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Conserve Capital: Repurpose Heritage & Signature Assets as Sustainable, Smart Buildings

Listening to the Leaders – Total Facilities 2018, Melbourne

Look about you. Over 30% commercial CBD buildings are either subject to Heritage restrictions or pre-date today's building code by 50 years. Luminous Technology enables owners and managers of signature assets to conserve capital, extending  life cycle value and increasing appeal to a new generation of building users.

At Total Facilities 2018, an expert panel of Chris Sutherland, Ashish Kulkarni, Mark McQuilten and Greg Rostron looked specifically at the challenges faced by existing buildings and opportunities focussed on smart technology.

While new buildings are designed with technology in mind, we discussed how existing buildings including signature public works, schools, hospitals and community facilities can be repurposed in the 21st century through smart building upgrades.

Smart buildings enhance connectivity and communication and herein lies the hurdle. Existing buildings often lack the communication infrastructure as equipment is often distributed throughout the building. As the saying goes “where there is a will, there is a way” and our experience has been that every building offers opportunities to provide that connectivity. This can be in the form of unused telephone cables or by installing modern Wi-Fi or mobile technologies.

Before anyone implements a new technology, they will want to think about what issues their building has and what is on their functionality “wish list”. Old buildings often suffer from equipment failures and smart technology can assist here. Firstly, in automatically notifying maintenance contractors and occupants. Then over time by collecting information about those faults, which allows you to better manage contractors and also flows into decisions on repair or replace.

Smart building technology is about communication. It can be used in the event of an emergency to relay instructions to occupants inside or even outside the building. As it is accessible by an authorised person from practically anywhere, it can respond much faster and with more detail than a traditional EWIS system.

A recurring question, in various forms, over the two day expo was “by how much does the value of my building increase with the implementation of smart technology?” An interesting thought when planning the budget and project returns from spending on smart building technology in your portfolio.

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Total Facilities Expo 2018 Free Building Audit

During the Total Facilities Expo this year, TTA is offering a free ½ day consulting. If you are interested in smart technology and what it could do for your building or organisation contact us and speak to one of our experts. This is an excellent opportunity for you to gain an understanding about what smart technology can do for you building. A building audit is an excellent, risk free way for you to figure whether integrating services could be beneficial.

What we will do

  • Interview you to discuss where problem areas in your building are.
  • Identify with your assistance those systems in your building that you feel would benefit from smart technology.
  • Create a list of systems and equipment in your building outlining how they can be connected to a smart technology hub.
  • As necessary contact maintenance contractors to clarify whether a building system can be connected to a smart technology hub.

What you will get

  • A full report identifying weaknesses in building systems and how they can be addressed with the introduction of smart technology.
  • What other opportunities exist to improve the efficiency and security of your building once smart technology has been installed.

What you can expect

  • A better understanding of smart technology, its strengths and weaknesses.
  • What cost savings can be achieved with the implementation of smart technology.
  • How your building, its occupants and/or tenants can benefit from the implementation of smart technology.
  • How well implemented smart technology can continue to serve your building as you upgrade systems in your building in the future.

Luminous – Connected Intelligence

Note. Offer is for buildings in Sydney, Australia. Other locations through negotiation.
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Greg Joining Total Facilities Expo Panel

The founding partner of Luminous is a part of a panel at the Total Facilities expo in Melbourne on Thursday 19th of April. 

Total Facilities is according to their website:

... leads the future of Australia's facilities and workplaces through a two-day collaboration into the world of facilities management (FM). Held annually between Sydney and Melbourne, it's the nation's single most important business event for FM and like-minded professionals with the common goal of optimising facility and workplace performance. Over two days it presents leading innovation and thinking for driving efficiency and productivity through world-class FM.

Greg Rostron will be joining Chris Sutherland (Savills Australia), Ashish Kulkarni (Norman Disney & Young) and Mark McQuilten (Six Degrees) in a guided discussion titled "Repurposing and regenerating existing buildings".

It will be an interesting and lively 45 minute discussion on how smart (and other) technologies can increase the usefulness of old buildings. 

There is still time to register for this world class expo at the following link

We will be there across both days, so if you have a chance pop by and say hi, we'd love to meet you. 

We will be on Twitter and Facebook so let's connect!

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Smarter Facilities Management

How can you increase the productivity, comfort and security for a building’s occupants?

Let’s look at this from a different perspective. What decreases productivity? There are common events in every building that we have come to accept as a fact of life and that we simply have to live with. These include:

  •  Lift is out of order.
  • Air conditioning has failed.
  • Heating is not working in winter.
  • No hot water or no water at all.
  • Forced onto the street because someone burnt the toast.

The productivity loss due to these problems lies with how these are discovered and dealt with. During the morning peak a growing number of people wait in the foyer for the lift to arrive. No one knows if there are just a lot of people arriving at the same time this morning or is something actually wrong with the lifts? It can take hours before a lift fault is detected, unnecessarily delaying the repair and inconveniencing occupants.

