Case Study

Technology backed Improved Building Maintenance Performance

The Acorn Engineering Group moved a client site to a fully directed resources model, using their analytics engine as the core to the process. 

Mike Witchell – MD Acorn Engineering Group explains:

Historically analytics was seen as an expensive add on to a BMS or a BMS contract. Especially when you consider the average size of a BMS support contract compared to the overall M&E support budget. So how could it possibly move forward if faced with such a tough start?

Well, it’s all about perspective. They deployed their engine to not only drive actions for the controls layer, but to also determine the most effective use of the M&E support resources from one centrally managed support provision. Insights are created by the analytics engine, those that can be dealt with on site or remotely are taken care of, and those that are assigned to the site based FM Team are sent to them as reports and insights that are prioritised (also on their dashboards). These can be on a CO2, KWhr or cost basis or indeed comfort impact. The technicians are guided to the issues and the potential causes/mitigation and are much more effective in their daily work as a result.

Ultimately, this approach could fundamentally change the building maintenance world, having more mobile and flexible teams supporting wider portfolios. Lower costs, better response and significantly more efficient buildings. A dramatic series of wins for the industry and environment.

Case Study highlights:

Building A:

50% reduction in summer gas use

£185k annualised energy savings potential identified in first month of deployment

Building terminal unit key performance indicator up from circa 65% to 99% (99% of all fcu and chilled beams operating to specifications in the last rolling period)

20% reduction in required FM support resources – in this case not taken as a save but redeployed on occupant experience tasks; fixing doors, repainting, new tv’s put up etc.

40% reduction in too hot/too cold calls to the FM help desk resulting in massive drop in reactive tasks and stressful distractions (see above)

FM team report higher job satisfaction – “we are really enjoying it! We actually fix problems!”

Client is delighted, viewing it as amazing, they say that the building has never run better, the fm phones are so quiet!

Building B:

20% reduction in annual electricity consumption identified and implemented in 2 months of deployment

Circa £90k of additional savings (annualised) identified.

Chiller and Cooling tower inefficiencies identified, works underway to rectify

Building terminal unit KPI score now at over 88% from less than 75%

LTHW control regimes adapted to reduce out of hours operation


They have also deployed their secure private cloud connectivity solution to around 25% of our contracted support sites (37 sites) which is a dramatic upturn since march (6 sites).

This sees the deployment of a 4G device, hooked up to a private cloud, through which our platform establishes a secure VPN bridge to the client site, allowing theiir engineers to use the manufacturers engineering tools as if they were connected via an Ethernet cable on site. This technology helps them respond faster to breakdowns or other requests, reduces down time and operational risk for the client.


They have developed a platform that allows their clients to access on single web based portal to then connect to any of their portfolio of BMS head computers, connected to this service, from a single location. It is a flavour of a screen sharing application, but has only the ned for one portal to view all their remote sites, irrespective of system installed.

They can remotely manage and interact with their connected buildings and deliver faster more effective client responses and more effective decision making without having to travel to site or despatch a technician to check the BMS.