Honeywell launches analytics hub to ‘listen’ to smart buildings

Honeywell launches analytics hub to ‘listen’ to smart buildings

Honeywell looks to IoT to improve building performance

US industrial technology conglomerate Honeywell has launched a new cloud-enabled building management service to improve maintenance and performance in commercial properties.

As part of Honeywell’s Connected Services portfolio, which leverages internet connectivity in buildings to improve how they operate, covering areas such energy usage, for example, the company has launched Outcome Based Service. The new application supposedly helps facilities more easily identify potential problems and areas for operational improvement to drive both energy savings and increase comfort for staff.

“Data can provide valuable insights about building health if you have the right combination of technology and expertise to efficiently gather and analyze it,” said John Rajchert, president, Honeywell Building Solutions in an official statement.

“With Outcome Based Service, Honeywell makes the most of internet connectivity to essentially ‘listen’ to what a connected building has to say, providing actionable insights to improve performance. Instead of walking through a time-consuming checklist of items to review on a regular basis, Honeywell is focusing efforts appropriately to optimize efficiency and track performance in real time.”

Huge savings potential

According to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), commercial and residential buildings in the US account for as much as 40 percent of all energy consumption. Such a huge figure is inevitably driving businesses to seek improvements in the way they manage their facilities, with the potential for significant savings an attractive proposition.

Hewlett Packard is one company that recently revealed it is employing a building management software program called Smart Building Analytics on commercial buildings using HP technology. In a blog post, the company noted that most buildings are recommissioned every two to five years, which often means that systems elements like sensors or actuators in thermostats or air handling units malfunction, but these issues go unnoticed. Instead, HP’s Emerging Compute Lab leveraged sensors in existing IT equipment such as printers and desktop PCs to map energy supply with demand. The result was a 13 percent reduction in energy costs.

Chasing a similar outcome, Honeywell’s Outcome Based Service is centered around the company’s IoT platform, Sentience. The service leverages data from existing IoT and mobile devices, cloud applications, and sensors within a facility, as well as the knowledge of Honeywell’s localized technicians, to assess whether the equipment is performing at its optimum level. As well as providing visibility into building performance via real-time analytics, the service aims to mitigate the risk of downtime and bring a ‘lifecycle management’ approach to buildings maintenance.

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Better employee experience

One customer already benefiting from Honeywell’s latest offering is Virgin Money, the financial services arm of Richard Branson’s Virgin Group. According to Brian Shepherson, manager of property and facilities management at Virgin Money, the company has already seen “great progress in our facility management”.

“Outcome Based Service enables us to use real-time data and cloud-based dashboards to evaluate how our facilities are performing, predict problems and to improve maintenance activities,” Shepherson said. “With this service, we are already improving our building equipment, comfort and energy performance. We are seeing reduced reactive service calls and improved employee experiences in the facility.”

Explaining the motivation behind Outcome Based Service, Paul Mason, European digital services leaders at Honeywell Building Solutions, noted: “Traditionally, technicians physically respond to service requests and react to issues after they’ve happened, all the while having little time to understand how the building is actually performing. With this new service, we are helping deliver the outcomes customers want for their building.”

Outcome Based Service is available from May 2017. The service is part of Honeywell’s Connected Services portfolio, which includes the Honeywell Vector Occupant app for improving occupant experiences and Honeywell Pulse for Connected Buildings, an app that creates a real-time link between facility and engineering staff and their buildings, in order to boost productivity and performance.

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