Back in 2003, through a series of cascading events and errors, a small fire in Ohio wreaked havoc on the national grid leading to a major power outage in the northeast. As the outage spread to New York City, the operators at Con Edison’s control center realized that in less than 30 seconds, the electrical grid would shut down.
At the time, thirty seconds was not enough time to have any meaningful impact on the outcome. In the end, some areas of New York City were in the dark for over 30 hours. Among other issues, thousands of people had to be rescued from stuck elevators.
Ever worry about getting stuck in a high rise elevator?
Imagine if a smart building solution could identify an imminent power failure. Upon identification, it could direct all of the elevators to go to the nearest floor, stop and open their doors. If this solution were available in 2003, thirty seconds would have been plenty of time for many elevators to automatically react and thousands of passengers could have been spared a few harrowing hours.
It’s scenarios like those that keep the Rudin Management team up at night. The Rudin Management Company is one of the largest privately owned real estate companies in New York City where they oversee the daily operations of 33 commercial and residential properties totaling over 15 million square feet. In addition to occupant safety, sustainability and innovation have always been guiding forces for the Rudin Management Company.
It started with smart grid technology
In 2010, Rudin Management received an incentive grant from the US government to work on Smart Grid Technology. The Smart Grid is not just about utilities and technologies; it is about giving energy consumers the information and tools needed to make choices about energy use. The project grew and evolved and in 2015, Rudin realized that their sustainability solution, known as Nantum OS, could benefit other building management owners and managers so they created the Prescriptive Data company as a wholly owned subsidiary.
Changing how energy is consumed
Prescriptive Data’s goals are to improve the way electricity is consumed and reduce the overall quantity of power consumed in buildings. Since buildings account for more than 70% of U.S. electricity use, and a comparable share of CO2 emissions, reaching their goals would significantly reduce energy usage and facilitate the transition to a decarbonized built environment.
To achieve these goals, Prescriptive Data turns to their flagship solution, Nantum OS which provides real estate owners and operators with a secure cloud-based data warehouse and a single pane of glass to manage their entire portfolio.
“With today’s connected buildings, data is an absolute necessity for building managers and operators to do their jobs well. Nantum OS takes real time data from a variety of sources such as BMS, occupancy sensors and weather apps and, joining it with historical information, uses AI and machine learning to identify trends and make recommendations to optimize future building operations. These smart recommendations not only reduce a building’s carbon emissions, but can save thousands of dollars in operational costs every week.”- Aaron Brondum, VP of Customer Success, Prescriptive Data
Consolidating operational technologies
To collect and consolidate operational technology (OT), data such as electrical, water, CO2, steam, elevator control, occupancy and more, each building needs an IoT gateway. The gateway is also responsible for communicating that data to the AWS cloud.
Prescriptive Data's other gateway requirements included:
- Scalable - consistent architecture that stretches from the building to the cloud
- Reliable - downtime is not an option
- Flexible - Abundant I/O to connect to a variety of inputs including legacy equipment
- Resilient - Ability to withstand the environment of a mechanical room which could include airborne dust and oil as well as temperature variability
- Secure - Dual LAN for security purposes
- Adjustable - Multiple mounting options
“We needed a device robust enough to survive in our mechanical spaces, with a proven track record, powerful enough to manage thousands of data points, and capable of supporting our network security requirements. We were already working with and trusted Intel so teaming with OnLogic helped us find the best Intel-based platform for our needs. OnLogic has proven to be a valued partner in helping deliver our solution.”- Aaron Brondum, VP of Customer Success, Prescriptive Data
Reliable gateway for smart building solutions
The reliable OnLogic Helix 500 met all of Prescriptive Data's requirements. The solution leverages 10th generation Intel® processing up to core i9 and provides a wide range of I/O and expansion options. The system is fanless and ventless which means the inner electronics are protected from airborne contaminants. Several mounting options are available including DIN Rail or VESA mounts to make it easy to install and maintain.
“Prescriptive Data’s innovative software solution utilizing OnLogic's platform, is a great example of a smart building automation that offers many benefits from energy efficiency to tenant health and wellness while fostering the property’s reputation for environmental sustainability. There is no need to guess on the benefits, the solution clearly enables you to track and evaluate your goals.”- Rick Lisa, Director Worldwide Government Center of Excellence, Intel Corporation
The proof is in the data
The results of implementing Nantum OS are remarkable. By leveraging AI (artificial intelligence) and machine learning, building systems can utilize the least amount of energy without sacrificing indoor comfort. Building engineers love the solution for automated alarms and predictive maintenance alerts along with the ability to optimize large building systems to extend equipment efficiency and longevity. Management teams love the analytics based on occupancy data, and can leverage automation to receive the highest levels of health & wellness certifications. The C-suite loves the reports on daily energy savings, cost savings and carbon emissions. And, occupants love being in a building that is doing its part in reducing commercial real estate carbon emissions.
By leveraging Nantum OS, the Rudin Management Company has seen incredible results including:
- 41% reduction in electric consumption
- 47% reduction in steam consumption
- 44% reduction in carbon emissions
In 2019, Rudin estimated the energy cost savings across its commercial portfolio totaled $19 million overall.
What’s next for Prescriptive Data
Prescriptive Data will continue to leverage OnLogic solutions in their AI algorithms and provide customers with actionable insights leading to energy and cost savings in their buildings and portfolios.