When examining the lifecycle of a design and construction project, it would be misleading to say a building or space asset is “finished” once handed over to an owner-operator or facility manager. In fact – according to iOFFICE + SpaceIQ’s Nick Stefanidakis – 80 percent of a building’s total cost of ownership occurs after construction is complete.
Architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) professionals are beginning to realize the substantial benefits rich attribute data collected during design and construction has on space and asset management post-handover. By implementing digitized and integrated workflows early in the project lifecycle, AEC teams are enabling owner-operators to manage their facilities efficiently and save drastically on ownerships costs, all while maintaining and operating healthy and sustainable spaces.
One company that is paving the way in the asset management and maintenance arena is iOFFICE + SpaceIQ—a leading facilities management solutions provider. iOFFICE + SpaceIQ recently announced a strategic alliance with design technology leader Autodesk. This highly anticipated collaboration is expected to take design, construction, and post-handover operation workflows and processes to new heights.
The GovDesignHub recently sat down with Nick Stefanidakis to learn more about the benefits this strategic alliance will bring to both company’s user bases, as well as discuss how digital transformation is leveraging the power of data to enhance the lifecycle of critical assets.
Here is what he had to say:
GovDesignHub (GDH): Can you tell our readers about iOFFICE + SpaceIQ? What different space management solutions and services does the company offer?
Nick Stefanidakis: iOFFICE + SpaceIQ – thinks about the market in two main categories. The first is centered on the workplace, focusing on corporate occupiers who are managing how the people – or employees – interact with their spaces.
For example, how do employees find resources that they need – whether it’s a desk or a service? We enable operators to put those tools into the hands of building occupants. And then how can they give the people who are responsible for the delivery of those services the tools to manage and optimize either the processes, the availability of space, and/or the type of space that’s needed to support the mission of the organization?
On the other hand, much of the market is concentrated on what it takes to operate a facility – so things like maintenance, space management, asset management and maintenance, performance monitoring, historical trends, etc.
We also get into some of the more tangential areas, such as lease administration and capital planning. This includes everything from asset condition assessment, cost evaluation to bring assets up to par, and then planning the actual project execution to bring those assets to the level where they need to be.
Together, iOFFICE + SpaceIQ solutions support our customers’ journey to provide healthy building and sustainability initiatives, which entails energy consumption management, utilization, and other environmental considerations that are becoming increasingly important to owner-operators and occupiers.
GDH: What are the benefits of the modernization and digital transformation of space and asset management? What are the significant workflow and operational changes between how things were done in the past versus working with fully digitized systems and solutions?
Nick Stefanidakis: I believe it all starts with asset inventory. Traditionally, when a building or a large project is completed, owner-operators and facility managers are literally given a big box of files. A box they have to carefully comb through to locate where all the asset and operator manuals are, so they can understand how to operate and maintain the facility.
“Now with the digital transformation…the initial handover process and experience has completely evolved, because we can leverage all of the rich building, infrastructure, and asset data that is generated throughout the planning, design, construction, and commissioning processes.” -Nick Stefanidakis
They’re very lucky if they get a complete list of all the assets and information they need. But it’s more likely that they will have to do tedious and time-consuming manual inventory, and go into the field to validate that they have all the necessary asset information.
Now with the digital transformation provided by Building Information Modeling, or “BIM”, the initial handover process and experience has completely evolved, because we can leverage all of the rich building, infrastructure, and asset data that is generated throughout the planning, design, construction, and commissioning processes. All of that data can be included in the digital model of the building which is delivered to the owner at handover.
And through our alliance with Autodesk, we can automate the process of putting that data into our operations platform with web and mobile applications facilities management and workplace operations. This is the real value of the rich attribute data that was collected during that design and construction process.
GDH: What are some of the largest challenges facing building and facility asset management today? How do iOFFICE + SpaceIQ solutions and products help solve these issues and maximize facility value and efficiency?
Nick Stefanidakis: I don’t think as an industry we’ve come far enough. There are still too many manual processes that have to be done.
The reality is owner-operators may have existing portfolios that are a mix of old and new construction. How do we reconcile that? At iOFFICE + SpaceIQ, we work hard to provide tools to field-verify and collect data and drawings easily into our operations systems. Even if an operator doesn’t have a 3D BIM model of the space with all the live interactive asset features, there’s still benefit to aggregating that data and managing it in a digital platform, like an integrated workplace management system (IWMS).
“If you take a step back and think about what’s happening in the world today with the pandemic, the way people are viewing their facilities is extremely different than it was two years ago.” -Nick Stefanidakis
That’s a big hurdle that I think folks are still dealing with. As we discussed, there is a lot of fantastic emerging technology that makes the handover process and experience seamless, which does a good job addressing new buildings and renovations. However owners and operators need tools that can manage their entire portfolios, both and existing and new with a consistent set of tools and processes.
Also, if you take a step back and think about what’s happening in the world today with the pandemic, the way people are viewing their facilities is extremely different than it was two years ago.
