Buildings IOT gives Thor Equities' new Chicago building a healthier outlook

800 W. Fulton in Chicago's Fulton Market District exemplifies new buildings designed with an aim to leverage IoT to support building health and management. (Thor Equities Group, Buildings IOT)

It remains to be seen whether or not building owners and tenants will emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic newly energized to adopt IoT solutions, but there are signs that more companies are taking the issue of “building health” more seriously, and they may need IoT to help them reach their goals.

That’s what Thor Equities Group is doing in working with Buildings IOT to support its new-construction property in Chicago. The developer tapped Buildings IOT to be the Master Systems Integrator for its 800 West Fulton Street project, and provide its onPoint Enterprise platform to deliver advanced building management capabilities, such as monitoring, reporting, analyzing, and providing command-and-control functionality across the property’s disparate building systems. 

Peter McEneaney, Senior Vice President of Development and Construction at Thor Equities, said Buildings IOT’s analytical capabilities “allow us to easily view building health holistically and make modifications as needed, increasing our tenants’ comfort and better serving their needs while also conserving energy and expanding the lifespan of our equipment assets.”

At the 18-story Fulton Street location, the cloud-based onPoint application links 12 different building systems and integrates more than 8,000 data points from operational equipment and IoT sensors present in every part of the 500,000 square foot space, according to a Buildings IOT statement. That data is then analyzed and presented through a reporting view single pane for buildings operators to help them make further management decisions. 

“800 Fulton is a visionary project, as the building incorporates several systems that we don’t typically see integrated into a building management solution,” said Brian Turner, CEO of Buildings IOT, in the statement. “It is still relatively rare for buildings to install and integrate indoor environmental and occupancy sensors beyond those that typically come in lighting systems. Our system affords Thor’s tenants and their employees and customers a safer, healthier, and more comfortable in-building experience.”

Some of the newer smart building design features present at 800 Fulton include, smart restroom technology for touchless fixtures and up-to-the-minute reporting on the status of supplies; indoor environmental quality monitoring for common area and amenity spaces; occupancy sensing for high traffic areas; and state-of-the-art mechanical equipment calibrated to prioritize fresh air throughout the building.

Turner told Fierce Electronics via email that interest among building operators in the company’s offerings often centers around their need for operational efficiency, energy efficiency, data availability and indoor health.

“Data is the emerging topic, especially as use cases evolve to the workplace experience and the emerging applications are being developed to satisfy those use cases,” he said. He added the building tenants have yet to apply much pressure on their landlords to adopt new building health technologies, but that could soon change.

“It might be too early to tell since many tenants are not back in buildings at scale or haven't been for very long,” he said. “I do expect to see some pressure from tenants as they settle back into their workspaces.”

As more demand emerges, Turner said Buildings IOT typically will be able to complete deployments in about a week for buildings with modern systems that are ready to connect. “Most buildings are not fully ready, but we can typically get the most important systems ready within a few weeks,” he added.

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