart city will rely on this network to monitor, control, and adapt to many facets of everyday life. It will be able to predict and accommodate the weather, daylight or darkness, occupancy patterns, and more in order to make the city's environment as positive as possible for residents. This technology will make jobs like facilities management easier because it will effectively be able to control the internal temperature of buildings, adapt and control lighting within individual neighborhoods, and even collect data of buildings' occupancy rates to enhance public safety.

The Role of Smart Cities

What role will smart cities play in tomorrow's world? To start, they will address a number of global environmental concerns that are expected to arise including an aging population, the expansion of the middle class, and more people moving to urban areas throughout the world. Smart cities are being designed to be able to monitor, control, and protect precious resources like food, water, housing, transportation, and even open spaces within communities.

This monitoring and protection of resources will maintain and progressively improve the standard of living for everyone in the city. It also will effectively encourage social interactions among people, which should eliminate what is dubbed as the loneliness of convenience that is found with modern society today. Smart cities will promote the ideal use of public spaces to foster connections among residents and as a result make it a better place to live.

But how will a smart city be able to accomplish this goal? Smart city designers and planners say that it will be able to collect civic data by monitoring the human experience and applying meaning to that data. It will then use the data to determine how the environment of the city should be built or changed.

Ideally, because of the collection and application of civic data to the environment, people who live in the smart city should be able to anticipate the behavior of fellow citizens and react in an appropriate manner. As a result, planners envision smart cities having a 20 percent reduction in crime. In fact, public safety will be promoted through the use of CCTV, visitor management, and access control. These facets will add layers of protection to buildings and individual sites within the city.

Smart Cities in Development

The existence of smart cities could soon be a reality for many parts of the world. In fact, several such cities are already in the works. In Toronto, Sidewalk Labs is creating a smart neighborhood that when finished will combine smart technology and urban design. Specifically, the buildings in this neighborhood are being designed to react to the weather.

Likewise, in Belmont Arizona, Bill Gates is investing millions of dollars for the creation of autonomous vehicles. This smart city is being designed to become a sophisticated hub with public WiFi areas, drone deliveries, and demand management of resources like electricity.

Smart cities could soon change the way that people live their everyday lives. The technology expected to be available in these cities will make life safer, comfortable, and more convenient for people of all ages. They also will address and manage environmental concerns expected to come with a growing worldwide population and a limited amount of resources like food and water.

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Smart Buildings and Facility Management

The Internet of Things has transcended most boundaries in society and now makes its presence known in countless industries. Among them, architecture and building construction in particular benefit from this newest technology.

Smart buildings are becoming more commonplace around the world as facilities managers discover the many perks that come with this innovation. Discover what a smart building is and in what ways it can make your job as a building manager easier and most cost effective.

What is a Smart Building?

A smart building, also called an intelligent building, is a building that features a plethora of smart systems and automation. A smart building itself is part of the Internet of Things and in particular functions to collect and analyze data that once had to be gathered and recorded by hand.

Buildings with smart automation technology typically will feature a network of sensors attached to equipment like furnaces, ventilation systems, light fixtures, hot water heaters, and other appliances throughout the premises. The sensors collect and analyze data about the functions and performances of these fixtures automatically so the building team can focus on other tasks.

Further, the data gathered and analyzed by the sensors allow the building manager to schedule maintenance tasks based on the actual usage of the fixtures rather than time-based intervals. These devices allow building managers to know exactly where their building's assets are located so they can gather credible data and information about them and then determine what if anything needs to be done to repair or enhance their performance.

A smart building also allows the building team to be reactive in maintaining the premises rather than spending time responding to emergencies like broken appliances or faulty lighting. They no longer have to predict if or when a facilities crisis might occur. They can be alerted immediately whenever a fixture is broken and react quickly to repair it in a prompt manner. This immediate notification can result in operational cost deductions of at least two to three percent.

Controlling Internal Operations

Another perk found with operating a smart building involves being able to control its internal operations better. The devices attached to fixtures like air conditioners and furnaces alert building managers to functions like room or building temperature, vibration of equipment like HVAC systems, air flow in and out of the building, the amount of electricity being used on a daily basis, noise level, and revolutions per minute of certain types of fixtures.

In this way, the building manager can be alerted whenever any fixture with a device attached to it breaks down and stops working properly. Once notified, the facilities team can take immediate action to get it repaired or replaced as necessary.