Heating, cooling or loss of water is more easily detected by occupants. Because the problem is so obvious, often the reaction is that everyone believes someone else has already reported this. Again many hours can pass before the problem is noticed and the maintenance company is called to attend to the problem. Luminous Smart Building technology connects to and monitors your critical infrastructure. The maintenance contractor can now be immediately informed when a fault occurs. The occupants can be forewarned of the inconvenience and that the problem is currently being fixed. When everything is working again Luminous can give the all clear.

Modern fire detection and EWIS systems allow for the automatic evacuation of a building in the event smoke or a fire is detected. However, when this is due to a faulty detector or simply someone cooking, it causes inconvenience and exposes the occupants to unnecessary risks inherent in every emergency evacuation. 

Luminous integration with the Fire Detection System means that all members of the Emergency Control Organisation (ECO) are informed in real time of the location of alarm source. This enables the ECO to intervene early and avoid evacuations due to false alarms.

The key to smarter facilities management is connecting your systems to give you all the information that is required to optimise your building. 

Luminous | Let Your Building Talk To You.

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Smart Buildings

What is a Smart Building?

Talk of Smart Buildings along with IOT (Internet of Things) is a popular topic these days but what does it mean? Each company you ask will give you a different definition. Most will agree that sophisticated smart buildings will connect to and monitor all critical infrastructures. Optimising HVAC systems to minimise energy usage and improve comfort is just a starter. They also promise to allow you to go beyond reactive maintenance and move towards predictive maintenance.

What about my building?

Unfortunately, the vast majority of buildings under management are not smart but nevertheless still contain a huge investment in critical infrastructure that could benefit enormously from some added ‘intelligence’. Occupants can be inconvenienced when things go wrong with lift systems, security access systems or pumps. Disaster can strike if your fire system is faulty or your technician simply forgot to activate the fire panel after his bi-monthly testing.

Connectivity and communication is at the heart of a smart building. A building where you and your staff are no longer burdened with the task of continually monitoring every aspect of the building’s critical infrastructure and still missing critical adverse events that negatively impact on the security and safety of occupants.

A smart building has equipment that is connected and actively monitored. In a modern networked building equipment can be easily connected but what does a facility manager in an old building do? This is where some clever Luminous™ technology can help you improve efficiency and security, while reducing costs and down time.

What is Luminous?

Connected Intelligence – Without Re-engineering

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Hotel Security in the Wake of Global Terrorism

For the foreseeable future, terrorism is a real threat and hotels are attractive targets. Hotels worldwide have experienced attacks in recent years and the trend is increasing. Even a usually safe destination like Sydney, Australia has not been immune as evidenced by the Martin Place Siege in 2014. The question many hotel managers are asking, is what can they do to improve guest safety?

Egypt is investing $32m in improved security measures at two Red Sea resorts in the wake of attacks there. However a recent article in HOTELS magazine argues that investing in higher resolution cameras or the addition of better trained security personnel is not the answer. The author advocates starting with an updated risk, threat and vulnerability analyses before embarking on any new or improved physical measures. However, the article points out that the most important part of any security plan is proper procedures and training. But how will your staff react in a real emergency when the adrenalin is flowing and will they remember the correct procedures for the situation?

The cornerstone of all emergency responses is clear and efficient communication. The quicker a security team is alerted to a situation and can respond, the better the outcome will be. Immediately giving clear instructions to staff and guests, either publicly (public address system) or discretely (telephone/mobile), means minimising the risk of panic, injury or worse. The problem faced by large facilities like hotels, is that while procedures are well documented, the associated communication is largely left to someone calling the appropriate staff. This process is fraught with risk and unavoidable delays. It can be as simple as not knowing who to call or someone not answering their phone, and any miscommunication will only exacerbate the situation leading to a slow and potentially chaotic situation.

The answer lies in an innovative solution that allows an organisation to automate those critical initial communications in response to a specific incident. Mobilising the security team, informing staff and giving clear verbal instructions to guests in their native language now takes just seconds and not minutes. Key staff are now free to monitor and manage the response, rather than be left wondering if they have followed the correct procedure or missed something critical. The equation is simple: Time saved = Lives saved.

Luminous Smart Building technology achieves this by integrating the telephone system (PBX), the check-in/out system (PMS), as well the security/access control and fire detections systems in a hotel. Then for any given incident Luminous allows you to define who will be contacted and how. Its power and sophistication means that it can make hundreds of simultaneous phone calls, as well as utilising other communication channels like SMS, email, smartphone apps or PA systems. All with full acknowledgement, audit trail and real time monitoring. And Luminous is working 24x7, giving your staff and guests the same support and at 2:00 in the morning or 2:00 in the afternoon.

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