Common questions
answered

Frequently asked questions about our unique technology,
the importance of security and our service delivery.

Our technology

Yes. We have found most building systems are accessible. The last decade has seen wider adoption of common protocols like BACNet and KNX, these can be read along with common OEM specific protocols such as Honeywell’s Trends system. There are still some older systems that we may need to work further with, and some may not be accessible without additional hardware.

Yes. The GWTi-Observer can capture data from operational machinery where API connectivity is available. It also captures data from sensors and actuators.

No. The GWTi-Observer is a listening device and does not load the building systems.

Usually, one. Large and complex buildings may require more.

No. A competent FM operator should be able to install it and a full guide to installation is provided.

No, it uses less than a household LED light bulb

No, a loss of power in the building will interrupt capture of data but once power is restored the system will automatically recover and begin capture immediately.

Yes. Once the device is connected to a building system it will send a message to GWTI IT. This triggers a scan of the building which start’s the process to collect readable data.

We monitor the heartbeat of each device and data flow, in the unlikely event of interruption we will undertake a number of checks to find out what has happened. Data Service response times and remedies are available to download here.

No, the Observer feeds data to the GWTinsight-Maker and is controlled by it, the two work together to provide the Data Service.

No. There is an option to take near real-time classified and standardised data into your own or a third-party system.

No. As long as the data is captured it can be viewed.

Yes. The GWTinsight-Maker is a configurable system allowing users to decide what they see and how they see it.

No. The system is designed to provide insights across large portfolios of buildings and has no realistic limits

Dashboards can be accessed by authorised users via a modern-day computer or tablet supporting modern Web Browsers such as Chrome, Safari or Microsoft Edge and with connectivity to the internet.

Yes, a short delay occurs whist the data is transferred. It is only a matter of seconds.

Yes. Alerts and warnings are possible and require triggers that can be configured as part of the solution.

Yes, this is especially useful to identify trends and for benchmarking.

Yes, Insight-Maker is a white label solution, Corporate brands and color themes can be incorporated into the presentation of Dashboards.

Security

Yes. GWTi-Observer uses multilayer security including firewall blocks, strong encryption and authentication, firewalls between observation software and security hardware. This provides a very high level of protection from unwanted access and protection of data.

Download details of our approach to security here.

Yes, if the Observer loses its internet connection then it continues to collect data which is then transmitted once the internet connection is restored. For typical buildings it can collect and store data for up to 10 months before transmission. All data held is heavily encrypted.

Yes, an independent security specialist organisation regularly tries to penetrate our systems as part of our ongoing security strategy.

Our approach includes design and engineering of both hard and software tools. This includes building outwards only connectivity and hardware separation of collection and communication of data with enforcement of an internal DMZ and multiple security barriers. This is similar to the approach taken by highly secure data centers.

Yes, our technology and approach to security has been vetted by the IT departments of several global corporates and has met their testing standards.

Our data service

  1. The customer will be sent a link to complete an online questionnaire about the building systems. 
  2. GWTInsight will review the data, confirm compatibility, seek further information or advise that data collection is not possible due to existing system constraints or limitations. 
  3. On confirmation of compatibility GWTInsight will send a GWTi-Observer.
  4.  The customer can then install the Observer.
  5. Once connected to a network the Observer will communicate with GWTinsight-Maker and data capture will begin.
  6. The data is then classified standardised and verified before appearing in a Dashboard.

A competent FM operator for the building should be able to complete the questionnaire in around 30 minutes.

Yes, we provide a comprehensive guide and can respond to questions on the telephone. In the rare occasions there is a problem we may send someone to site.

GWTInsight will provide clients with the ability to register users and give them access to a Dashboard. This is done via an email and includes establishing password protection.

Yes, single sign on can be set up to enable access within in clients IT infrastructure.

Yes, as long as the data is flowing, and the user has access to the intranet the Dashboard will be available.

Warnings and alerts can be delivered to any device that is receiving a Dashboard and specified email accounts. We plan to introduce SMS alerts in 2022.

Yes, a Client product may be reconfigured and an insight visualisation changed in a relatively short period of time. This can be done by a client or by GWTInsight.

The customer, generally this will be limited to those managing risk and responsible for the cost effective and safe running of the building or a portfolio.

The GWTI Data Service provides the clients with the ability to view bespoke insights in real time and across multiple buildings and multiple systems. It includes the ability to create products that present data in a variety of ways to meet specific challenges ranging from risk management to carbon reduction. It goes beyond providing supervisory level data on building systems to an engineer and allows companies to create new insights not previously possible. The technology that sits behind the Data Service secures data and communications beyond the capabilities of most BMS. It enables the capture of data at scale, data may be stored to give real time and historic insights across portfolios of buildings.

