Spring Creek TowersA massive residential development known as Spring Creek Towers in Brooklyn, New York has completed a $2-million smart building retrofit. The project will help facility personnel more effectively manage energy use, and increase safety and security across the development’s 46 apartment towers and multiple parking garages, retail centers and other amenities.

Opened in 1974, the housing development was originally known as Starret City, before being renamed in 2002. It contains 5,881 apartment units in buildings ranging from 11-stories to 20-stories and is said to be the largest federally assisted rental property in the United States.

The improvements were made by Honeywell Building Solutions including the installation of a centralized building management system (BMS) and local area network (LAN), giving the owners and operators of the complex the tools and intelligence to improve energy and operational efficiency, and trim related costs. The technology also provides the backbone for future enhancements that could span from upgrading access control to optimizing the onsite utility plant, which generates electricity for the entire campus — to further cut energy consumption and expenses.

“We knew there were opportunities to streamline operations, and were keenly interested in having the right systems in place to deliver the needed information and analysis,” said Salim Quershi, P.E., director of engineering for Spring Creek Towers. “The BMS from Honeywell and network infrastructure have helped deliver new insights into our energy use, and strengthened our ability to react more quickly to potential incidents.”

As part of the project, Honeywell replaced Spring Creek Towers’ aging alarm system with new sensors in critical areas throughout the apartment towers and associated facilities that can quickly alert operators to doors that should not be open, elevator issues and other concerns. In addition, the system monitors conditions in the central plant and pumping stations that provide hot and chilled water to the buildings.

Engineers also installed utility submeters to provide building managers with more accurate information about energy consumption and help uncover potential improvements.

Honeywell Enterprise Building Integrator (EBI) will tie the alarm and building systems together to give facility personnel a single access point to view and manage all related activity, which helps boost operator efficiency and simplify training. EBI will deliver energy reports for the apartment towers as well, providing in-depth detail on performance trends.

The new facility equipment is connected via a passive optical LAN (POL), a fiber-based solution for enterprise networking. The POL offers converged voice, data and video at gigabit speeds to any Ethernet endpoint. The solution provides significant savings over traditional LAN architectures. And it is more reliable than wireless networks, making Spring Creek Towers’ systems less vulnerable to weather-related incidents, such as flooding or strong winds.

Building operators will also use the network for video surveillance and Voice over IP (VoIP), eliminating the need to lease additional telephone and cable lines for these services.

“Using innovative technologies to gain a greater understanding of how a facility is operating can have a profound impact on the bottom line,” said Paul Orzeske, president of Honeywell Building Solutions. “By saving money through improved efficiency, Spring Creek Towers can invest more resources in building and bolstering its community.”

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