SINGAPORE – Companies that manage estates and facilities can consult a new guide to see what technologies are available for them to raise their productivity.

The Consortium Operations and Technology Roadmap is being put up by a local association for facility managers – the Singapore International Facility Management Association (SIFMA)- and government agencies such as the Building and Construction Authority and Enterprise Singapore.

In all, the road map has 50 emerging technologies as well as key learning points on upcoming trends put together by other facility management firms, researchers and government agencies. The technologies include virtual reality and voice-to-action commands.

The announcement was made on Tuesday (Oct 1) by Minister of State for National Development Zaqy Mohamad, who said the guide was especially important, given that more than half the buildings in Singapore will be 30 years or older by 2025. They would need more maintenance.

Facilities management services, which include upkeeping of greenery, lifts and building facades, are manpower-intensive and rely heavily on a Singapore workforce that is ageing.

Mr Zaqy was speaking at the opening of the three-day Architecture & Building Services 2019 show at the Marina Bay Sands.

Elaborating, Mr Tony Khoo said there are three stages to getting companies to embrace technology over the next 10 to 12 years.

These are: getting companies to go digital; making sense of the data; and innovating for the future.

Mr Khoo is the president of SIFMA, and chief executive of facilities management firm EM Services. Many small and medium-sized enterprises are still in the “going digital” phase, he added.

“There are huge productivity gains to be made here if they adopt the available technologies that are becoming more affordable,” he said.

One such firm currently offering such technology is IDA Technology, whose software can be used by all involved in the building process – from architects to contractors and as well as facility managers.

The virtual reality representation of a building would help to anticipate issues, said chief technical officer Gerard Teo.

“One issue about having lots of data is the high barriers of entry to interpreting it. Our software ‘converts’ the data into a virtual reality format so that everybody can ‘read’ it,” he added.

Separately, IDA Technology inked an agreement on Tuesday with Chinese company Chongqing Chanlin Science and Technology. It would allow them to use each other’s technologies in their respective markets.