Case Stories

How Mesa and DT Drive Comfort & Sustainability In Commercial Buildings

Building Managers strive to optimize safety, comfort, and sustainability for their tenants. In 2021, they all face similar challenges:

  • Optimizing space allocation and workplace design.
  • Providing timely and cost-efficient maintenance services for the assets of the building.
  • Dealing with continuous improvement of upkeep and maintenance services.
  • Evaluating and selecting solutions from different vendors towards optimizing value for money.
  • Planning and executing move scenarios in-line with the tenants’ requirements.
  • Forecasting and analyzing real-estate and lease management trends.

Mesa is an easy-install kit for commercial buildings that cuts energy costs, improves tenant comfort, and simplifies building operations. It is developed by Sidewalk Labs, an urban innovation company. As a preferred partner of Sidewalk Labs, Disruptive Technologies provides many of the sensors for Mesa.

The Top Challenges In Facilities Management

Over the last couple of years, building managers have increasingly been required to deal with new challenges that go beyond conventional building management tasks. The most prominent are tackling building emissions and monitoring building conditions remotely.

Building Emissions

In the US, Class B/C office buildings represent 97% of all office buildings and 68% of the total square footage. Therefore, energy-efficient buildings and related facilities management applications must contribute to improving the environmental performance of built environments.

Buildings are significant emitters of greenhouse gases in cities. In Austin, buildings account for nearly 50 percent of city emissions. In dense cities like New York, it’s over 70 percent.

In order to achieve the targets set by the Paris Agreement and various local sustainability initiatives, cities are increasingly requiring existing buildings to pursue renovations to improve their energy efficiency.  While critical for the planet, green renovations can be challenging, especially for older and smaller Class B/C buildings, which represent 97% of all office buildings in the U.S.

Remote Monitoring

Remote workers are not confined to a 9-5 schedule or to their office space. Rather, they have flexible working patterns: working from home some days; working from shared/co-working spaces on others; and going to the office at times, too.

The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the remote workforce and intensified these irregular working patterns, as many companies implement flexible working policies. In this context, tenants need to manage the conditions of their office (e.g., heating or ventilation) remotely, regardless of time and location.

The Solution: Introducing Mesa

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Internet of Things (IoT) technologies open new horizons in Building Management. As IoT devices are deployed in offices and buildings, real estate companies and building management enterprises are provided with instant, internet-based access to information about the status of office spaces, equipment, and other assets of their buildings.

For instance, smart thermostats provide accurate information about a room’s temperature, while smart bulbs can offer access to lighting data. The analysis of this information brings unprecedented opportunities for deploying intelligent applications that boost automation, provide remote management capabilities, and improve sustainability.

Disruptive Technologies has partnered with Sidewalk Labs, an Alphabet urban innovation company, to support its commercial office sustainability offering: Mesa. Mesa helps commercial building owners, tenants, and managers cut wasted energy and manage their spaces remotely. Plus, it has tenant comfort at its core. One of Mesa’s key differentiators is its easy and quick installation, which allows building managers to avoid labor and commissioning fees. It’s a simple, comprehensive, and cost-effective energy-saving system that improves the efficiency and sustainability of office spaces.

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Mesa leverages DT’s sensors and Cloud Connectors to then dynamically control HVAC and plug loads via a backend optimization engine. It provides building managers and tenants with insights and real-time information about their office spaces. For example, it provides fresh air and ventilation warnings, as well as occupancy indicators.

  • Sustainability and Cost Savings: Mesa optimizes energy consumption in almost real-time to save buildings up to 20 percent on energy bills.
  • Tenant Comfort: Tenants can share their temperature preferences via a user-friendly app, and Mesa will automatically create a comfortable work environment — all while automatically optimizing for energy use and cost.
  • Simplified Building Operations: Mesa’s dashboard allows building managers to control their space from anywhere. On top of that, the system is easy to install. No high-touch, expensive installation required.

The solution is ideal for Class B/C commercial buildings that are too resource-constrained to own and operate state-of-the-art energy optimization platforms like Building Management Systems (BMS) or Building Automation Systems (BAS). Buildings tend to have high greenhouse gas emissions as a result of unmanaged energy in tenant spaces. The Mesa-based energy-saving system enables you to substantially improve your environmental footprint, while at the same time ensuring a healthy and smart workplace for tenants.

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Mesa Features

Specifically, the solution comprises the following technical components and functionalities:

  • IoT sensors. Disruptive Technologies’ sensors are a fundamental part of the solution. They sense the office environment to provide relevant contextual information (e.g., room temperature and humidity) to the optimization algorithms.
  • IoT platform. Sensors and other smart devices are integrated within an IoT platform, which facilitates data management and operational configuration.
  • Remote monitoring module. This feature enables remote access to real-time information about the office, while at the same time enabling control of HVAC and plug loads.
  • Fault detection and diagnostic analytics. This feature provides real-time information about the various assets, including malfunctions in the office equipment. It also uses predictive analytics to alert managers to preventative maintenance services that could save them time and money.
  • Workplace analytics. This feature provides both real-time and analytical information about the status of the workplace. It offers information about occupancy, energy efficiency, and comfort-related parameters. It also enables the optimization of both comfort conditions and reduced greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Tenant Engagement application. Mesa’s user-friendly app lets occupants report whether their office spaces are too hot, too cold, or just right, so Mesa can adjust the temperature accordingly. Tenants can see their own impact on their office’s carbon footprint, too
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Mesa Tangible Benefits

Owner Benefits

Mesa, a smart energy solution for Class B/C commercial buildings, delivers tangible business benefits for building owners. It enables smaller businesses in the building management space to improve their competitiveness and environmental performance.

Energy savings and simplified building operations directly lead to improved operating costs. Smart building and smart workplace environments are also appealing to tenants and future building owners. Tenant satisfaction improves renewals, leasing, and rental rates.

Tenant Benefits

  • Energy Savings: Mesa delivers up to 20 percent on bills by optimizing energy usage based on occupancy, tenant preferences, and external factors such as weather and humidity.
  • Automation: Mesa automatically adjusts workplace conditions, without the need for manual interventions for configuration or fine-tuning.
  • Regulatory Compliance: Mesa facilitates compliance with emerging emissions regulations like New York City’s Climate Mobilization Act in New York.
  • Real-time visibility: Mesa provides remote access to thermostats and select outlets, which provide tenants with real-time visibility into the conditions in their space.
  • Increased comfort and wellness: With Mesa’s fresh air warnings and thermostat adjustments, building managers can ensure a healthy, comfortable environment for their tenants.

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