Smart Building Systems

The purpose of the project was to incorporate and utilize sophisticated building analytics in order to measure more system data points on a “real time” basis in order to increase the operating efficiency of the building systems. The expected benefits were reduced energy usage and greenhouse gas emissions and increased tenant comfort." data-share-imageurl="">
Saturday, June 27, 2015

Purpose of the project

The purpose of the project was to incorporate and utilize sophisticated building analytics in order to measure more system data points on a “real time” basis in order to increase the operating efficiency of the building systems. The expected benefits were reduced energy usage and greenhouse gas emissions and increased tenant comfort.

Approach

As part of its sustainability strategy that includes the continued focus on energy and operational efficiencies, UBS researched several “smart building technologies” and identified an analytic software tool named SkySpark. UBS and the property’s management and engineering team, Cushman & Wakefield, formed a project team that included the energy and environmental consulting team Group 14 Engineering to install SkySpark at 1670 Broadway as a pilot program with the future strategy to expand its implementation to other UBS properties. The SkySpark system integrates with a building’s energy management system to provide 24-hour “real time” web-based monitoring and reporting of multiple building system data points. At 1670 Broadway, over 3,200 monitoring sensors and 86 usage meters have been installed to monitor how all system components are operating and

to measure the usage of electricity, water and steam. The 3,200 monitoring sensors allow for the building engineers to identify when specific components are not operating at the optimal temperature, speed or pressure and when they do not open, shut, turn on or turn off correctly. The usage meters help the property management and engineering teams measure tenant utility usage and inform and work with tenants to lower their utility usage. The implementation of SkySpark has provided the building management team the ability to monitor and proactively identify component failures that reduce operational efficiency and impact tenant comfort conditions.

Results

The results far exceeded expectations. During the first six months since the completion of the system installation the property has already achieved significant savings in electricity and steam: 19% reduction in overall electrical consumption, or 1,116,000 kWh; and, 25% reduction in overall district steam energy utilization, or 3,230 MLB. These reductions resulted in an economic payback period of less than two months on the installation and monitoring costs for the SkySpark system. The realized savings over this first six month period were approximately $137,000. UBS is currently expanding its integration of this technology to other office and hotel properties.

“Incorporating new technologies into property operations demonstrates how our Responsible Property Investment focus is integrated into all operational aspects of our fund strategies” - Matthew H. Lynch, Head of Global Real Estate US, UBS Global Asset Management