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The Smart Buildings Tech Challenge (SBTC) leverages the city's rich ecosystem of real estate tech innovators to enhance the infrastructure and operations at the Brooklyn Army Terminal. Launched in May 2018 as a component of the BAT Centennial celebration, the SBTC uses the BAT campus as a testing ground for cutting edge technology pilots that solve for specific challenges related to metering, maintenance, and communication.

This program serves as an opportunity for startups to deploy their products in real world environments, an essential step for product development and relationship building. In addition, the pilots use technology to solve for key challenges raised by BAT staff.

Smart Building Challenge Areas

Metering: Technologies that increase accuracy and efficiency in electric or water metering, such as:

  • Solutions that generate data on electrical or water usage, allowing staff to create operational efficiencies that result in lower costs or lower environmental impacts
  • Solutions that increase accuracy and ease of reading tenant electrical or water sub-meters and tenant invoicing

Maintenance: Technologies that improve maintenance of on-site infrastructure, including elevators and water pumps, collecting data on current performance and tracking opportunities for increased operational efficiency, such as:

  • Solutions that generate data on elevator use, allowing staff to improve elevator performance and create operational efficiencies that result in lower costs or lower environmental impacts
  • Solutions capable of remote monitoring and control of elevator locations
  • Solutions that use technology to inform preventative maintenance, such as remote inspection of pressure, temperature, and other conditions of water pumps
  • Solutions that support proactive operations and maintenance of building infrastructure and systems, allowing for greater insight into equipment status and performance

Communication: Technologies that facilitate communication between BAT staff, tenants, and the surrounding community or applications that facilitate communication for other smart building solutions, such as:

  • Solutions that visually share key data, such as building events and opportunities, weather and transit information, news feeds, wayfinding kiosks, or emergency notifications (e.g., interactive building directory; digital signage in elevators and tenant common spaces)
  • Solutions that increase communication and collaboration between BAT staff, building tenants, and/or the surrounding Sunset Park community (e.g., BAT app for staff and tenants; maintenance request portal; digital signage to connect tenants to the nearby events/businesses)
  • Solutions that enable connectivity within an industrial setting for communication with IoT devices (e.g., solutions to improve connectivity such as boosters, repeaters, or extenders)

Timeline & Key Milestones

Selected Finalists Notified

Applications were due in August 2018, selected companies were notified in October 2018, and contract negotiations have recently concluded. All three pilots are expected to launch by the end of 2019.

Additional Information

NYCEDC is committed to modernizing historic assets like BAT and has a long history of supporting New York City’s thriving tech sector and growing good jobs for New Yorkers in all five boroughs. NYCEDC has invested in entrepreneurial development programs to catalyze growth in the City’s tech community. Programs like Urbantech NYC spur innovation within the smart cities tech ecosystem through access to prototyping equipment, mentorship opportunities, and 100,000+ square feet of private and co-working space for growth-stage tech companies. Through the Smart Buildings Tech Challenge, NYCEDC seeks to continue this support for the city’s growing innovative companies by providing access to infrastructure for product development and testing.

Located in Sunset Park, the Brooklyn Army Terminal is a modern industrial campus that taps into the rich legacy of the South Brooklyn waterfront. This 4-million-square-foot complex is home to over 100 businesses and thousands of jobs, representing manufacturing and distribution businesses, as well as over 300 artists. The unique and historic site provides an ideal waterfront location in the heart of dynamic Brooklyn, within Sunset Park’s burgeoning community of advanced manufacturing activity. Over the past few years, NYCEDC has made significant investments to transform BAT into one of the most vibrant and accessible industrial campuses in the country.

Electric Metering Details

  • BAT is a master-metered building, with electricity supplied by Con Edison. BAT tenants are sub-metered. There are approximately 225 electric meters at BAT, including tenant sub-meters.

Elevator and Water Pump Details

  • BAT features 25 freight elevators and 16 passenger elevators. There are eight domestic water pumps at BAT; each system has two pumps (lead and lag), a compression tank, and a controller.

Communication Details

  • Due to BAT’s solid construction supporting loads of up to 250 pounds per square foot, wireless communication through the building’s fortified interior can be challenging.

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