IoT and data analytics make buildings smart and make owners money
For a commercial building owner, problems like a water leak or call from a tenant complaining about uncomfortable temperatures are very real business problems. Someone on payroll has to take the time to field the call, someone from the building management department has to address the issue and someone from the leasing office has to smooth things over with the aggrieved tenant. And none of that even addresses the hard costs of correcting the problem with the physical plant.
The internet of things (IoT) is the subject of a tremendous amount of hype, particularly novelty-type products meant to make minor inconveniences like turning on the coffee pot in the morning slightly less inconvenient. But, in enterprise and industrial applications, seemingly simple things like occupancy and temperature sensors can create very real value.
Casey Talon, a principal analyst for Navigant Research, in a recent webinar, framed the question of IoT for commercial real estate as, “How do you optimize a commercial building?” By using the right technology stack and the right business case, a commercial building can become a “digital and really data-driven asset,” she said.
The webinar focused on a how Rudin Management Company, a New York City-based real estate firm with more than 15-million-square-feet of commercial and residential real estate, used Prescriptive Data’s Nantum business management platform to save money. Nantum is built using Intel technologies in its IoT gateways, servers and edge appliances.
Rick Lisa, Intel’s IoT business development manager, explained that strictly monitoring building system data “is no longer good enough.” That data has to be used to “drive benefit and value back into the enterprise.” He gave the example of using data to not only predict but to prevent a water leak. “What we’re really looking to do is drive value back into the business by preventing anomalies, preventing unwelcome outcomes and making sure that the operation is running at optimum efficiency and delivering the right results for the constituents, which includes the tenants, the building operations people, facilities people and the building management and building owners.”
Rudin Management used the Nantum platform to cut hot/cold calls by 80% and save $5 million in operational expense across its commercial portfolio in one year. Prescriptive Data CEO Sonu Panda said deploying Nantum “saves building owners money and it increases tenant attraction and retention.”
John Gilbert, COO and EVP of Rudin Management, explained how the company used Nantum to realize the aforementioned call and cost reductions. “As we now know, the value of occupancy and fan speed and chilled water temp where we’re saving $5 million across our 10-million-square-foot portfolio of commercial office buildings on an annual basis.” He said the goal was procuring a future-proof system that creates return on investment in the short term. “Both of those things are very important. If the system doesn’t enhance the experience of your customers, get rid of it.”
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