Yes. The 2021 IPCC report identifies buildings as a contributor to global warming. Other reports suggest around 6% of the total carbon emitted each year is from commercial buildings and the majority is from heating and cooling systems. The next biggest contributor is working machinery within buildings. The GWTInsight Data Service can deliver very detailed insights on these areas.

The GWTInsight Data Service is configurable and insights can be designed to support action on reducing carbon, making buildings more resilient and importantly providing a reliable and fact based reporting tool on progress in meeting the commitments made by a firm.

No, it is specifically designed to deliver to commercial buildings that have BMS. It has been used in offices, factories, schools, hotels, storage units, bakeries, shops and both public and private property.

Doing business with us

Contact Iain Wilcox on iain.wilcox@gwtinsight.com, GWTinsight on LinkedIn or Twitter or call

Much depends on the client needs and interaction, but the GWTinsight-Maker is configurable, it is not software programming. This significantly reduces the time taken to create bespoke products ready for testing and market.

Typically, 60-90 days to get a rounded feel for the building although valuable insights can be received in days.

The GWTi-Observer does not require engineers to prepare a building or visit, significantly reducing costs against most alternative solutions. In addition, GWTinsight-Maker uses a patented data compression technique for lower cost storage and transfer and a unique automated approach to data classification and standardisation reducing costs incurred by other providers using engineers to manually classify building data.

The Data service is sold on license for a period of three years.

Yes, data can be provided to a third-party system.

No, we are providing data to analytics companies on behalf of our client’s, but it is not part of our focus. 

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GWTInsight finds six common building system issues contribute to unnecessary cost.

1 Systems operating out of hours.

2 Systems competing with each other such as heat and cooling.

3 Set point controls at unrealistic values.

4 Equipment running at peak levels and under stress.

5 Critical system failures.

6 No correlation between external factors and internal system settings.

Our technology and knowledge provide value for insurers.

Create real time insights to better inform risk pricing.

Enhance joint risk management, establish a more robust targeted risk mitigation plan.

Reduce losses on claims events.

Improve client retention.

Create a new income stream.

Enable services to corporate ESG commitments.

Shift from policy to service.

Our technology and knowledge provide value for built asset service providers.

Create real time insights to better inform clients.

Automate current services reducing costs of service delivery.

Develop new services impacting the cost and efficiency of building operations.

Enable services to corporate ESG commitments.

Improve design through reliable performance feedback.

Create new revenue streams.

6 Creating new products and services

Because the GWTInsight Data Service works in near real time, across time and on multiple building systems and operational equipment, it unlocks insights never seen before. 

For insurers it has opened the potential for automation of risk assessments and an opportunity for risk engineers and underwriters to reinvent the evaluation and pricing of risk. It has provided new revenue streams and improved client retention.

For companies designing, manufacturing, and assembling building portfolios it is creating the opportunity to deliver digital twin benefits and will in time, underpin performance guarantees.

For providers of mechanical systems for solar power, cellular telephone networks or remote building provision it facilitates a mercurial shift in cost to service and the ability to disrupt the current servicing market.

For innovative consultants there are many opportunities to combine expertise and knowledge with the potential offered by GWTInsight technology to create innovative and cost-effective ways to reduce cost, risk, and carbon emissions.

5 Strategic and portfolio performance advantage

Capital Allocations. A bank wishes to improve the basis of its £50m replacement capex programme across a range of commercial building types. Under pressure to maximise return on investment the traditional sources of information, surveys, manufacturers recommendations and maintenance records prove expensive, difficult to assemble and compare and frequently bear little relation to actual performance of the building. Across time and the whole portfolio data on core system performance and cost to run significantly improves decision making. When combined with user feedback and space use, it creates a powerful tool for capital allocations.

Benchmarking. This has long been the source of value. GWTInsight solutions provide data at building equipment level facilitating performance comparisons across all building types, across zones within a building and across a portfolio.

An outsourcing FM firm wishes to find the sources of added value and to be able to demonstrate to clients why action is necessary and the benefits it can bring. A pilot identified that a focus on large scale energy users like HVAC systems can deliver ROI within months and significant financial and environmental benefits over time.