Streamlined Facilities Management

Perhaps the biggest advantage that comes with managing a smart building involves being in charge of streamlined processes. Before this technology was invented, you may have had to manually take note of and record operations within the building. This task may have taken hours of your time and made it impossible for you to handle other important tasks on a daily basis.

With smart building technology, you no longer have to rely on manual processes but instead can rely on the sensors to automatically record the functions the equipment within the building of which in you are in charge. Any malfunctions can be reported and addressed before the building's personnel reports them to you or perhaps even notices them.

Likewise, as a facilities manager, you avoid the huge cost of having to repair and replace faulty equipment as often as before because you can be notified immediately whenever a malfunction is about to happen. This prompt alert saves you and your company money and lowers the overhead costs that otherwise could take away from your profits.

As a facilities manager, it is up to you to know if or when a fixture like an HVAC system or furnace needs to be repaired or replaced. You no longer have to rely on manual observations and recording to do your job. You can be notified immediately about impending malfunctions when you are in charge of a smart building.

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Is Switching to LED Worth It?

As a facility manager, you bear the unique task of maintaining your building's efficiency without compromising the company's cash flow. To accomplish this important obligation, you might wonder if it would be worth your while to switch from fluorescent or CFL light bulbs to LED lighting. You may be convinced by learning what advantages LED lighting can offer to your building and to you as the facility manager.

Cost Effectiveness

One of the primary benefits that comes with LED lighting is cost effectiveness. In fact, LED light bulbs are 85 percent more cost effective than CFL light bulbs.

They also burn more efficiently, lowering the cost of this type of lighting in the building and burning fewer watts per hour. In turn, you should see these savings add up relatively quickly, which may convince you that you have made a good decision in switching from CFL or fluorescent lighting to LED lights.

Easy Maintenance

Another key benefit that comes with LED lights is the ease of maintaining them. Unlike CFL or fluorescent lights, LED lights are relatively simple to change out and install.

Further, you should not have to change them out as often as CFL or fluorescent lights because LED light bulbs last for weeks longer. This fact alone makes them a wise investment if you are managing the building on a tight budget and do not have a lot of cash to spare for continuously buying and changing out light bulbs.

Improved Visual Appeal

As a facility manager, you also have the obligation of making sure the areas in the building are well-lit and visually appealing. CFL and fluorescent bulbs give out harsh glares and hot light. They may hurt the eyes of the people who come in and out of the building. Further, they may not provide the best lighting by which to read or work.

LED lights, however, are softer and more visually appealing than CFL and fluorescent bulbs. They improve the overall atmosphere in the building and provide sufficient lighting for people to read, work, and otherwise remain productive throughout the day.

When you want to provide spaces that are engaging and appealing for not only the people who work there but also the people who will visit the building each day, you may find that LED lighting is your best option. It can add to the aesthetics of the building without increasing utility costs.

Temperature Tolerance

Unlike fluorescent and CFL lights, LED light bulbs tolerate extreme temperatures without burning out or breaking. You can burn these lights in the hottest days of summer without fear of them fizzling out of cracking. They will burn efficiently without raising the costs of your summer utilities.

LED lights also burn well during the coldest days of winter and can tolerate sub-zero temperatures without freezing or burning out. Unlike CFL or fluorescent bulbs, which can malfunction during the extreme cold, LED lights continue to provide continuous and reliable lighting. This benefit can give you the peace of mind you need as a building manager during challenging weather.

Utility Rebates

As a facility manager, you also may be tasked with taking advantage of savings and rebates whenever they are made available to you. Depending on the state in which your building is located as well as its utility provider, you could be offered rebates and savings for making the switch from fluorescent or CFL lighting to LED bulbs.

The rebates would be applied to your building's utility bills or applied as discounts for utility services. You could save your company a substantial amount of money on its electricity costs.

Low Disposal Costs

Savings will also be made available to you when it comes to disposing of LED light bulbs. Unlike CFL or fluorescent bulbs, LED light bulbs are low in cost to dispose of properly. They can also be recycled and reused, which saves your company money and allows it to remain ecologically friendly to the environment.

CFL and fluorescent bulbs are costly to get rid of because many facilities charge additional hazmat fees on top of disposal costs. When you want to save on these expenses, you can switch to LED lighting.

LED bulbs have proven to be more cost effective and a smarter choice for building managers. They burn better at a lower cost. They also are recyclable and do not take as significant a toll on the environment as their CFL and fluorescent counterparts. They offer unique advantages not found with other styles of lighting today.

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