Buildings IoT

Expecting Energy Savings in Midtown East

By Matt White | October 25, 2018

We’re about eight months into our NYSERDA RTEM qualification and the idea of up to 30 percent cost-sharing on real time energy management projects is piquing the interest of building owners and operators in all corners of the city. In advance of a vendor breakfast and mini conference on #proptech Nov. 8, we thought now was a great time to take a look at one of OTI’s RTEM projects currently underway in New York City.

Join us on Madison Avenue to learn about the intersection of sustainability and technology

Energy Savings in Midtown East

757 Third Avenue is a 502,000 sq. ft. office building in Manhattan’s Midtown East. The building has seen its share of renovations and sales in recent years. Once the current owner settled in with the building, an exploration of the building’s energy use became feasible. OTI, aided in part by the benefits of the RTEM program, was brought on to replace the two existing control systems with EasyIO panels and controllers, integrate existing Niagara devices and provide a visual user interface for full control and continuous monitoring of the new system.

The network will be switched almost completely to BACnet IP and in phase two, we will install a fiber backbone and expand analytical, metering and other services.

Key Benefits of Real-Time Energy Management

Our partners at NYSERDA outline the benefits of RTEM like this:

  • RTEM centralizes the tracking of all utility usage allowing for one-stop management of total energy consumption and spending.
  • RTEM centralizes the management of on-site generation assets with the scheduling and operations of building equipment and plants.
  • RTEM centralizes the monitoring of base building systems and common areas with tenant-owned systems and tenant-occupied spaces.
  • RTEM centralizes the monitoring and management of energy consumption with air quality metrics to minimize energy while maximizing occupant wellness.

Nuts and Bolts

The nuts and bolts of OTI’s RTEM system for 757 Third Ave. include:

  • Ongoing commissioning and continuous identification of energy efficiency opportunities.
  • Energy performance tracking.
  • Automated fault detection and concise diagnoses for quick action.
  • Potential for peak-demand management programs.
  • KPI dashboard built for different building stakeholders.

This project is currently in development with installation expected by the end of this year. As results come in, we will update you on progress. For now, plan to meet us at 41 Madison Avenue to talk more about this project, NYSERDA RTEM, proptech, energy management and system integration. RSVP today.


Buildings IoT

The First Two Things You Should Know Before Starting on Building Automation in New York City

By Matt White | March 29, 2018

For all of its reputation and glamour, New York City may be best defined by its skyline. The buildings that fill in the grid like a 5,000-piece puzzle are icons even if you don’t know their names or what the people inside of them are doing. And remarkably, on the 304-square-mile island there are always more buildings working their way up toward the horizon line, like these beauties expected to be complete by 2021. With that backdrop, building automation in New York City offers incredible opportunity.


What presents the most opportunity for building owners, contractors and tenants in the city are the older buildings that don’t get as much attention. About half of all commercial buildings in the United States were constructed before 1980. To drill down into the age of New York City’s buildings alone, turn to this incredible technicolor map. It puts NYC in line with the national numbers and it’s fun to zoom in and see the surprising bursts of hot pink noting a building here and there that is nearly 200 years old.

Building Automation in New York City

Building automation in New York City thrives on that large inventory of rather old buildings. A lot has changed in building and energy management just in the past 10 year. New York City happens to be an incredible place to improve existing stock of old buildings that no longer operate like they should.

These are the first two things you should know before you embark on building automation in New York City.

1.) Find the right partners

The right partner can not only keep the job moving, they can present opportunities you didn’t even know about. Enter NYSERDA, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority. They promote energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy sources across the state. Don’t worry, this isn’t a fad group that just cropped up and may be out of money by the time you get around to opening their web page. NYSERDA has been governed by a 13-member board providing objective information and analysis, technical expertise and support across the buildings industry since 1975. They have a long list of programs and services for customers and vendors. OTI was recently certified for their Real Time Energy Management (RTEM) Program, so we can bring up to 30% in project discounts by using this program.

2.) Consider the cloud

Plenty of building owners think their systems are outdated. Those same building owners are likely not authorizing the gutting of an entire system based on a hunch. So contractors and integrators would be wise to start small. Focus on one system or desired outcome and prioritize. Once you get beyond the basics – repairing and replacing parts that are clearly malfunctioning – cloud monitoring can open valuable windows. These systems typically offer real-time views and various analytics and show which devices cause problems.

*Skyline photo by Matheu Slotero on Flickr

OTI News

Announcing our NYSERDA RTEM qualification

By Matt White | February 6, 2018

NYSERDA RTEM for smart buildings in New York state

OTI is pleased to announce that we are officially a systems provider for the NYSERDA RTEM program – New York State Energy Research and Development Authority’s Real-Time Energy Management.

Joining the list of leading contractors for energy management solutions, we are now able to offer clients access to supplemental funding for qualified building automation system projects.

Read our announcement in the news.

Here’s why we’re excited about this:

  • For building owners, NYSERDA can support up to 30 percent of the cost for real time energy management projects.
  • A NYSERDA-approved RTEM system includes fault detection, fault diagnostics, predictive analytics and performance optimization.
  • According to the program, real-time energy management projects can return 15-30 percent energy savings per year by making up for the 30-60 day lag time for utility bills.

NYSERDA RTEM includes a rigorous verification process. Reviewers work to determine each vendor’s ability to install, integrate and operate new building automation systems. The goal is to present contractors who have proven energy management and optimization capabilities. NYSERDA re-verifies contractors every four years to ensure systems still performing to current real-time energy management standards.

As we complete projects in NYC, we plan to share stories of building owners who take advantage of RTEM. Check back on this blog for those stories throughout the year.