Data and digitalisation open doors to the future
Data and digitalisation provide means of improving the productivity of the real estate and construction sector.
Digitalisation in support of the construction and real estate sector
We want to be at the forefront of changing and developing the management of the construction and real estate sector to be data-driven. At Granlund, we think that data and digital tools serve all real estate and construction sector parties from investors and developers to property users and maintenance staff.
We have been designing buildings for more than 60 years and are familiar with their technology. The software and information systems we have developed are well established in construction design and property maintenance.
Digitalisation is the path to productivity improvement
Data and digitalisation produce hardly any added value by themselves, but they are efficient ways of improving the productivity of construction and property maintenance. When information flows and is digitally managed at all stages of the property’s life cycle, clear cost savings can be achieved, the efficiency and scheduling of planning and construction can be improved, production can be enhanced and maintenance processes can be made more efficient.
Divergent interests and the fragmented operating field are among the challenges of the sector
Even today, the digital lifecycle of a property can extend from design to demolition. In reality, there are different organisations at different stages of the lifecycle, and responsibility changes several times. Due to the fragmented operating field, there are discontinuities at different stages of the lifecycle, and data does not move optimally.
The wide range of parties involved, different earning models, long subcontracting chains in construction and the lack of common standards are slowing down the development of the sector towards a common digital ecosystem. However, that is where we are heading.
Aiming at a common digital ecosystem
We strongly believe that a common digital ecosystem based on a few global standards will emerge in the real estate sector already in the near future. The project’s data models and other data warehouses supporting them would be integrated directly into the digital platform.
We want the MEP Design solutions designed by Granlund to be passed on through building information models to contractors, who use the BIM data for their contract calculations and throughout the construction phase efficiently. After the completion of the project, the data can be utilised by different user groups during the property’s lifecycle.
Smart Building is coming, are you ready?
We believe that artificial intelligence will be an integral part of the design and maintenance of completely normal buildings. Granlund is actively working on the Smart Building concept that aims to develop more energy-efficient and healthy buildings using machine learning and the data collected on the properties.
The Smart Building supports the user of the premises and automatically takes the user’s needs into account based on the number and profiles of the people in the building, or based on people’s preferences. The best result is achieved when smart solutions have already been taken into account in the target specification of the project.
User experience grows in importance in a smart building
Energy saving will continue to be among the most important goals, but people’s user experience will be at least as important. When a building is genuinely smart, its user experience is radically different. The well-being of users, ease of use of the property and the property’s productivity are at the core of the Smart Building concept.
Granlund helps customers to identify the features of the building that both create value for their business and meet the needs of future users of the premises. Consulting users at an early stage helps understand what functions they expect from the property and how these functionalities affect, for example, the MEP Design.
Pioneers in information modelling
Despite diverse challenges, the construction sector is continuously taking positive steps. A model example of success is information model-based design, which until just over fifteen years ago seemed too laborious and utopian for many operators to become standard practice.
We have used building information modelling in our projects since the 1990s and, nowadays, we use coordinated BIM models to support property maintenance, in addition to construction sites. For example, our proprietary property management software Granlund Manager can use the building information model from the project design phase.
Our designers use the best digital tools, BIM and design software available. We create building information models with Revit, MagiCAD and CADMATIC software and complement them with our proprietary information management solutions, such as the Equipment data management software.
We have also revised our data modelling processes by gradually moving to the use of cloud-based services in normal design operations. Cloud-based data modeling facilitates an integrated, yet location-independent design platform for both modellers and users. The final product of heavy-duty data modeling software, 3D models and 2D drawings can be shared for browser-based viewing without installing separate software.
Digital Twin visualises data and makes it easier to manage
Managing the huge amount of data generated by different data sources of a property manually or using separate computer-based systems is a demanding task. Digital Twin is a long-awaited solution for building information management.
Digital Twin is a way to connect the physical and digital worlds through sensors and a visual 3D or 2D model. For example, the twin can display the energy consumption of premises using different colours or it can alert with symbols if maintenance is needed in any location. Read more about Granlund Manager’s Digital Twin solution!
