Wondering how much a specific building system upgrade would save? This software just deployed in 31 US office properties may help

by Brianna Crandall — July 24, 2019 — Lionstone Investments recently announced that it has entered into an agreement with Austin, Texas-based smart building software company Bractlet to implement its technology at 31 office properties totaling nearly 9 million square feet, about half of Lionstone’s total US portfolio. The unique platform identifies tailored building performance optimizations aimed at reducing energy use and operating expenses.

Bractlet’s ability to identify opportunities to optimize capital investment and streamline costs for asset owners is tied to its analysis tools, which merge building design information with operations data. Data on property usage, occupation, equipment-level energy consumption, and local weather is input into a real-time building automation system (BAS) to create a “digital energy twin” of each asset.

Screenshot of Bractlet smart building software

Bractlet identifies opportunities to optimize capital investment and streamline costs through its analysis tools, which merge building design information with operations data. Image courtesy Bractlet

Bractlet then models the impact of building improvements and equipment options (such as energy-efficient HVAC and lighting or intelligent control systems) to help asset managers determine the return on investment (ROI) of specific building system upgrades.

Lionstone’s head of Portfolio Management and co-head of Operations Tom Paterson noted:

Lionstone is recognized in the industry for its commitment to a data-driven approach to real estate investing. Implementing Bractlet’s technology at the portfolio-level allows us to make informed decisions that benefit our investors, conserve energy, and improve tenant comfort and productivity. In this manner, Lionstone is able to provide best-in-class management throughout the entire investment lifecycle.

In addition to making better investment decisions, Bractlet helps building owners execute equipment and system upgrades by providing detailed project specifications, ensuring bids are in scope and priced appropriately. Bractlet’s software platform provides project support once work is completed to confirm the building and equipment are performing correctly. The automated alert system monitors building performance and energy consumption, ensuring any issues are immediately flagged and fixed.

Alec Manfre, co-founder and chief executive officer of Bractlet, stated:

Historically, decisions relating to capital improvements were based on traditional engineering studies, so asset managers heavily relied on human expertise and manual assessments of the impact these improvements would have on a building’s performance. Our virtual modeling capabilities use physics and thermodynamics to provide a holistic solution, allowing us to pinpoint areas for improvement that were previously unknown.

Bractlet says its software has been used to evaluate more than 80 buildings across the United States, encompassing over 25 million square feet of institutional office space. In addition to reducing an owner’s energy costs, Bractlet’s ability to reduce a building’s carbon footprint also fulfills sustainability and corporate social responsibility (CSR) mandates for owners and their investors and tenants.