Advisory Topic: @ the Edge Vol. 17 No. 35
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A True Building Operating System Reduces Operational Expenses

Author: Matthew Stetson, Head of Marketing, Prescriptive Data

Inspiration struck Rudin Management leadership John Gilbert (EVP & COO) and Gene Boniberger (SVP, Building Operations) when Con Edison approached the real estate family to participate in a smart grid demonstration project.

The utility offered to share real-time data to positively influence commercial building operations and the Rudin Team was to optimize safety, comfort, and operations in response. For example, when Con Edison signaled the warning of an impending blackout, Rudin’s building could now react by grounding all elevators to the nearest floor, avoiding the stress on Building Operators and Tenants caused by entrapments. However, in order for Con Edison’s notification to actuate appropriate changes on Rudin’s vertical transport, BMS, or tenant communication systems, a centralized, manufacturer-agnostic platform was necessary to “catch” the utility signal, merge it with internal building system data, engage the operator, and automate any necessary sequencing.

The value of such a platform would empower the operator with enhanced situational awareness, with benefits that went well beyond the smart grid project. It was clear to Rudin that such a system represented the natural next evolutionary step in facilities operations management, and so began its survey of the real estate technology market. Exhaustive market research uncovered no product offerings with the holistic, building-wide functionality which the company sought, and available solutions were siloed, limited to reporting, and almost all were missing any prescriptive or predictive insight.

Unable to find what they were looking for on the open market, Rudin took matters into their own hands and commissioned the development of the world’s first operating system for the built environment. Powered by predictive analytics, and infused with the collective experience of its own operators, it experienced firsthand the power of machine and biological intelligence unified.

At 345 Park Avenue, a flagship commercial property in the Rudin Management portfolio, the new building operating system provided true situational awareness, creating real-time correlations between internal and external data. This 1.8 million square foot office building contains a BMS, smart meters, a fire alarm system, and turnstile access control system. These systems do not have the inherent ability or intellect to maintain historic data, communicate across protocols, or make adjustments based on the holistic building environment. In order to provide a true manufacturer agnostic system, it was necessary for Prescriptive Data to retrofit sensors for each data point, normalize data to be understood by this new operating system, and validate the data using a third party.

Prescriptive Data’s first step towards accomplishing the project goals included using the operating system Nantum® to unite the various subsystems within the building, programmatically discover correlations across the siloed functions, and capture detailed building operational patterns. By aggregating these data sources, Nantum® was able to predict and optimize more efficient startup times and reduce utility demand in response to real time occupancy and environmental changes while providing building engineers with a single-pane-of-glass view into all building systems.

In the hands of the Rudin Management operations team, Nantum® quickly yielded a 11% year-over-year reduction in electric consumption and an 8% year-over-year reduction in steam consumption from 2014 to 2016 over the trailing five-year average, 70% reduction in hot/cold calls, and optimized operations. Over the three-year period, this amounts to $0.82 a square foot or about $1,515,000 reduction in energy spend. If you apply a 5% cap rate to the 2016 savings of $660,000, the value of this property increases by $13,200,000. Additionally, for installing a RTEM (Real Time Energy Management) system, this building qualified for a NYSERDA grant contributing $155,000 towards the cost of the project. This energy savings also put 345 Park Avenue on the path of success towards the New York City Mayor’s Carbon Challenge, which aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 50% by 2025 and 80% by 2050.

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Prescriptive Data is focused on the intersection of IoT, big data, and machine learning as applied to built spaces. Our flagship cloud-based building operating system, NANTUM applies machine learning to synthesize predictions from live and historic data to optimize operational efficiency, thereby increasing the underlying value of real estate assets.

Next Week: Intelligent Buildings

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CoRE Tech 2017 will be held on Nov. 14 & 15 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. The event is a unique gathering of the most proactive, visionary corporate real estate and facilities executives who come together to focus on innovative automation and technology strategies to help achieve their organization’s real estate goals.
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For more information or to register, visit

Cybersecurity for Buildings - Can We Stay Ahead of the Ongoing Threat? - 9/7/2017

Not a day goes by that there is not a story about some form of cybersecurity breach. In our industry, one focused on buildings, we have four different areas to worry about: 1) general IT threats, 2) real estate data and transactions, 3) connected, smart buildings and 4) physical security. Managing this risk is a major effort and to deal with this, many commercial and corporate real estate organizations are increasing their teams. This webinar will bring together world-class thought leaders from both the end-user and solution provider community. Strategy, resources and technology will also be included in this important and timely topic. Register now!