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Peace of mind for building owners and residents

YIT’s remote monitoring service handles not only the day-to-day management of properties, but also generates detailed reports on areas such as energy usage and provides 24/7 remote diagnostics to prevent anticipated system failures. A recently launched mobile capabilities project is intended to bring even greater operational efficiency and faster response times.
YIT Corporation

Modern buildings contain an increasingly extensive internal network of fire alarm, heating, air-conditioning, lighting, and automation systems. Keeping a check on systems that operate 24 hours a day and maintaining them appropriately is a challenge, as maintenance personnel are often on-site only during the day Monday to Friday. Equipment failure can cause considerable damage if monitoring does not also take place during the night and at weekends.

Property owners and managers also often have little real access to information on how their systems are performing. While there is normally no problem in getting information on basics such as general energy consumption, owners rarely know what is responsible for surges in usage, or which equipment is generating the highest service and maintenance requirement – without digging deep into a building’s records.

A better way to manage buildings

YIT’s Remote Monitoring Centre offers a fast, safe, and secure way to monitor and control building systems, manage alarms and energy usage, and generate comprehensive performance reports.

Analysing alarm data and optimising system processes can help cut maintenance costs and reduce the need for on-site visits. Reports on system performance and equipment failures provide customers with valuable information on how well existing systems are operating and where to focus future development efforts.

Responding to alarms, remote troubleshooting, and dispatching service teams where needed are an integral part of the services offered.

YIT’s new mobile capabilities project is designed to enhance the efficiency of field operations and shorten response times.

When an equipment failure occurs, the alarm is transferred automatically to the monitoring centre, where experts connect to the building to analyse the problem and see whether the situation can be corrected remotely. If a remote solution is impractical, the monitoring centre alerts maintenance personnel.

Alarm data and service visit information is added to customer reports automatically. Customers can access these reports via the Internet through an easy-to-use browser-based interface – and review information on the number of alarms and service visits over a given time frame and for a given building, as well as the reasons behind equipment failures and how quickly service personnel responded to problems.

Alarms do not always give a true indication of possible upcoming problems, however. Building systems can appear to be running normally, even when monitored 24/7, but can be performing at sub-optimum levels – running equipment around the clock when it is only really needed during office hours, for example, or at excessively high loadings, thereby generating unnecessary energy usage.

This is why the YIT remote monitoring centre carries out checks on a regular basis to ensure that all systems are operating as they should. This helps anticipate upcoming problems and ensures that lighting and air-conditioning systems are only switched on when building occupants need or expect them.

Adding more mobility and productivity

To further enhance its remote monitoring service, YIT recently launched a project to extend its mobile capabilities.

The first stage of the project will focus on enabling the work of maintenance personnel to be planned and managed using mobile terminals, and facilitating mobile reporting on what work has been done where and when and inputting information that may be of use when planning future measures.

The second stage will add material management functions, such as vehicle fleet management and supply ordering, preventive maintenance, updating customer reports, and recording the number of hours worked in the field by service personnel.

These new mobile capabilities will be rolled out across Finland by mid-2008, and are intended to improve the planning of maintenance work and resource usage, and improve productivity by reducing time lost while waiting for an assignment and increasing the number of billable hours per employee. And for customers, the improved system will speed up response times.

YIT has developed advanced, yet easy-to-use software to drive its new mobile capabilities.

End-to-end services

YIT offers technical infrastructure investment and upkeep services for the property and construction sector, industry, and telecommunications across the entire life-cycle of projects in the Nordic region, the Baltic countries, and Russia. Net sales totalled €3.3 billion in 2006, and personnel some 22,000.

Operations are divided into three business segments: Building Systems, Construction Services, and Industrial and Network Services.

YIT Building Systems’ end-to-end building system services and systems cover: property maintenance and facility management, telecommunications technology, industrial services and system deliveries, and building equipment systems, such as sprinklers, HEPACE (heating, plumbing, air-conditioning and electricity) and automation, access control and security, as well as design, contracting, maintenance, and servicing.

> Tapio Lehtonen
(Published in HighTech Finland 2008)