In February 2017, BGIS completed the construction of its Remote Command Center (RCC). Located on the premises of its head office in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, the RCC makes it possible for BGIS to provide 24/7 service, support and technical resources to clients – through remote connectivity.
In order to help manage costs and optimize operational performance at the site level, BGIS has formed a strategic partnership with 2 companies: an energy intelligence software provider, EnerNOC, and smart building solutions provider, ENTOUCH. This partnership allows BGIS to integrate real-time energy monitoring, fault detection, and remote control capabilities into its full-service facilities management platform.
In commercial buildings, issues like faulty HVAC equipment, inefficient startup and shutdown procedures, as well as overlooked weekend and holiday scheduling issues, can often go unnoticed or unaddressed. This can result in driving up energy costs and leading to increased maintenance and capital expenses to replace faulty equipment.
While improving efficiency has a major positive financial and operational impact on any client’s business, it is important that these measures are implemented without disrupting day-to-day operations at the sites or compromising the customer experience. With that in mind, a successful approach requires both the visibility to identify opportunities to improve energy efficiency, and the ability to make site-level adjustments remotely and in real time.
BGIS’s RCC service offering provides clients with real-time monitoring and control of building HVAC and lighting systems. The data collected by building automation systems, smart equipment sensors, and baseboard and lighting controllers deployed at the customer’s sites is transmitted in small data packets via a secured cellular network to a web-based portal. Dedicated analysts located at the BGIS remote command center utilize the web-portal to view the buildings’ energy metering and control data points and receive automated alerts, notifications, and recommended actions to improve efficiency. With continuous monitoring and remote control and triage capabilities, BGIS can take a proactive approach to building optimization and facilities maintenance and promptly dispatch qualified resources when clients experience issues at their facilities.
The technology enables BGIS analysts to receive an alert from any customer site, log it into the system, create a work order, and using the Agilis GPS system within the BGIS technician fleet, push it to the on-call technician in that particular region: all without any clicks, drags, phone calls and overabundance of time, risk and resources.
“One of the less obvious benefits to having the RCC is the ability to quantify the utility consumption/usage data and present solutions to our clients, allowing them to save on operating expenses” says Nuno Duarte, VP Professional Services, BGIS.
A pilot project was recently undertaken for a select group of retail banking sites managed by BGIS on behalf of a customer with thousands of locations across North America. BGIS leveraged this solution to achieve an average of 20% in energy cost savings across the properties involved in the project, with some sites reporting savings as high as 35%.
The pilot project delivered value in a matter of days. With these tools at their disposal, BGIS helped to dramatically improve efficiency and effectively reduce costs at the site level by:
• Optimizing equipment shutdown procedures
• Eliminating simultaneous baseboard heating and HVAC cooling
• Aligning operational schedules with holidays and weekends
• Using remote triage and control capabilities to reduce service calls and time spent on maintenance
In the first few months of deployment, this approach identified an average of about 20% in annualized energy cost savings across the multisite pilot program.
In addition to energy cost savings, the remote control capabilities can help reduce operations and maintenance costs, while the added visibility will extend the useful life of critical equipment installed in the buildings.
Going forward, BGIS’ customer has agreed to expand the solution from the initial 10 sites involved in the pilot program to its entire North American portfolio. As a result of this success, BGIS now offers this solution to its entire commercial real estate customer base.
The BGIS RCC offering is a comprehensive approach to not only improve energy efficiency, but also to reduce operational, maintenance, and capital expenses for its customers— all while minimizing disruption at the site level. Additionally, the RCC is also capable of monitoring Business Continuity Planning (BCP) issues that could impact basic operations, such as critical infrastructure malfunctions; logistics interruptions due to national and local security complications; and weather.
“We are at a point where we can utilize predictive technologies and deliver service, maintenance and asset management proactively to our clients” says Gord Hicks, Chief Executive Officer, BGIS. “Add to that the positive impact this has on the reduction of carbon emissions and it’s a win/win.”