Tablet and smartphone apps have moved beyond games and MP3s to focus on time savings and increased efficiency for business professionals. Several business apps can help facilities managers make the most of their time at work, from managing spreadsheets remotely to communicating with employees in the field.But there is also a new breed of apps being created specifically for the facilities management industry. These smartphone apps can help you track energy use and monitor utility data to keep buildings running at peak efficiency.
SeriousEnergy Manager has a variety of apps available to monitor building statistics, analyze energy use, and improve energy efficiency. Its Air Handler Analytics app catches faulty equipment immediately, and displays the root cause of the fault. The app has been known to alert facilities managers to outside air dampers that are stuck, preventing the system from economizing or bringing in excessive outdoor air. Air Handler Analytics can also identify when heating systems are running unnecessarily, or when heating and cooling are running at the same time. Another SeriousEnergy Manager app – Off-Hour Analysis – detects excess energy consumption after hours, showing which building systems are running (and at what times) across an entire portfolio.
Retroficiency’s app can quickly create a picture of a commercial building’s energy profile and identify potential upgrades. Energy auditors use it to speed up report creation, but facilities managers can use it to identify upgrades on their own, or to help prioritize a long list of energy-efficiency projects. Based on information you provide to the app, Retroficiency can help you identify high-potential commercial buildings in a portfolio, pinpoint specific sources of high energy consumption, and propose low- or no-cost retrofits.
Apps also exist for specific building systems. ASHRAE offers the ASHRAE 62.1 app to determine fresh-air levels for commercial buildings. The app allows you to select between ASHRAE Standard 62.1-2007 and Standard 62.1-2010 to accommodate LEED requirements; you can use it to quickly perform ventilation calculations.
HVAC Quick Load computes HVAC load requirements based on information you provide about building type, occupants, and square footage. Its sister apps, HVAC Formulator and HVAC Professional Formulator, take these calculations to the next level, offering nearly 200 formulas on everything from air changes to piping equivalent lengths.
Are you using apps to better manage your commercial buildings? What apps are you using, and how are they helping you?