Smart facilities management crucial to Singapore’s digitisation drive
By Ong Kai Kiat September 5, 2017
- Smart management would lower costs and conservancy charges
- Calls for close collaboration between the government and private sector
IN THE SME Go Digital briefing by the Infocomm Media Development Authority of Singapore (IMDA), much emphasis was placed smart facilities management amid the push for digitisation.
Preceding the address by IMDA CEO Tan Kiat How (pic, above), EY made a presentation on the importance and application of smart facilities management in Singapore.
Yuhua leads the charge
Smart facilities management is an important tool for Singapore to manage the twin trends of ageing housing estates and an ageing population.
The Yuhua estate in the Jurong East district is seen to be leading the charge when it comes to smart facilities by the Housing Development Board (HDB). HDB is known for using its four-pronged approach of smart planning, smart environment, smart estate and smart living which involves data capturing and analysis.
Yuhua is planned in such a way that it is possible for the authorities to capture environmental information such as temperature and humidity in real time. This information can then be made available to the general public and businesses. For example, an ice-cream seller can choose to move his van to a place that is experiencing higher temperatures to meet the residents’ demand.
Other usage includes energy management where solar panels would capture the sunlight and distribute it to the system. In this way, HDB can cut down on electricity costs for the estates which will reduce conservancy charges. The smart management of waste removal and water usage monitoring will play important roles.
Over in the US
Outside of Singapore, San Diego was heralded as an example of good implementation in terms of smart street lamps which Singapore should learn from. The smart lamps are connected to the Internet of Things sensor platform as part of the city’s digital infrastructure.
EY noted that San Diego has saved significantly on its energy bill since the implementation of smart street lamps.
The sensors on their street lamps also help to provide hurricane warnings and allow first responders to reach emergency location faster. In addition, roads and pedestrian crossings that require improvements are picked up by the sensors. These sensors provide anonymous data which will be given to developers to create apps that would be useful to their communities.
The EY call was for the government and companies to come together to create a Smart Nation where the power of networks, data and infocomm technologies are brought together to solve problems and create business opportunities from transport to water management.
The public-private collaboration is possible in the areas of talent, research, cybersecurity, innovation and culture.
Facilities management transformation roadmap
Facilities Management is one area which the Ministry of National Development (MND) is pushing hard to implement in Singapore through their transformation roadmap. The targeted sub-sectors include cleaning, security, landscaping, lift maintenance, building maintenance and organisational support.
The MND envisions a future where there will be no security guards and cleaners in condominiums in Singapore.
Instead, smart cameras will be able to detect residents through facial recognition and the gate or car gantries will open for them automatically. Cleaning robots will replace human cleaners and Singaporeans can then re-skill for higher value jobs.
Data analytics, workflow automation and real-time monitoring will be the norm for facilities management vendors.
MND expects higher productivity and efficiencies with a leaner workforce. MND is also moving towards Outcome-Based Contracting and they are working with industry associations to encourage such a framework.
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