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TELUS’ Calgary smart buildings reduce costs, carbon

TELUS Smart Building has partnered with Calgary-based real estate developer and investment compan...

Telus Smart Building, Arlington Street Investments, Smart Building, Calgary, Alberta, The Fifth

Telus Smart Building and Arlington Street Investments are bringing smart building technology to The Fifth in Calgary (Courtesy Arlington Street Investments).

TELUS Smart Building has partnered with Calgary-based real estate developer and investment company, Arlington Street Investments, to bring smart building technology to a Calgary retail and residential development.

The five-storey boutique building, known as The Fifth, will be located at 602 17th Avenue SW in the city’s Retail and Entertainment District. It will contain 52 condominium units plus a variety of amenities spread across 51,000 square feet of floor space.

It sits across the road from Arlington’s National Block Building, and the 12,000-square-feet of ground floor retail being built into the project is designed to serve both new and existing residents in the area.

The Fifth will be constructed as a smart building, part of TELUS’ commitment to using technology to create sustainable, healthy and connected spaces.

TELUS is a world-leading communications technology company with $16 billion in annual revenue and 16 million customer connections spanning wireless, data, IP, voice, television, entertainment, video and security.

“We are proud to offer building automation, security, entertainment and connectivity solutions to help protect what matters most while creating an enhanced lifestyle for residents and guests,” said Jason Macdonnell, president, smart security and automation, Telus, in a release.

Building residents will be able to use the TELUS Smart Building app for a variety of purposes, including: to remotely lock and unlock doors, adjust thermostats and automate lighting to conserve energy, detect water leaks to avoid potentially damaging floods and water waste, and access a smart intercom system to issue temporary codes for guests to enter the building and suites.

TELUS’ Behold Smart Building technology

Building systems such as HVAC/R and grease interceptor equipment often operate inefficiently, which results in increased operating costs, unexpected maintenance and shortened equipment lifespan.

Environmental concerns have also placed increasing pressure on property developers and building managers, who are seeking new ways to reduce their carbon footprints and operating costs.

TELUS’ Behold Smart Building technology is an end-to-end solution that enables property owners to automate and service equipment before problems occur, ensuring building systems operate at optimum efficiency levels.

The solution consists of three core elements:

– plug-and-play hardware;

– cloud-based cellular connectivity;

– smart software.

Behold provides the ability to optimize individual units and set up custom interactions, ensuring peak optimization across various equipment and systems.

The smart systems send predictive notifications to property owners to inform them of potential issues so they can avoid unexpected equipment failure.

The centralized, cloud-based dashboard can be accessed from anywhere in the world, providing complete control and visibility into the status of systems, energy usage, maintenance requirements, failure analysis and performance data.

“Our team looked throughout the entire market to find a fully integrated smart solution for our high-profile, urban multifamily projects,” said Frank Lonardelli the founder and CEO of Arlington Street Investments, in a release. “I was extremely impressed with what we found to be the only turn-key smart home security technology with a fully automated and digital building solution offered through TELUS.”

Arlington owns and develops some of the highest-profile sites in various urban centres and creates mixed-use “live, work and play” communities.

Smart sensors reduce water waste

Water leak and shut-off sensors are designed to detect leaks throughout residential units and communicate with the building system to manage the issue. The system quickly shuts off the water and sends an alert to the affected resident(s) and property manager.

Aside from emergency situations, the system monitors plumbing systems for leaks and areas of low water levels and over-usage. Water metering options are also available, advising property managers when water is being wasted so they can address unnecessary consumption.

Water consumption can also be used to detect occupancy. For example, if water is not used in a unit for two or three days, the meter assumes the tenant is not home and adjusts the unit’s thermostat and lighting to conserve energy.

Smart lighting reduces mercury and waste

The smart lighting system consists of energy-efficient light bulbs connected and controlled with smart plugs, which pair with buildings’ automation systems.

Traditional incandescent light bulbs consume a ton of energy and are wasteful, emitting up to 18 mg of mercury into the air over their lifespan.

Smart lamp plugs allow residents to seamlessly control lighting in their suite. The app also allows tenants to set schedules to turn lighting on and off, and includes reminders to turn lights off at the end of the day or during periods of absence.

Temperature regulation

A U.S. Environmental Protection Agency study found users of smart automation systems for temperature regulation saved 10-30 per cent on their energy bills.

Smart thermostats connect to local weather and plan heating and cooling accordingly, which optimizes temperature control. This feature can reduce monthly heating and cooling bills significantly.

With energy metering, property managers and residents can also monitor energy usage by unit, which provides information about energy consumption and helps owners reduce consumption.

If residents accidentally leave a window open or their heat on high, or forget to turn off their hair tools, notifications are sent to their smart device.

“This past year has been exceptionally challenging. We have had to change the way we work, manage our homes and interact with the people around us,” said Erin Walker, director of smart communities and new growth markets at TELUS, in a release.

“The buildings that we work and live in should adapt with us and create safer, more sustainable and interconnected communities – adding value seamlessly to our ever-changing lives. Technology and automation will play a critical role in this exciting shift.”

TELUS smart Sky residences

Westbank Living, a firm with over 12,700 rental homes completed or under development in Canada and the U.S., has also partnered with TELUS. Westbank’s Sky residences in Calgary is also a smart building, featuring control locks and thermostats that can be adjusted from guests’ mobile devices.

The app also enables visitors to:

– grant access to guests;

– book amenities;

– contact Westbank’s concierge;

– set heating and cooling schedules, or program heating or cooling to activate upon arrival.

The connectivity of the building allows residents to be productive when working from home, while also providing peace of mind when travelling or simply getting groceries, knowing that they do not have to bring their keys, due to the remote entry.

Tenants are also able to monitor their apartments 24/7 from anywhere in the world. Access control also allows tenants to allow guests or pet sitters into the building and their units while they are away. Being able to track who comes and goes gives guests greater security and peace of mind.

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