The latest RICS Facilities Management Survey has shown that despite inflationary pressures on the market, a concerted effort to improve how data is used within buildings can help to improve energy use and support businesses in decision-making.
In a survey of facilities managers, service providers and FM consultancies, more than three-quarters of respondents feel that data is currently not used as effectively as it could be within the FM industry. As demand for services continues to increase and workloads are expected to rise, firms and organisations need to better understand how their building is performing for people and to support decisions about energy management.
The quarterly survey shows once again an increase in workloads across all sectors. Interestingly, there has been an accelerated growth in serviced business space, as businesses welcome back more employees to the workplace. The net balance returned the highest reading (+52%) in three-quarters and from lows of -6% Q1 2021.
Healthcare continues to be the strongest performer across all the sectors, as demand for services continues to rise in line with Covid-19 cases. At the other end of the scale, as more businesses close, retail saw a decline.
Looking ahead, 85% of respondents expect workloads to rise over the course of 2022, with sustainability management set to be the area of FM to experience the strongest growth. Respondents are also optimistic for the future of workloads in workplace and relocation management, but at the other end of the spectrum, catering is expected to continue struggling.
Influenced by the recent sharp increase in energy prices, survey respondents are increasingly taking the view that energy management will attract strong investment over the next year. Some 63% of respondents believe this to be the fastest-growing area of sustainability as they look ahead – up from 50% in Q4.
Paul Bagust, RICS head of property standards, said: “The latest survey underlines the important role that data has in helping our buildings adapt to global shocks. By creating consistency on cost elements for workspaces, people and technology, a coherent framework, such as International Building Operation Standard (IBOS) can help firms and organisations to better understand how their building is performing and optimise the value for all concerned.
“Just looking at how countries across the world are assessing their current energy uses, a better understanding of the data that a building produces can help organisations make informed decisions and save energy where it’s needed.”
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