Savills is an international consulting company with over 160 years of experience in the property industry. Originating in the UK they now operate in Sweden where they provide property owners with property management services. They handle everything from homes and offices to shopping centres. Savills strives to be an environmentally conscious service provider, one which ensures that energy efficiency and sustainability are focused on and form a natural element of their work. In addition, they aim to be at the forefront of digitalisation. To this end they work proactively and seek smart solutions.
It is precisely this that made Savills interested in Smartvatten; a smart digital tool that helps ensure that properties achieve a more sustainable water consumption. Three months ago, Smartvatten was installed in nine of Savill’s Swedish properties and it has already delivered business value and a full return on investment.
Once the automatic water meter surveillance was implemented, it did not take long before results were achieved.
“We could see the key advantage of Smartvatten fairly quickly when we discovered a suspected leak that needed to be investigated further,” says Sefkan Halbori, Property Manager at Savills Sweden.
Thanks to the provision of real-time data, they were able to identify increased and abnormal water consumption in one of the properties. With Smartvatten, the data is analysed and the insight shows a clear picture of the issue in terms of the number of litres, the time period, and the potential cost implications. Armed with this insight, Savills was immediately able to act and locate the source of the suspected leak.
In the end the increased water consumption proved not to be a leak but the result of ongoing renovation work. They quickly dealt with the problem, however, and were able to fix it. Without access to the insight provided by Smartvatten the issue would have been discovered much later, for example via a larger than usual water bill or during a manual reading of the water meter.
The fact that Savills can easily identify and remedy increased water consumption is something which their clients appreciate. These are properties with energy goals, which must be met and Savills is happy to contribute to this work with more energy-efficient management.
Having access to real-time data and clear insight reports means that water consumption is easy to understand in detail. Yet an additional bonus is the peace of mind provided through the alarm functionality. You do not have to rely on someone accessing the Smarttvatten portal and analysing the data. With the help of different alarm levels you can ensure that all key people are immediately informed of potential acute leaks.
“We have not yet experienced this function in practice but we feel confident knowing that it exists. It is also a level of assurance which we can give to our client i.e. being able to act quickly and prevent consequential damage from a major leak”, explains Sefkan Halbori.
At Savills, they have implemented alarm levels, which allow them to receive text messages and emails in the event of an acute major leak. Another advantage is that they can select key alarm recipients for both out-of-hours as well as business hours property management; anyone who ought to be alerted about a potential acute leak.
Sefkan Halbori also talks about how easy the implementation of Smartvatten has been.
“I want to praise Smartvatten’s service delivery. It has been easy to have and deal with, accommodating and quick to respond. The whole initial service experience gave us confidence in the company. Now that we are up and running, Smartvatten has been a proactive partner that worked to get data in place and made sure that everything is set up correctly in the system. From our side, we have not had to spend a lot of time getting it operational.”
The level of flexibility something else that is appreciated. For example, it is possible to choose whether you wish to receive monthly or daily water consumption reports. You also set the interval for reading the water meters; per minute or per hour. This is beneficial because different properties often have different needs.
According to what we hear from Savills, it does not sound like they are considering a return to the old ways of working i.e. manually reading the properties’ water meters, collating data with paper and pencil and being exposed to the constant risk of undetected leaks. The investment in Smartvatten has provided real business value and the transition from analogue to digital has been a true success. In short, Savills are happy with these few first months, the purpose of which was a pilot project.
So what does the future hold?
“As it looks now, we are very satisfied and intend to continue this journey with Smartvatten. We also hope to be able to include Smartvatten as a tool in our property management service for our clients and offer more people the opportunity to start using the service”, concludes Sefkan Halbori.
“We see an increased need among global property owners and asset managers who want to become more efficient through the digitalisation of their processes and who also need to achieve specific sustainability (ESG) goals. Our collaboration with Savills is an excellent example of how we not only provide our clients with crucial insight but how we can create something of concrete value, which is scalable and specific to this particular business segment, ”says Joe Hamari, CSO at Smartvatten.