There was already momentum around the agile workplace, with people scheduling and sharing desks. For example, employees may choose to work in the office with Monday/Wednesday/Friday or Tuesday/Thursday schedules, which creates the opportunity to occupy 150 people in a space that only has a capacity of 120, because not everybody is in the office on the same days.
Pre-pandemic, we saw that was a growing trend. And now, most organizations are facing this reality today.
“We’re seeing a significant shift in mindset that is moving away from the idea that an office is just a place where you work at a desk. It’s now a space of collaboration.” -Nick Stefanidakis
Then you must determine the long-term impact on portfolios. There are a lot of organizations that are faced with empty or very low occupancy buildings. And they’re stuck with them until their leases expire. We have the tools that allow us to look hard at these portfolios then help plan what needs to be done from a portfolio planning and optimization perspective that will enable the efficient use of a space.
We’re seeing a significant shift in mindset that is moving away from the idea that an office is just a place where you work at a desk. It’s now a space of collaboration. We now have a better understanding of how people work together, so that when they do come into the office it’s a productive use of time.
It’s been an amazing transformation that we will continue to see as the COVID-19 pandemic starts to slow down.
GDH: iOFFICE + SpaceIQ recently announced a strategic investment by Autodesk. What are the top key benefits that this investment will bring to iOFFICE + SpaceIQ?
Nick Stefanidakis: iOFFICE + Space IQ has been an Autodesk developer for years, so our products are already integrated today. What I think the biggest benefit is going to be is the acceleration of integrating and delivering more solutions for post-occupancy.
Autodesk is very focused and has been extremely successful in the design through construction arena. But 80 percent of a building’s total cost of ownership occurs after construction. And that 30-to-35-year lifespan of a building is really where the majority of costs and potential savings are incurred.
So, making incremental changes in the design and construction phases based on existing conditions and how the organization utilizes and operates their spaces today, and then incorporating that into future designs will make the handover process more powerful. And it will provide richer data to facilitate more efficient operations after occupancy.
The long-term benefit to the owner-operators of those facilities is extremely valuable, because we can begin to chip away at that 80 percent of looming post-construction costs. Through initiatives such as our partnership, Autodesk is very interested in being able to deliver solutions that are more engaged in that post-design and construction process.
GDH: How could this partnership benefit iOFFICE + SpaceIQ and Autodesk users? How does the partnership benefit an owner-operator’s occupancy, operations, and facility performance workflows?
Nick Stefanidakis: The world is continuing to shift towards modernization and digital transformation. Today, you hear a lot about digital twins, the autonomous building, and generative design solutions that really optimize the utilization of space.
“The partnership with Autodesk provides a lot of benefit to our existing users, and it extends the value proposition of Autodesk Design Construction solutions during operation.” -Nick Stefanidakis
By partnering with Autodesk, we are now able to access valuable technology resources, Autodesk’s common data platform, and the API’s that they’re developing. All of which we can leverage across our solutions to enable richer data access and better collaboration between project stakeholders in the overall lifecycle of a building.
Whether it’s during design or construction – or even later on during operations – I believe that the partnership with Autodesk provides a lot of benefit to our existing users, and it extends the value proposition of Autodesk Design Construction solutions during operation. Our customers will also benefit from better tools and more interactive solutions and visualizations of their buildings and floor plans. It really drives additional value to that customer base.
Something we’ve observed—across both Autodesk and iOFFICE + SpaceIQ’s userbases—is a greater focus and prioritization around energy, social, and governance (ESG) requirements, healthy buildings, and well buildings. When we’re able to provide better tools that are more aware of the impact that design and construction phase decisions have on future operations, we are better prepared to help organizations reduce or conserve in terms of ESG requirements. That could include the impacts those early decisions have on future energy utilization or carbon emissions.
With our tools, we’re able to track that data and provide better solutions to those organizations. I think that benefits everybody, both from a cost savings and a corporate responsibility perspective.
GDH: You mentioned Autodesk and iOFFICE + SpaceIQ currently offer integrations between many Autodesk solutions. Are there any future plans for further Autodesk integrations?
Nick Stefanidakis: We have a long history of providing solutions that natively interact with AutoCAD and Revit. These integrations help facilitate that data connection between design and construction platforms with facility management and space planning.
Going forward, we are enhancing our capabilities to leverage the rich 3D BIM models and data visualizations in our solutions. That allows users to make that data available to a broader audience by embedding it into our web platform and solutions. You can look at a full building in a 3D view and see where all the open work orders are, as well as where the critical assets are.
It also helps you understand how those assets relate to one another and, more importantly, to the spaces that they serve. For example, if you have to perform maintenance on an asset or system, what spaces is that going to impact? Who’s in those spaces and what are their functions? Having that information at your fingertips helps you optimize and manage the facility a lot better.
Having that cloud-based collaboration platform means that models no longer live on somebody’s desktop. They’re shared in a common cloud environment. No matter if you’re working with Revit as an architect, or at another firm as an engineer, or maybe a fabricator – they can all collaborate on the same model. And they can work on different parts simultaneously, see adjustments in real-time, and understand the overall context of what they’re working on.