Could your office building be described as… average? Maybe it doesn’t have a fountain in the lobby, or a view of the ocean – but you have four solid walls, a non-leaking roof, and only a few drafty cubicles. Have you ever tried to make your building work with an HVAC hack? Maybe you even taped a piece of cardboard over the vent to manage the airflow. That would be pretty clever of you, MacGyver.
So, if your office building is around 10-20 years old, has some wear and tear, but is generally in good shape, you probably have a Class B building. This is good news. Investors tend to target these buildings since, with a few upgrades, they can easily become Class B+ and compete readily with Class A properties. One of those upgrades is making your Class B smart – and it’s probably easier than you think.
Aging Class B buildings benefit greatly from smart building solutions – which can serve as investment opportunities and increase your building's value and lease rates. When you factor in utility incentives for energy-efficient systems, or just the annual operational savings, building automation systems are becoming a smarter choice for property CAM, TI, and upgrades via financial merits alone. In addition, smart upgrades can extend the lifespan of aging HVAC equipment – reducing operating expenses, and deferring capital equipment investments.
Easy Retrofits Save Time and Money
An upgrade doesn’t have to mean a total overhaul. Rooftop units, boilers, and heat pumps can all be easily retrofitted with sensing equipment and controls, which can bring a new level of value to the property. Our recommendation for a Class B building would be to retrofit with a system like Dynamic Airflow Balancing, or DAB for short. With DAB, smart sensors are installed throughout the building which predictively and proactively regulate the airflow to ensure consistent temperatures. That means you can take down the cardboard you taped over the vents – because now, your building is smart enough to sense zone demand and make adjustments to meet desired setpoints and air quality. Dynamic Airflow Balancing creates a continuous dialogue between multiple HVAC Units – no matter how old they are – to ensure they work together to reduce energy usage. If you have a variable air volume (VAV) with reheat boxes, you can make that Smart VAV with Reheat system.
Remote Monitoring Across Buildings and Zones
With a smart HVAC system, facility managers and employees can view and control everything from their phones. Even if you manage multiple buildings, everything can be seen via a mobile web and app suite. You can track, schedule, and monitor hundreds of buildings on a single pane of glass!
A Shorter ROI Never Hurt, Either
The great thing about upgrading a Class B building with smart controls is that in addition to boosting property value, you can start earning money back on your investment from day one. The ROI for a building automation solution is typically around 1-3 years, in energy savings alone - and that doesn't factor the operational efficiencies from predictive maintenance and remote diagnostics, helping reduce truck roll costs. So even if your building isn’t the latest and greatest, it can still become smart – helping you attract and retain tenants, and save money.
Class A status isn’t looking so far away, after all!
Interested in how 75F's automated building control solutions can increase your commercial property value and cut your operating expenses? Download the Smart Buildings Boost Portfolio Value eBook to learn more!