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JTC launches integrated Command Centre for facilities management across 39 buildings

JTC launches integrated Command Centre for facilities management across 39 buildings

JTC Corporation (JTC), the lead public sector agency in
Singapore for the development and management of industrial infrastructure, officially
commissioned the J-Ops Command Centre (J-Ops). J-Ops is one of the first integrated
Command Centres set up for facilities management (FM) in Singapore. According
to Today Newspaper
, JTC plans to integrate the technology into 39 of its
buildings, at a cost of about S$15 million, by the first half of this year.

The launch was in conjunction with the unveiling of
Singapore’s Real Estate Industry Transformation Map (ITM), the third ITM to be
launched in the Built Environment cluster. The ITM offers strategies for both
FM and property transaction services along two main thrusts – embracing innovation
and technology to stay competitive and strengthening professionalism and
upskilling the workforce.

Speaking
at the launch of the ITM, Mr Desmond LEE, Minister for Social and Family Development
and Second Minister for National Development, described J-Ops as a ‘group of
smart systems working in concert together’.

Straits Times reported
that JTC saw 15 per cent productivity savings, and reduced S$400,000 off its
S$2.5 million utility bill during a pilot project conducted over 2015 and 2016
in three of its buildings, JTC
CleanTech Two, JTC MedTech Hub and JTC Summit
.

As part of J-Ops, JTC is using a cloud-based Building
Optimisation System, to remotely track, analyse and optimise the performance of
their buildings, as well as an Estate Monitoring System, which uses customised
video analytics to monitor more than half of JTC’s estates and developments
across the island.

An Automated Work Flow System tracks feedback from tenants
and re-routes it automatically to a facilities manager to resolve the issue on
the ground. All these systems combine to allow JTC to comprehensively oversee
FM in their developments and estates, achieve greater manpower and energy
savings and systematically improve the experiences of tenants.

Second Minister Lee noted, “As JTC is clearly showing, the
clever use of technology and the sensible use of data analytics can unlock many
possibilities for the efficient management of buildings and facilities, and
more efficient systems mean lower lifetime costs. This is relevant not just for
JTC, but for all building owners in Singapore, and during the course of our ITM
discussions, many of our FM industry partners shared with us that the cost of
maintaining a building through its lifetime could be as much as four times the
cost of building the infrastructure in the first place. So, it’s a very
significant long-tail.”

The Minister added that the Government wants to encourage
greater adoption of smart facilities management – or Smart FM. This would
involve convincing more landlords to invest in smarter and more efficient
maintenance systems, even if some retrofitting is needed on their part. The advantages
of smarter FM would be to streamline processes, reduce abortive work, reap cost
savings over time, and ultimately lead to greater productivity.

These efforts will, in turn, are expected to drive the
research and development of FM solutions, and nurture innovative enterprises in
this area.

“This would create new jobs, new ways of doing things, new
firms, new niche industries, and all in Singapore, and from Singapore to the
rest of the world,” Second Minister Lee said. 

J-Ops presents an example of how FM systems can work
seamlessly not just within a single building, but across a whole group of
interconnected buildings within the same family. This can also be done for interconnected
buildings at the district-level, or for buildings of the same “use class”. There
are private sector developers and firms that have been doing similar projects
in Singapore.

A coordinated
development approach for the FM sector

Second Minister Lee also talked about considering maintainability
further upstream, which would need the whole built environment and real estate
value chain to think together as one. Consultants and developers, whether
public or private sector, will be encouraged to design and construct buildings
with FM and maintainability in mind right from the planning and design stage. 

There are natural synergies for FM, with other parts of the
built environment cluster, such as Construction. For example, the Construction
ITM
covers areas like green buildings, Design for Manufacturing and
Assembly (DfMA), and digitalisation, all of which have an impact on FM
processes.

Hence, the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) has
been tasked to form a team to coordinate the overall development of the FM
sector. BCA will work with other agencies involved in building design and
maintenance, including Housing & Development Board (HDB), Urban Redevelopment
Authority (URA), Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) and JTC. 

This will build on ongoing efforts, such as promoting the uptake
of Design for Maintainability at a Sengkang mixed development site. The design
of the mixed development site will take into account maintainability for
various facilities, so that downstream activities, for example façade cleaning,
can be carried out in a much more labour-efficient and effective manner. 

To adopt a consolidated approach for the GFM sector, the BCA
will form a Tripartite (collaboration among unions, employers and the
government) FM Implementation Committee (FMIC). The FMIC will provide advice and
assist in formulating the implementation details of ITM plans for the FM sector.