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Carefree business and living, 24/7

YIT's remote monitoring services provide building owners and managers with true peace of mind when it comes to the day-to-day management of their properties. In addition to comprehensive performance data, YIT's services include round-the-clock remote diagnostics to prevent anticipated system failures, ensure high standards of indoor conditions, and reduce long-term energy consumption.
YIT Building and Industrial Services

Today's buildings contain a steadily growing variety of internal infrastructure, including fire alarm, heating, air-conditioning, lighting, and automation systems. Known variously as mechanical and electrical services or building systems, these all have an impact – individually or combined – on the overall conditions within a building, and things such as energy consumption in particular.

Peace of mind is a major benefit of YIT's remote monitoring solutions.

Reducing the temperature within a building by just one degree, for example, can bring a 5% saving in heating costs.

One major challenge associated with building systems, however, is that while they operate 24 hours a day, maintenance personnel are often usually on-site only during the day on weekdays. Equipment failure can cause considerable damage if monitoring does not also take place during the night and at weekends.

Property owners and managers also often have little true access to information on how their buildings are performing, or rather how the systems inside them are performing.

While there is normally no problem in getting information on basics such as energy consumption, property owners rarely know what is responsible for surges in usage, or which equipment is generating the highest service and maintenance requirement – without digging deep into a building's records.

YIT's remote monitoring services offer a shortcut to this type of information, 24/7.

Peace of mind, and lower costs

YIT's remote monitoring centre supervises sites around the clock, and offers a fast, safe, and secure way to monitor and control building systems, and manage alarms and energy usage, and generate comprehensive performance reports.

As a result, property owners and managers can get the information they need, and rely on the appropriate experts taking care of problems, as and when they emerge.

Analysing alarm data and optimising system processes, for example, can make an important contribution to cutting maintenance costs and reducing the need for on-site visits. Reports on system performance and equipment failures update customers with valuable information on how well their technical systems are operating and where to focus future development efforts.

Responding to problems

YIT's remote monitoring centre is responsible for responding to alarms, remote troubleshooting, and dispatching service teams where needed.

When an equipment failure occurs, the alarm is transferred automatically to the monitoring centre, where experts connect to the building to analyse the problem and see whether the situation can be corrected remotely. If a remote solution is impractical, the monitoring centre alerts the relevant maintenance personnel. If the alarm is not a critical one, maintenance personnel are contacted the next working day, to avoid unnecessary service visits.

A schematic of YIT's remote monitoring system, which operates around the clock, 365 days of the year.

Alarm data and service visit information generated at the remote monitoring centre is added to customer reports automatically. Customers can access these reports via the Internet through an easy-to-use browser-based interface – and review information on the number of alarms and service visits over a given time frame and for a given building, as well as the main reasons behind equipment failures and how quickly service personnel responded to problems.

Diagnostics are equally important

Alarms are often only the tip of the iceberg, however, and do not always give a true indication of possible upcoming problems. Building systems can appear to be running normally, even when monitored 24/7, but can be performing at sub-optimum levels – running equipment around the clock when it is only really needed during office hours, for example, or at excessively high loadings, thereby generating unnecessary energy usage.

This is why the YIT remote monitoring centre carries out checks on a regular basis to ensure that all systems at a location are operating as they should. This helps anticipate upcoming problems and ensures that lighting and air-conditioning systems are only switched on when building occupants need or expect them.

Comprehensive systems and services

YIT offers technical infrastructure investment and upkeep services for the property and construction sector, industry, and telecommunications across the entire life-cycle of projects – in the Nordic region, the Baltic countries, and Russia. The group generated net sales of €3 billion in 2005, and employs some 22,000 people.

Operations are divided into three business segments: Building Systems, Construction Services, and Industrial and Network Services.

YIT Building Systems provides end-to-end building system services and systems in Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, the Baltic countries, and Russia. These include property maintenance and facility management services, telecommunications technology, industrial services and system deliveries, and building equipment systems, such as sprinklers, HEPACE (heating, plumbing, air-conditioning and electricity) and automation, access control and security, as well as design, contracting, maintenance, and servicing.

> Heikki Ihasalo
(Published in High Technology Finland )