Pacific Retail Capital Partners (PRCP) owns a number of retail-led properties, including the Galleria at White Plains, an indoor shopping mall that serves Westchester County and the Bronx in New York. Pacific Retail partnered with Iota for help in identifying the cause of a problem related to excessive water use at the Galleria mall. After implementing a fix, PRCP saved more than $115,000 annually and 10,000+ gallons of water from being wasted each year.
“Pacific Retail is transforming retail-led centers into high-performing properties, and at the Galleria in White Plains, we have a mandate to develop sustainable operations that are more energy-efficient and provide a healthier environment to our tenants and visitors, while also reducing operating costs in the process. Partnering with Iota is helping us to achieve that goal. Iota is helping us make significant strides very quickly and we are excited about the results we are seeing.”
—Josh McCord, Retail Manager, Pacific Retail
Who is Pacific Retail?
Pacific Retail Capital Partners (PRCP) is the nation’s premier operating group of retail-led properties. With more than $1.5 billion in retail assets currently under management and a focus on enhancing the value and quality of a growing portfolio, PRCP is dedicated to creating a unique strategic vision for each of its properties.
One of its properties is Galleria, an indoor shopping center located in downtown White Plains, New York. With about 130 retailers and anchored by Macy’s and Sears, the Galleria includes prime retailers like H&M, Forever 21, Aldo, American Eagle and Victoria’s Secret.
PRCP has several properties in its portfolio, and it came to their attention that the water bills for the Galleria were higher than at other properties—a fact that was especially unusual because the mall’s square footage was smaller than that of PRCP’s other holdings. Naturally, they wanted to know more: What was the cause of this specific mall’s higher-than-average water bills?
The mall already had a sophisticated building management system in place, but it didn’t cover water consumption, nor did it provide time-of-use data. PRCP and mall managers needed a way to dig deeper into building operations, specifically with regard to how, when, and where water was being consumed.
What actions were taken to solve the problem?
After meeting with the owners and managers of the Galleria, the Iota team conducted an audit to determine the placement of IoT sensors that would monitor water consumption. Iota selected two water meters on premise to monitor water consumption in 15-minute intervals. The IoT sensors were installed using a wireless communications protocol that enabled the water consumption data to be forwarded to a cloud repository and subsequently analyzed by a visual analysis platform. After reviewing the data, it was determined that the aberrant usage problem was connected to a water-cooled refrigeration unit that was continuously calling for water circulation; upon entering the unit, the water exited down the drain almost immediately, wasting tens of thousands of gallons daily.
The analysis platform (Bright AI) allowed Iota to isolate water consumption patterns by day. The preliminary baseline of water consumption on the main meter showed an average daily consumption of 33,500 gallons per day.
The analytics platform was also able to visually illustrate the volume of water being consumed during a 24-hour period. The below graph shows consumption activity of the main meter round the clock. The fact that the water consumption was taking place at night—when the mall was unoccupied—made it easier to identify what activity was responsible for this water consumption.
An audit of all water-consuming systems made it possible to identify the culprit: a water-cooled refrigeration unit associated with a fast-food chain inside the mall. The restaurant’s faulty thermostat was subsequently fixed, resulting in a precipitous drop in water consumption.
What impact did the solution have?
Analysis shows that water consumption was reduced by more than 12,000 gallons per day as a result of the actions taken based on IoT remote monitoring. Given Galleria’s utility cost for water, the water savings resulted in an estimated annual savings for PRCP of more than $117,000.
Great Strides In Sustainability Goals
Pacific Retail’s mandate to develop sustainable operations and reduce operating costs made it necessary to reevaluate their building systems—and led them to the IoT.
McCord notes that “the biggest challenge for us had been finding a way to bridge the aggressive goals we were setting out to accomplish against the legacy systems we have running the facility. Leveraging IoT devices, combined with machine learning analytics harvests information with greater efficiency and at a more rapid pace than ever before. Iota’s BrightAI platform is lightweight and quick to deploy—and at a very low cost. We’ve already seen great reductions in our water usage, which has translated into substantial cost savings; we expect the same results through our Indoor Air Quality and Energy Efficiency deployments.
“Iota is helping us make significant strides very quickly and we are excited about the results we are achieving.”