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Smart Buildings Boost Portfolio Value

Smart Buildings Boost Portfolio Value

Smart Buildings make for smart investments in cost savings and value enhancements, often with ROI in under 3 years. And, you may be surprised how affordable and easy a modern building automation solution can be.


An initial assessment of your existing property can quickly identify the equipment and installation costs, as well as determine eligibility for energy efficiency incentives and financing. Just starting with a review of utility bills by an energy consultant can go a long way toward identifying budget source for a BAS.

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A surplus of CAM funds gives property managers and asset managers options to attract new tenants and retain valuable tenants with building improvement activities. Consider that CAM can be used for capital expenditures. Building improvements are generally accepted if they reduce the property’s operational costs, lead to reduced CAM charges and benefit all tenants. Whether your property is under a triple net (NNN) lease or a gross lease structure, upgrading your building’s HVAC system falls into these parameters nicely, and it doesn’t have to break the bank.


Strategic capital planning and innovative TI packages are attractive to tenants seeking renovated office space in prime locations, going way beyond paint and carpet upgrades. Tenants across industries see that they can get more value and customization opportunities in both CBD and suburban Class B buildings. Occupants benefit not only from reduced energy expenses, but also from the combination of comfort, improved indoor air quality and precise lighting controls – all factors that can boost employee productivity. And, 75F offers an occupant mobile app that empowers tenants to personalize zone-specific temperatures and lighting. Combining all of these benefits increases net operating income (NOI), which can improve investor returns and create capital for investment in additional projects. According to JLL Research, tenant improvement packages range from $30 to $50 per square foot nationwide. At less than $5 per square foot, a smart BAS optimizes the use of IoT, cloud computing and machine learning.



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A smart building automation system can save up to 50% vs typical new controls acquisition and installation costs, due to modern, low-cost sensors, the speed of intuitive and wireless system setup, and cloud computing eliminating the need for onsite IT equipment. And, you can gain sensing and insights around your occupancy, indoor air quality, energy use patterns, equipment performance and more.

Higher efficiency automation controls can reduce the required capacity of HVAC equipment in a new build design. One company was able to reduce the number and capacity of HVAC equipment, saving $150k for a new 115,000 sf office-warehouse property.



Aging Class A properties need to compete with the sprawling development of new premium Class A buildings and the resulting rise in vacancy in the category.

You already have the premium location and fixtures, though the HVAC and lighting systems may be nearing end of-life; a smart automation system can help extend the life of this equipment and improve its efficiency, plus provide preventative monitoring capabilities for more efficient property management and controls for tenants too.

One of the greatest values you could add is actually invisible: comfortable temperatures, high indoor air quality, a better occupant experience, plus improved efficiency and management capabilities. With high-demand tenants, you can shift from a measure of your response time to a position where you predict and pre-empt issues, so those issues never even surface in the first place.


Aging Class B buildings while typically well maintained, have great benefits from a smart building solution, which can serve as an investment opportunity and upgrade booster for stronger lease rates.

Whether equipped with aging Rooftop Units or boilers and heat pumps, retrofit building automation solutions can bring a new level of value to the property to attract or retain tenants with state-of-the-art sensing and controls, comfortable and healthy indoor air, and remote monitoring and maintenance efficiencies.


Class C properties have a lot to gain from smart sensing and controls automation, which can quickly and easily be installed during renovation, including TI and CAM investments. Remote monitoring provides added insight across properties, including predictive analysis of equipment performance.


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Whether you manage a portfolio of 1000’s of properties or a handful of select sites, the remote monitoring and management capabilities of smart building systems give you single-pane-of-glass visibility and control from your Web browser or mobile phone – down to the building, floor, zone and equipment levels.

No need to be onsite to have insight.

Consider the hard costs and opportunity costs for travel to sites or ordering service truck rolls to manually assess facility performance and issues. With remote monitoring and control capabilities, you can sense and see early signals of issues in your facilities and even plan predictive maintenance, sending truck rolls only when needed….and equipped with knowledge and parts for an efficient visit.

Even a Frankenstein mix of properties and systems can be beautifully managed.

You likely have a mix of building profiles in your portfolio. And within any one location, you may have a combination of HVAC systems installed, including different topologies, brands and models. Until now, you were forced to work within silos of these systems, or you faced an expensive and resource-intensive investment to try to piece together these systems with custom programming and specialist involvement. Today, you can retrofit sensors and controllers within that Frankenstein mix of systems and get a beautifully integrated view of current status, energy use, zone and equipment drill-downs and more. What’s more, you can add efficiencies and extend the lifespan of aging HVAC equipment, reducing OpEx and deferring capital equipment investments.


When’s the best time to install a smart building automation system?

The short answer is now. Start with a quick assessment and a low-risk trial installation, which can be accomplished for less than a typical audit. And, start realizing immediate energy savings and benefits for your tenant and your efficient property management that can scale on your schedule. Timing in the fiscal year and the lease status can also create great opportunities for an intelligent building automation investment:

  • TI
  • CAM surplus
  • Vacancy Opportunities
  • And, new tax regulations may make an even stronger case

Vacancy is an open window of opportunity.

A vacant property presents a great time to install a building controls upgrade without tenant disruption, creating a welcoming and comfortable climate, adding remote visibility and timing for benchmarking energy use and performance.


Commercial properties will become the smartest, most connected buildings in the Internet of Things ecosystem over the next few years. Will your buildings offer the smarts and performance as high-value assets delivering strong returns, while creating ideal conditions to attract and delight your tenants? Smart buildings cut expenses in energy, maintenance and other areas, making for a straightforward payback timeframe. Though the improved experiences for owners, property manager and occupants alike will offer the greatest value and returns.

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