CAFM and Climate Change

We live in an ever-changing world with more and more challenges being faced by us as a species, and one of those challenges- one that arguably has the potential outcome of wiping us out as a species- is Climate Change. This probably sounds like a very catastrophic opening to a MASS blog but it’s a serious subject and not one that should be ignored.

 

The science with regards to anthropogenic climate change is now largely accepted around the globe, and as such, efforts have moved on from attempting to prove it is happening, and towards trialling methods and means that will lessen (or possibly reverse?) what impact we as humans have had on our environment. As interesting as I find the science (and I could talk all day!), I will not be going into the subject in any great depth as this particular is going to be focused on how we can use CAFM systems to help combat this acknowledged issue.

 

As it’s what we sell and what I have access to, I will be utilising Archibus as the example of CAFM software for the purposes of this blog.

 

I’ll begin with the basic management. The simplest activity that can be done within a building to help manage your carbon footprint (the building’s impact on the environment) is to make sure the building’s insulation is kept up to date. There are 2 methods that can be utilised within CAFM software to maintain and track the condition of your insulation.

 

The first is the low-tech method of setting up PPM’s within the system to make sure the building insulation is maintained. From here reports can be generated from the results of the PPMs and you can predict when insulation will need to be replaced and which rooms cause more issues for insulation wear and tear.

 

The second method is high-tech and uses IOT concepts to generate data reports. In Archibus there are connectors that can be coded to work with digital sensors that are taking temperature readings of the rooms across your site. This requires that you have sensors in the rooms and outside so you can measure the discrepancy of temperature, then given a set of boundaries within the code you can set up metrics within Archibus to highlight the rooms that have failing insulation.

 

Why does insulation matter? Simply put, the better the insulation, the less power you have to generate or use from the grid to maintain the room’s temperature. The less power used, the less pollution generated.

 

The next step up from simply managing your building's insulation is to utilise green methods of power generation on site. There are two steps to do this with regard to CAFM software. Step 1 is to utilise the BIM tools now incorporated in to CAFM software: when designing and commissioning a building you should be considering the process of what green energy production can be installed within your building. Easy examples to use are things like Solar Panels on roofs or within available fields/spaces where they can be arrayed, or you can utilise the wind with wind turbines. A more esoteric example would be to use geo-thermal vents to power a turbine, but that tends not to apply so much to the UK.

 

Once this has been planned, created and fully implemented in to the CAFM system, step 2 is now to maintain the green energy structure you have on site. Much like with managing insulation, there are the low-tech and high-tech methods of managing green energy production. The low-tech is to set the power producers as assets within the CAFM system and assign them PPMs so that they are permanently maintained and kept within working order.

 

The high-tech method would be the same as it was for managing insulation, but the sensor you need to utilise is more complex and would more likely be something akin to a raspberry pi. This would be set up to monitor the power generator and see when it fails, before sending a flag to the CAFM central database that will be picked up and either create an alert, or auto-generate a work request for the generator to be inspected and fixed.

 

These are but two examples of how CAFM software can be utilised to help estates and facilities departments maintain their buildings and furthermore push for the buildings on site to reduce their carbon footprint. As new technologies are designed, built and provided and IOT is further integrated into CAFM software, the ability to manage this and lessen our impact on the environment will become easier.

 

Right now, my main point would be that there are tools available to the user should you require, and personally I would recommend that you all explore them as soon as possible.

 

If you are interested in this topic and would like to chat to MASS all about it, we are available on 0118 977 8560 or email us at news@mass-plc.com.


Callum Doyle 

 



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