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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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