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Building Smart and Social Buildings

Part 1: Internet of Things Can Enable Smart Facility Environmental Controls

Part 2: Using Social Media For Facility Maintenance, Emergency Response

Part 3: Smart Building Systems Beyond HVAC


Using Social Media For Facility Maintenance, Emergency Response

By Adam Crowe - August 2014 - Building Automation


Direct social media monitoring is another strategy facility managers can use to help improve the efficiency and effectiveness of building operations. While this type of function is typically thought to be the limited purview of communicators and marketing officials, it has and will continue to be an excellent source of customer feedback. The beneficial thing about many social media networks like Twitter is that you can “listen” to those systems with minimal outward engagement (e.g., messages do not have to be posted). There are numerous free tools like Tweetdeck or Hootsuite that allow for certain keywords, geo-location tags, and specific users to be followed or observed digitally. By actively listening on social media systems, facility managers could conceivably see trends in the comments or activities that might trigger environmental, physical, or security changes within their facilities.

For example, in the most mundane example, if numerous individuals have tweeted that the room, office, or suite they are in is too cold or hot, a facility manager could make adjustments before receiving any formal complaints or cascading the issue into other areas responsibility. This is one of the primary concerns of individuals who work, learn, and train in shared occupancy spaces. While facility managers will never be able to appease each person’s individual comfort conditions, social media systems could allow for trends or patterns to emerge that should clarify whether complaints are of an individual concern or comprehensive in nature.

This kind of observation might also quickly identify more significant issues such as broken faucets, leaking ceilings, unclean areas, or other building conditions that would potentially need quick resolution to minimize any additional risk to the building structure, sustainability, or continued occupancy.

On the other end of the spectrum, serious safety events and security breaches will be reported early and often via these social media systems and ultimately provide real-time information which would be critical for facility managers and ultimately public safety officials. In the safety example, if this information is provided via social media, there is an increasing chance that there will be pictures and videos of how people are responding and where there may be issues such as congested evacuation routes or individuals with physical limitations who are unable to evacuate via primary routes.




Building Smart and Social Buildings

Part 1: Internet of Things Can Enable Smart Facility Environmental Controls

Part 2: Using Social Media For Facility Maintenance, Emergency Response

Part 3: Smart Building Systems Beyond HVAC


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