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We have come to understand that there will probably never be a single off the shelf solution that satisfies a client's FMIS needs. Buildings are independently designed, they are not mass produced from some standard model. Systems that are designed to manage these facilities likewise need to be customized to meet the specifics of the building or campus in question.
Our approach to building facility management systems is to integrate COTS technology to meet the specific needs of our clients. We utilize standard utility monitoring devices to capture the consumption of water and energy—we do not build customized devices for this purpose. We take advantage of available CADD or BIM information in building our base building model—we do not build this information from scratch unless other data is not available. We utilize industry standard spatial mapping technology from Esri to form the glue that holds the data together. We utilize standard SQL-compliant database technology to store and analyze the data collected. And we have adopted the internet/intranet and standard browser technology as the delivery vehicle for supplying information to our customers.
The advantage to this approach is that our FMIS solutions are an integration of industry standard hardware and software architecture. What we do is build the information systems specifically to the needs of our client, and provide the necessary programming to deliver information to a variety of users (management, operations personnel, maintenance personnel) in the most convenient format. We install and integrate these COTS technologies to gather and monitor characteristics of the facility, analyze and report to the appropriate individuals the ongoing operational information, and provide tools to facilitate access to the information that operations personnel need to maintain the facility.
This approach necessitates customization of the interface, analysis tools, and the data system for each client. Spatial Systems Associates programming staff provides the consulting and coding expertise necessary to design and program these interfaces. Because our preferred delivery mechanism is the standard Internet/Intranet interface, very little training is necessary to get operations staff familiar with how to access the data that is incorporated into the system. Further, as browser technology continues to evolve, we anticipate moderate if any need to update the interfaces other than that required for enhanced functionality.