Digitalisation and data support construction projects
In construction projects, we are increasingly talking about the importance of creating a shared overview for all parties involved in the project, which is particularly emphasised in the case of large projects with a lot of moving parts. Without digital tools, project data management would be impossible in today’s demanding projects.
Databases and data models make it easier to share information, and they keep the project partners constantly updated of project progress.
The project phase lays down the foundation for digital lifecycle management
The degree of digitalisation of the property can be influenced already in the project planning phase. Both new construction projects and renovation projects should take into account the needs of the maintenance phase and think about how digitalisation can be seen in the following areas:
- System choices
- Equipment data management
- Maintenance ERP
- Maintenance documentation
- Migration of the information model to maintenance
- Data flow
Digital lifecycle management can also be supported through digital handover, operational assurance and digital monitoring of warranty periods during the project phase.
Digital property management
Data and digital solutions make it possible to achieve higher quality with less. It is easier to make the right decisions on the basis of reliable data.
The benefits of using data can be seen, for example, in cost savings in energy consumption, the reliable operation of engineering systems and the efficient management of the service network. The managed condition of the buildings and effective condition management also have impacts on the cash flow and rental income of properties.
Digital systems effectively link users, owners and service providers and make maintenance more proactive and economical. Monitoring consumption, conditions and engineering systems in real time can minimise costly emergency repairs and make all operations change from responsive to proactive.
Business intelligence makes property maintenance more efficient
Business intelligence is about making decisions based on the right data. The prerequisites for managing properties with business intelligence are achieved when digital tools, operating processes and the management system work.
The digitalisation of operations requires strategic planning starting with the setting of objectives. The property owner’s organisation should first consider how the collected data will be used to manage its own operations. These decisions affect both the choice of indicators and information systems.
Usually, the challenge in using data is not the volume of data, but its quality. In business intelligence and digital property management, it is not not so much a question of the data itself and its collection, but what is done with the data. It should be possible to refine the data so that it leads to a better understanding and answers the question of ‘why’ something happens. The development of operations can begin once the root causes have been identified.
How to succeed in digitalising property maintenance
At the time of the investment decision, it is also good to stop and think about how the business intelligence solution to be built will serve the possible expansion of operations. You will successfully digitalise your operations when you ensure that at least these four conditions are met:
1. Data is the fuel of digitalisation. Be prepared for increasing volumes of data as operations are digitalised. The volume of data is not essential, its quality is. It is necessary to identify the essential data from the huge volume of it and aim for high quality with regard to said data.
2. The chosen technologies are good enough and allow the flow of data and its collection in the correct format.
3. In addition to automatic sensors, data should also be collected from people. The way in which data is recorded must therefore be taken into account in the planning of the processes.
4. Operational processes are well specified and the management system supports the utilisation of data, and the ways and responsibilities of utilisation are clear.
Data management grows in importance
The more data is collected, the more important data management becomes. There are numerous examples, for example: the designation of sensors to measure the conditions of premises. If the sensors are named differently in different premises and properties, it will result in monitoring the conditions of each location separately. In the case of hundreds of properties and thousands of locations, the management of the data mass can become difficult.
Diverse scorecards are built for the analysis of the collected data, making it possible to screen for indicators and deviations from the data mass. The Granlund Manager software works as a concrete tool of business intelligence. Our experts will be happy to help with the deployment of the tool and the building of a business intelligence ecosystem.
Would you like discuss the topic in more detail? Contact us
Our other strenghts
Energy has been at the core of our operations throughout our existence of more than 60 years. We have extended our carbon handprint to the entire lifecycle of properties.
Responsibility is a key part of Granlund’s operations. We can also help you to be one of the good guys: responsibility is incorporated into all of our services.
New business models, refined collaboration, modern IT solutions and strong lifecycle management models are needed to improve productivity in the construction sector.
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