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The Costs of Comfort: How Much a Degree Will Run You

Use the three degree rule to manage the cost of comfort

A single degree of temperature can build up the costs of your heating, and building operations, significantly? Learn “the three degree rule,” and learn the true cost of comfort.

 

With some really cold days upon us, there’s a lingering temptation for tenants to continuously pump up the temperature on your building’s thermostat. But, as a facility manager—responsible for both comfort and costs—how does such a decision end up impacting the bottom line? Read more

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Facility Manager Notebook: Your ROI Cheat Sheet

Your ROI cheat sheet!

 

Maintaining the buildings people work in and occupy can be costly, so here’s how to maximize your ROIs

 If you’re an energy manager, a facility manager, or a professional somewhere in-between, you will be asked to make sure the services you sign up for carry some sort of Return on Investment, or “ROI.” This can be a tedious, number-crunching task where you can lose track of the big picture: getting as much savings as possible. We’ve outlined some tips and tricks that will get you the best possible ROI: 

 

  • Thinking Small may have a Big Payoff — 

According to several experts in this piece by facilitiesnet, “Everyone is looking for a large payout.” They argue against this idea that you have to have a single big ROI within operating costs. Try looking for several smaller ROI opportunities to fully maximize how much you spend on energy and utilities. By finding several small applicable return on investments,  you can “snowball” these savings into a very large cutback on operational costs. 

 

  • Use a calculator that uses relies on relevant data — 

ROI calculators are running rampant on the internet lately. Some don’t even utilize current figures and numbers when going through their calculations. Our calculator is backed with IFMA, along with several others out there.  With a little fact-checking, you can determine if a software, system, or product will actually produce the ROI it promises. Some common sense and gut feeling can be the difference between a good investment and a bad investment. 

 

  • Maximize the physical space, go smart — 

Smart buildings provide huge return on investments. Their ability to recognize energy expenditure provides millions in savings. However, not every company and organization can afford to move to a state-of-the-art facility. Smart buildings are more than just tech-infused super structures. Find simple ways to let natural light occupy your spaces; the types of windows and building materials affect temperature and comfort levels immensely. Some as simple as changing the layout of an office can go a long way in maximizing the utilities you already have. Think “smarter, not bigger” when it comes to finding ROIs.

 

  • Train your occupants on how your buildings work — 

Simply educating the people that use your buildings comes a long way in saving on operating costs. One person may adjust a thermostat or setting panel that controls HVAC units in other spaces within the building. Another person then “combats” that with their own adjustment. A proper overview of the building functions (within limit of occupant control), provides another simple, easy way to build ROI. 

 

What other tricks have you found that offer a way to capitalize on an ROI opportunity? 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Buildings, their lifespans, and why they’re “Time-Tested”

nycskyline

Buildings are unique in that they decay, age, and most importantly, adapt over time. Why is that?

 

Buildings are like the human body—they emerge from construction full of promise and potential. And yet, over time, systems become a bit more rickety, slower to respond, and generally less efficient. In such circumstances, the facility manager must play doctor, diagnosing the building’s issue and finding a suitable course of treatment.

 

But, why do buildings fail? Why are maintenance and system curation always part of the job? Read more

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CrowdComfort’s “Need to Read” Before 2016

bookmark-27138_1280

 

2016 is right around the corner. 

 

Our team here at CrowdComfort has hit some large milestones throughout 2015. These are instances of growth and improvement in all categories; one of those categories being thought leadership. Below is a list of all of CrowdComfort’s “must reads” before 2015 is over.  Read more

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Facility Management Holiday Gift List Three: Miscellaneous Goodness

giftpackage

 

In part three of our Facility Management Holiday Gift List, we decided to take a break from the usual stuff, tools and building services, to focus on the personalization of your office. Let’s look at all the gizmos and toys that could make your working environment a little more comfortable, or charismatic.

 

Let’s dive in. Read more

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Operational Costs: Where to Save

sticky-notes-important

Virtually every facility manager has been faced with a similar dilemma at some point in their career: how to cut costs without injecting discomfort or inconvenience to tenants’ lives. But, in order to cut costs, one must first understand the root of building expenses and where potential exists for change.

Read more

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Winterizing your Facility: The Starting Point

winterizing facility

 

For most of the country, the transition from fall to winter has actually been relatively mild this year—a great reprieve after last year’s “Polar Vortex.” But, if you think we’re out of the woods, think again: meteorologists are already dubbing the term “Gozilla El Nino” to describe the weather patterns ahead of us. You better step it up in your facility management so you can limit the damage that winter brings, especially after historic highs of snowfall in Boston, Chicago, and other northern areas of the country. 

 

With such rough conditions around the bend, it’s a great time to make sure that your building has been sufficiently “winterized.” Doing so not only improves the comfort of tenants, but can also prevent unnecessary wear and tear (thus limiting the scope of spring’s repairs). Read more

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Facility Management Holiday Gift List Two: Security Tools

giftpackage

 

In part two of our “Holiday Gift List” for Facility Managers, we’ll take a look at some of the security systems that could turn your building into a paradise, and make your the job for building professionals a whole lot easier.

 

You should treat yourself, as the holiday season is about you, as well as the property you manage. Let’s dive in.
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The Attributes of a Human Sensor

painting of high-tech technology

 

The Human Sensor Network™ is a powerful tool. It allows the experiential content from a human being’s day-to-day to be quantifiable; data that betters human experiences, because it understands what human beings were doing before. At CrowdComfort, we believe the human sensor is key in bettering buildings, and bettering technology. 

 

“Human Sensing” is a concept that is extremely fresh in the minds of innovators, but has the potential to advance technologies like never before. For example, this study done by Irene Gengler published by the Sensory Testing Service, highlights the benefits that human sensing can provide businesses. 

 

“Human measurements are variable, but can be made more reliable if appropriate methods and procedures are used. As with any testing, resources are needed for good measurements. Sensory data can facilitate good decisions on a variety of issues, and the improvement in the quality of the information collected will have long-term value for product decisions.” 

 

So a Human Sensor Network has the aforementioned potential, and there are a lot of skills required in establishing a strong network. However, we first have to look at the attributes of the most important part of a Human Sensor Network: 

The people. 
Read more

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The Human Sensor versus the Facility Manager

Businessman with rimmed glasses looking at computer.

 

We here at CrowdComfort talk a lot about the human sensor, or the general concept that people are the best evaluators of a facility’s working conditions. What about the evaluation of the people behind the buildings? The human sensor also acts as the exemplar evaluator of facility managers. In a previous post, we outlined how the facilities themselves can be “rated” through tools like Yelp and Foursquare. So, what attributes can the “human sensor” evaluate on the building managers themselves?

 

If you need a reference on the skills and qualifications, look no further than here, as the abilities of a facility manager are the backbone of how they can receive criticism from human sensors.

 

Let’s dive in then.

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