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Manage to Manage

Michael Scriven highlights the value of hard data and how turning it into useful information will become increasingly important.

| | Oct 15, 2012 | 4:22 pm
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Michael Scriven highlights the value of hard data and how turning it into useful information will become increasingly important.

As we continue to face a challenging economy, the performance of buildings as a financial asset is rising up the priority list in the business agenda. Property fund managers are leading the way in maximising the returns on their investment in buildings by making them more energy efficient and sustainable. And there are lessons to be learnt from their practices.

The 40% Symposium, held in the UK by BRE at the end of 2011, introduced speakers from leading financial investors such as PRUPIM and Aberdeen Asset Management. These fund managers oversee hundreds of buildings around the world. For example, the PRUPIM portfolio consists of 740 buildings worth £18.5 billion. These experts made it clear that understanding the performance of the buildings they manage is vital.

Reflecting this, Nina Jackson, Director of Sustainability and Environment at PRUPIM said at the conference: “Why measure environmental performance? Because you can’t manage what you don’t measure.”

Endorsing this view, I believe that even with any level of property investment, information on individual buildings is a matter of great interest. Collecting data has several functions at this level. It allows fund managers to prioritise assets for improvement plans and enables the managers to identify good operational practice that can be implemented in other properties. Hard data has real value for them.

This is a message that all building owners, FMs and energy managers within the UAE should take to heart. Here, it needs to be pointed out that fund managers are well aware of the pressures of local energy prices and international legislation. This affects all building management professionals, no matter how small or large their portfolio. Collecting data, and understanding how to turn it into useful information will become increasingly important. In this regard, sub-metering is the key. But knowing how to get the most from a building energy management system is also vital.

I think building owners and end-users should make 2012 the year in which they focus on collecting useable data from their building about its energy use and other performance factors. It doesn’t have to be complicated, but it is a very worthwhile project that will bear dividends in the long term. If pension fund managers are interested in sub-metering, it’s time to pay close attention!

The writer is Business Development Manager, Optima International. He can be contacted at: michael@optimain.ae

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