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Smart Washrooms – a Smarter Approach to Maintenance Costs

25 March 2022

Smart Washrooms, a Smarter Approach to Maintenance Costs

Maintenance is an essential part of the upkeep of a building, ensuring it operates at long-term, optimum efficiency and keeping occupants safe. But it can represent a significant portion of the costs occurring within a building’s life, particularly within washrooms. Through the use of smart washroom technologies, and adapting to a predictive rather than reactive approach to maintenance, the financial burden can be greatly reduced.

Building maintenance – a costly issue

During the life cycle of an average building, costs related to maintenance largely exceed the initial construction costs. From the very beginning of the design phase, strategically addressing maintenance is essential to ensure the sustainability of any project. With the introduction of smart buildings in the 2000’s, developers quickly realised that innovative technologies and IoT could drastically reduce operating and maintenance costs. Employing automated operations impacted everything from design and construction to how occupants engaged with the space. Smart systems meant that for the first time, data – which was previously unobtainable – could be collected and analysed allowing proactive maintenance of equipment. IoT-enabled devices provide real-time, statistical data which helps maintenance teams make tactical, informed decisions. Potential problems in performance can be detected before equipment becomes damaged or fails, and technicians don’t waste time looking for information to fix the problem. They can act before it causes expensive issues, and before the customer notices, maintaining optimum efficiency and user satisfaction. And with the use of sensors on equipment, maintenance activities can be automatically programmed according to actual use rather than at reactive intervals – an approach that is a lot more cost-effective to manage.

A predictive approach to washroom maintenance

The washroom is one area of a building where the application of smart, IoT driven technology can offer enormous maintenance benefits. Comprised of a system driven by sensors, Smart Restooms are operated in a more efficient way on many levels. As well as obvious energy and operational efficiencies, the use of real-time monitoring means that resources such as air quality, occupancy levels, water quality, consumable usage and cleaning schedules can be monitored and maintained at optimal levels. 

Smart Water metering systems

The use of washroom Smart Water metering systems is perhaps one of the best examples. By detecting the smallest change in predicted water levels, via machine learning based on previous patterns of water usage, leaks can be identified, water supply shut off, and maintenance teams alerted immediately. From sensors detecting drips in taps, something that would otherwise go unnoticed, to toilet sensors registering continuous flush, the systems save money in lost water and can prevent long-term, costly damage. When an anomaly is detected, the smart technology sends an immediate alert to maintenance teams who can investigate the cause, preventing issues such as burst pipes before they happen, and avoiding the significant and expensive damage that such issues are likely to cause. Sensors can also detect an unplanned increase in water temperature, identifying potential issues with water heating systems and ensuring they are rectified at the earliest and cheapest opportunity. Smart Water metering can also detect over-consumption of water, allowing maintenance teams to make decisions about when and where to fit water saving devices like aerators and flow regulators, helping them make informed and sustainable maintenance decisions. Sensor-driven technology can be retrofit to many other aspects of a washroom, allowing a predictive approach to maintenance across the entire environment. From hand towels to soap dispensers, any interruption to normal usage levels is immediately brought to the management teams’ attention. As well as allowing cleaning and refilling schedules to be modified to the most efficient times, maintenance teams can be on the scene, fixing issues immediately and ensuring a continued, positive customer experience.

Long-term maintenance planning

The data from smart washroom systems can also help long-term maintenance forecasting and planning. By analyzing and understanding usage patterns, appropriate measures such as closing certain taps or cubicles that are most frequently used, to avoid over-use and promote a more even distribution, keeps equipment in peak condition. And data-driven analysis based on actual usage can also help routine maintenance checks to be planned more effectively. Rather than happening at fixed intervals leading to unnecessary maintenance checks, visits happen only when and where they are needed, ensuring maintenance budgets are tightly controlled. Building upkeep is costly, particularly in the washroom, but Smart Washroom systems offer significant, long-term savings through a predictive approach maintenance. Read more about how smart washroom increase savings.

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