An app that allows building users to directly report their complaints to FM teams has been named the overall winner of the Building Data Exchange hackathon.
Funded by Innovate UK, the weekend-long event was hosted at the Digital Catapult Centre in London. The hack focused on finding new and innovative ways to utilise the Building Data Exchange, a dataset that was gathered through Innovate UK’s Building Performance Evaluation (BPE) programme.
The results of the £8m study, which looked at the performance from concept to post occupancy of more than 100 building projects, were released last week and showed that the performance gap is still alive and well.
Simon Hart, innovation programme leader for the built environment at Innovate UK, told BIM+: “The event highlighted the diverse nature of innovation. If you have a difficult problem to solve then these events can be incredibly useful to develop ideas and solutions.
“Not many of the teams actually tackled the tasks we set them, however they all came up with new useful ideas,” he added.
Around a dozen teams of individuals from the built environment and digital technology worlds participated in the event, which was aimed at making the dataset more easily digestible and usable.
The event highlighted the diverse nature of innovation
The overall winner was a feedback system that can be used to inform building managers about problems and complaints. Beyond allowing users to highlight issues, the app uses a smartphone’s inbuilt sensors to take recordings such as the temperature and position the comment is made from, to better inform the FM team of a problem.
Hart explained: “They developed the app on the basis that a happy building, is a building that works better. Not only can reporting be made more accurate, but HR can be informed of who is complaining and possibly unhappy in their workplace.”
Winner of the “cool award” was a smart sensor that uses the Long Range (LoRa) wireless signal to report energy usage of commercial plant such as HVAC systems. Over the weekend the team managed to develop the sensor that works on the Internet of Things (IoT) network and create an app to produce a working prototype.
Another hack that captured Hart’s attention was a forecasting tool for energy prices. The tool can predict energy usage dependent on what improvements a homeowner may potentially make based on data and the experiences of others. Importantly the tool also takes into account the future trajectory of energy prices.
Hart explained: “This may be of interest to customers looking to get a mortgage. If you can prove that your energy bills will fall once an improvement is made, they can say they have less outgoings in the future.”
They developed the app on the basis that a happy building, is a building that works better. Not only can reporting be made more accurate, but HR can be informed of who is complaining and possibly unhappy in their workplace.– Simon Hart, innovation programme leader for the built environment, Innovate UK