Read a recap of her session below.
Smart Retrofits Add Value
The morning’s second panel looked at how to make existing buildings smarter, a challenging task since old building systems were not designed with sensors in mind. Panelists Samantha Pearce (Bright Power) and Dave Unger (Sentient Buildings) have worked together to bring these technologies to multifamily buildings. Despite the higher costs, the value is immediately clear to Pearce. She’s seen sensor and control installations pay for themselves in a single day by avoiding catastrophic equipment failures—like a water leak that could have damaged electrical systems. Likewise, Unger sees sensors and controls adding value for the owner. For example, a digital thermostat that allows on-demand heating and cooling can be a big selling point for future buyers. Per Michael Bobker (Building Performance Lab at CUNY), smart Building Management Systems (BMS) add value when they learn from component failures and create system rules that can easily alert operators of similar problems in the future.