Steve Jobs—one of the 21st century’s quintessential technologists—offered a surprisingly humanistic vision of the future. “Technology is nothing,” he once remarked, “What’s important is that you have a faith in people, that they’re basically good and smart, and if you give them tools, they’ll do wonderful things with them.”
Bearing Jobs’ advice in mind, what new tools will shape our future? In terms of the building maintenance industry, several fascinating technology trends demand our attention. Robotic assistants, new eco-friendly products, remote facility management apps and more will revolutionize how we clean our buildings and public spaces. Let’s explore!
1. Massive Investment in Sustainable Solutions
The U.S. Green Building Council estimates that building owners will invest a mind-boggling $960 billion over the next six years to make buildings more environmentally friendly. Greener cleaning products can limit indoor air pollution and reduce exposure to chemical reagents. Companies (and their employees) enjoy health benefits. Building owners who invest in eco-conscious cleaning, meanwhile, can attract and keep higher caliber tenants.
2. Robots on the Rise
The International Federation of Robotics (IFR) estimates that over 2,550 cleaning robots will be put into service in 2017. That number is certain to soar over the years. New scanning/sonar technology and neural network computing are producing amazing results. For instance, advanced prototype robots can now clean surfaces with a level of sophistication that puts the impressive Roomba to shame. “Vertical robots” are opening new frontiers for façade maintenance. Automatic vacuums can automate cleaning tasks, access areas that are impossible for human workers to reach, and even double as mops.
3. The Rapid Rise of Machine to Machine (M2M) Technology
Imagine the following:
- A smart temperature sensor inside an HVAC system automatically adjusts the temperature, humidity and ambient lighting of an office before a single person walks through the door.
- An Automatic Guided Vehicle (AGVs) transports food, linens and other goods in a healthcare facility, with no supervision needed.
- Unmanned drones conduct property surveys of an industrial center, conveying instructions to correct anything out of place.
These technologies aren’t science fiction: they’re already science fact. When machines communicate directly and automatically with other machines, productivity improves, downtime decreases and revenue increases.
4. Mobile Facility Management Has Arrived
Building managers no longer need to be on site to measure and manipulate assets. They can perform key actions remotely, such as communicating real-time instructions to cleaning crews; restocking vending machines; and sending out urgent notices to groundkeepers, tenants and security teams.
5. LiFi is Lighting the Way
LiFi, known more formally as Light Fidelity, allows super-fast wireless network connectivity through LED lighting. Devices with LiFi capability can be incorporated into LED environments. By using LiFi, a facility can expand its network coverage, using existing lighting systems—no new infrastructure investment necessary.
6. Maintenance Workers Cheer New Ergonomic Solutions
Employers who want to keep their workers healthy are investing in ergonomic cleaning devices, such as backpack vacuums and automated floor scrubbers. Ergonomic tech promises to lower labor costs and turnover… and, more critically, make our industry more humane.
Building Maintenance Solutions (BMS) is a total facilities services contractor, providing clients with complete Janitorial and Maintenance Solutions servicing the areas of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut for over 12 years. BMS is committed to sustainable cleaning practices that create healthy, well-maintained work environments. Our vision is to partner with clients to provide efficient, high-quality and reliable services.
Our innovative approach to protecting your building investment sets us apart from other cleaning and maintenance providers. We pride ourselves in providing the highest quality services at the lowest possible cost.
Building Maintenance Solutions
Division of WOW! Cleaning Inc.
96-98 Fulton Street
White Plains, NY 10606