How Building Usage Metrics Can Help Reduce Energy Consumption

June 21, 2022

With the increasing shift towards flexible and agile working, incorporating ‘as space is being used’ metrics will enable significant operational efficiencies and enhance the user experience through facilities.

Corporate Real Estate (CRES) Teams can gain efficiencies leveraging trend analysis and real time occupancy and utilization metrics to restrict access to space reducing excess operational costs through unnecessary energy usage while still providing a safe, comfortable work environment. On-demand maintenance based on real-time space usage also further reduces costs while increasing safety and overall experience.

Key People Metrics to Pay Attention To

There are several key KPI’s supporting an optimized building. To develop access schedules and an understanding of maintenance requirements looking specifically at headcount will give the insight needed.

CRES Teams can review either Daily Peak Occupancy or Average Peak Occupancy rates.

Also, Frequency of Peaks will help to validate schedules – understanding over a longer horizon if usage patterns are consistent or a peak or dip is out of the norm.

Human Relations can also provide vital people information by creating a feed communicating the number of employees starting a new role or leaving their old one, are sick or on leave to plan energy and maintenance schedules. Data on when employees are expected to be on or off-site triangulated with usage trends and real-time access data will further validate availability of space and associated services.

The more insight captured about the way space is used and when creates more opportunities to improve operations and deliver a better user experience. Particularly where flexible working is the norm.

Restrict Access to Floors Based on Usage Trends

Reviewing usage metrics as trends – patterns of use will emerge indicating what spaces are being used when across the week. CRES Teams can leverage these trends – again, safer to look at the peak attendances – to restrict access to spaces and reduce energy usage.

Peak utilization metrics will reveal which days need the most resources and services and which days can be scaled back.

If occupancy headcount trends show that only enough employees are on-site to occupy three of ten floors between 08:00 am and 10:00 am, limiting floor access based on trends will create leaner energy programs in unused space. By aligning building access with historical usage trends CRES can minimize energy usage reducing operational costs.

Emerging smart buildings can be programmed to ‘wake up’ and go into ‘sleep mode’ based on utilization trends conserving energy.

Monitor Real-Time Space Usage to Improve the User Experience

Monitoring space usage metrics in real-time enables on-demand maintenance deployment.

Create footfall thresholds in different space types and send push notifications to maintenance teams. For instance, 100+ visits to a toilet triggers a push notification while 500+ triggers a similar requirement notification in a lobby area. Triggers may occur sooner than a traditional maintenance rota or later than, but driving action based on usage will enhance the user experience through ensuring spaces are maintained in-line with expectations for that space type.

Adjusting PPM Based on Building Usage Trends

Similar to adjusting energy schedules and maintenance based on usage, usage trends impact Planned Preventative Maintenance (PPM) in the same sense.

Capturing usage trends can indicate assets that may require maintenance sooner or later depending on usage.


The world of work is changing. Incorporating granular metrics capturing space usage will elevate and evolve the user experience while also turning around cost and energy reduction wins.

Running daily BAU from usage trends enables service and space alignment resulting in delivering the experience users want while reducing costs.

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