Office buildings across the country are sitting vacant right now, but for some building heating and cooling systems, it is business as usual.
“We’re seeing a lot of customers who are still running their HVAC systems as though their buildings are at full occupancy, which is a huge waste of money,” said Julie Wolfington, Boland’s energy and sustainability leader. “Having the ability to view your building’s systems remotely and make cost-saving adjustments is more important than ever.”
Boland’s remote services were designed to give owners a complete picture of their building’s HVAC system and energy usage and support their need to maintain systems and reduce their expenses, whether the owner is on-site or sitting at home.
Bisnow recently spoke with Wolfington to learn more about these services and how they can help office owners stay in control and plan for the changes they may need to make to keep tenants safe once they return.
Bisnow: What are some of the ways these services can help building owners during the coronavirus crisis?
Wolfington: Because of the coronavirus, building owners are faced with a new set of challenges. They may or may not be able to view their building systems from home, they have likely experienced extreme occupancy changes, they have reduced on-site maintenance staff and they are all looking for ways to increase their bottom line.
Boland’s remote services offer clients insight into their building’s systems that they can securely access through the internet without having to leave their homes. Some of the information owners can view includes HVAC data, energy usage data, power systems, lighting systems, and associated issues or anomalies related to how systems are running.
Using remote services our experts can view building data and use advanced analytics to pinpoint things owners can change to help them conserve energy, save money, and run their buildings more efficiently during this time. This could be adjusting the schedules or temperatures in a building, incorporating energy-saving features, or identifying costly hidden issues.
Bisnow: How can this help keep people safe?
Wolfington: If an issue with an HVAC system pops up, our remote technician can view the data and potentially fix it right from his desk, which not only saves the owner the money but spares that technician from having to risk their safety to come into the building.
The coronavirus may open the door to new things building owners need to monitor, such as air quality and occupancy rates. These data points and others can be added to the system to improve safety now and in the future.
Bisnow: What types of clients would these services work for?
Wolfington: This is for clients with modern or retrofitted building automation systems that are accessible through the internet. Not all systems apply so each must be evaluated separately. Data and network security are extremely important to Boland and our clients, and our data and network security experts work with owners to determine the right connectivity solution to meet their needs.
What sets us apart is that our remote services offer both advanced analytics and expert engineers who work to continually improve building performance, as well as connects clients to Boland technicians who can troubleshoot problems, fix issues remotely, or help owners fix problems themselves.
Bisnow: What happens if a problem can’t be fixed remotely?
Wolfington: We are always happy to dispatch a technician to the site if we can’t troubleshoot remotely, however, our remote technicians can still arm the owner or the on-site technician with the information or necessary parts they need to come prepared to fix the problem on-site as quickly as possible. The shorter the amount of time a technician has to spend working on a system, the more money the owner will save and the safer the technician and the building occupants will be.
Our remote technicians can also help walk owners through how they could possibly fix the problem themselves if that’s something they are interested in doing or answer questions about their system.
At the end of the day, data must be accessible to be useful, and it’s most valuable in the hands of people who understand how to use it to help people and businesses achieve their goals. That is what remote services helps us do for our clients.