Dubai, UAE, 29 October 2018: “Customer education is the most challenging part in the adoption of technology in the HVAC sector,” said Prabhu Ramachandran, CEO, Facilio. “Most projects that we work on are retrofit buildings; however, our aim is to integrate the different layers in a building system,” he said. A client, he added, can always choose to increase automation in a building system and once they experience the benefits of using technology in building management, they often ask for an upgrade. “Clients can always choose to increase automation in building systems by 30-40%,” he said, adding that the in-thing is digital retrofits.
Elaborating on the workings of a building management system, Ramachandran said: “There are two layers. One is the automation layer, which consists of the Building Management System (BMS) and another that consists of the HVAC system, along with the fire alarm and backup systems.” Today, he said the two layers don’t talk to each other and are often controlled by individual system controllers. Referring to it as the traditional method of monitoring systems, he said that these controls are generally sourced from different vendors, who have their own individual software and tools that monitor each system separately. “Today, clients buy so many different products and, if a client has 50 buildings in the United Arab Emirates, it does become cumbersome,” he added.
What Facilio is doing, Ramachandran said, is that it helps enable the automation layer to talk to the FM layer via a software. For instance, he said, using the software, the FM manager will know the condition of the chiller, whether the harmony pumps are working fine and will even be able to carry out predictive maintenance. “The software helps FM managers get into real predictive management and monitor maintenance schedules on a system,” he said. This, he added, not only saves time and energy but will help FM managers to plan ahead.