How Smart is Your Building?

Nadine Evans

The growth of IoT and smart devices are an attractive but costly investment for the multi-family space. Is it time to upgrade?

The future is here: connected devices are transforming the way home and condo owners interact with where they live. Advances in smart technology have simplified day-to-day life, keeping us abreast of nearly every part of our homes, including security, energy, and resource management. With exponential growth predicted in the connected world, it is time to start asking if your building is ready to make the leap.

A ‘smart’ or connected building is enabled by technology and data that improves management, operations, and/or the overall efficiency of the building. The smart/IoT market – currently valued at more than $15 Billion USD – is projected to reach $137 Billion USD by 2023.

Here’s some reasons why your building might be ready to upgrade:

1. Operational Efficiencies
Building owners and property managers will always place paramount importance to seeking operational efficiencies and the resulting cost savings. Buildings are among the largest consumers of energy, accounting for 40% of the US’ total national consumption. The reduction of water usage is another example. Enacting even small operational efficiencies can result in significant savings for a building, immediately improving bottom lines.

2. Improved Sustainability
Sustainability has become a major focus for commercial and multi-family buildings, particularly with newer regulations being introduced to encourage reduction of carbon emissions. The great news is that sustainability is not only a means of minimizing your building’s environmental footprint, but a viable way to reduce costs associated with heating, cooling, and lighting (see point above on Operational Efficiencies).

Data & Eddy - real time leak detection 3. The Value of Data
Real-time data is arguably the most practical and useful tool of the connected building, providing property managers with actionable insights into electricity, natural gas, and water usage. Property managers can now monitor and understand utility consumption as it occurs, gaining insights to identify opportunities to improve efficiency and reduce waste. Behavioural insights from tenants can be used to create a better overall customer experience. Many automated systems take this approach to data a step further, providing the ability to act on insights with preventative maintenance, further providing management with the tools to develop and maintain operational efficiencies.

4. Reducing your Risk
This point is very close to our hearts at Eddy. Buildings face substantial risk of damage and liability from numerous sources, including in-suite equipment malfunction, mechanical and common room equipment failure, and general tenant activity/errors. Water damage has become the largest source of property damage claims by far, with a single incident having the potential to cause millions while displacing tenants during the restoration process.

Recently, a Toronto based multi-unit residential building had a malfunction resulting in extreme flooding (take a look at the video here). While the resulting damage and subsequent relocation were limited to only four floors, the event created significant hardship for all building residents, with the pool, gym and other common elements being closed indefinitely. IoT sensor technology connected to a shutoff valve at the water main could have prevented this issue from happening, as the leak would have triggered an alert and immediately shut off the water, thereby preventing damage, liability, and the subsequent bad publicity.

The reality is that smart buildings can provide greater control and lower costs due to operational efficiencies, preventative maintenance, and resource management, providing tenants with an overall better customer experience.

About Eddy
Eddy Solutions is an industry leader in leak protection and water monitoring solutions. Our suite of smart products offers a comprehensive water management system for building operators and homeowners that protects, controls, and conserves water. Our products have saved thousands of customers millions of dollars in damages and millions of litres of water waste by continuously monitoring water usage in their properties. For more details, please contact us at 1 877 388 3339 or email info@eddyhome.com.