Optimising use of space. Traditional methods of assessing space rely on point in time surveys or more recently sensors that count the number of people on a floor. Both methods miss essential information about behaviours and changing patterns in use. A pilot project with a leading building environment consultant in the UK, the GWTInsight Data Service and Ubiquisense a combination of GWTi-Observer, GWTinsight-Maker and Ubiqisense sensors was able to:

  • identify and immediately allocate a unique code to an individual avoiding privacy issues and double counting often created by movement triggered sensors
  • identify very specific behaviours
  • identify ‘nesting’ where coats, bags and computers are left to claim desks that are otherwise not used
  • identify availability of desks and meeting rooms in real time
  • identify changing patterns of use over time.

The applications range from automating time bound surveys to real time availability of space and rooms delivered to a smart phone.

4 Reducing risk

The realisation of a risk in commercial buildings can create danger to people, reputational damage, disruption to operations, reduced revenue, and the challenge of renewal. Insurance companies share the burden of commercial building failures and have embraced the opportunity to work with clients to better identify and mitigate risk. 

The adoption of a digital solution across portfolios of buildings is now affordable thanks to the innovative GWTI technology. Whether focusing on the building systems or those critical to operations, known risks can be effectively mitigated by real time and over time insights with cost and operational benefits realised.

AXA XL and Zurich Insurance, global insurance companies have embraced the technology which underpins a new and disruptive digital approach to risk engineering. Other Insurance companies are embracing the technology to improve risk assessment, pricing, product offering and cost reduction inside of their operations.

Mutual benefits for clients and providers include:

  • the reduction in losses as any failures are identified in real time
  • reduced claims
  • avoidance of risk through early warnings or identification of hidden risks
  • reductions in balance sheet retentions
  • increased feasibility of self-insuring tier one and lower cost of premiums.

3 Reducing costs and carbon emissions

6% of the worlds carbon emissions are estimated to be caused by commercial buildings in use. The majority is created by energy consumed by building systems. ESG commitments make tackling this area a priority.

Heating, cooling, and ventilation systems (HVAC) in addition to the increasing technology loads and the impact of multiple visits to buildings by those responsible for maintaining them are the key carbon creators. Of course, carbon reduction is not a zero-sum issue, tackling inefficiencies in building systems, eradicating waste, and reducing system failures and the need for maintenance also reduces cost.

Our most common findings leading to action which delivered cost and carbon reductions are:

• Out of hours unnecessary energy consumption
• Systems competing against each other
• Poorly configured systems with few controls
• Failing equipment increasing energy consumption
• Underperforming equipment increasing costs in other systems
• Risk avoidance, the discovery of failing systems and mitigating action.
• Abuse of controls by users

These tactical observations and fixes enable broader cost reduction benefits including improvements in:

• FM strategy optimisation
• Reduced maintenance visits and costs
• Capital allocation and renewal decision making.
• User education and use

2 Meeting contract or regulatory requirements including ESG related reporting

What better way to identify performance and provide proof of delivery than real time and over time reporting on a simply accessed dashboard.

An example is a project where fines were being incurred for non-performance in a Public Finance Initiative (PFI) contract for a collection of schools. Classroom temperatures were consistently poor leading to multiple complaints from teachers and pupils. Attempts to correct it had failed. GWTInsight’s Data Service was used in a pilot project and several system issues were identified. 

Sharing the findings based on reliable data aligned the client and provider and facilitated the benefits which included better classroom environments, fewer carbon emissions, fewer site engineer visits and reduced energy bills. The financial penalties stopped.

Equally, consultants advising on the potential for improvement and tracking KPI’s in outsourced contracts can baseline performance with accurate data and then monitor performance over time.

The focus on the resilience of companies in the face of climate change and shifting cultural attitudes has given rise to greater emphasis on the environmental, social and governance responsibilities of companies. The need for reductions in carbon emissions, improvements in water and air quality management and ensuring safe and people centric environments is leading to demand for a ESG reporting tool on performance in these areas. The GWTInsight Data Service is central to the solution.

1 Meeting basic safety standards

From the outset of our work we found multiple instances of safety systems not working. Commonly occurring discoveries are:

  • Low pressure in fire sprinkler systems
  • Heat pumps working at 100%, 100% of the time
  • Security alarm systems switched off after hours
  • Dangerously high temperatures in computer rooms
  • Critical safety equipment switched off whilst machines are working
  • Machinery consuming high levels of power indicating a fire risk
  • Legionella disease protection
  • Carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide monitoring

Identification of these key safety issues results from the use of products underpinned by GWTInsight’s Data Service.