Every industry has its jargon, and commercial real estate is certainly no exception. With the recent explosion in CRE tech, it seems like there are more new terms out there than ever. So, when we talk to property teams about how they manage their overtime HVAC requests and the advantages of going on-demand, we’re often asked: what does going “on-demand” mean? Here’s a quick and easy explanation of what going on-demand means, and why so many buildings do it.
Every building has lease hours. Usually, they cover regular working hours on Monday through Friday (plus some time before and after the workday), and some hours on Saturday. During these hours the building is operating and available to tenants, with the HVAC system keeping the building at comfort.
The problem is that on weekends and “minor holidays” (think, the day after Thanksgiving or Presidents Day) the building is running as though it’s full—when in reality, only a small fraction of tenants are working.
Many property teams think that they need to run the building at full occupancy because it’s in the lease language, and frankly, for a long time they didn’t have much of a choice. But with overtime HVAC software, they can now change the way they operate their buildings outside of normal business hours by going on-demand.
Going on-demand means only running the building’s HVAC equipment when it’s needed and only for the tenants that need it.
Tenants request HVAC when they’re going to be in the building on Saturdays and minor holidays, and the BMS supplies that air to the appropriate suites or floors, but otherwise the property team can give the building and its equipment a rest during those off-peak times.
The benefits of this approach are immense: going on-demand saves energy and money. By not running the building when it’s not necessary you can save thousands of dollars a year on energy costs and prolong the life of your equipment.
The major challenge for most teams, however, is how to truly go on-demand without needing an engineer to stand by around the clock to program last minute requests into the BMS, or without scheduling so many recurring requests that it defeats the purpose of going on-demand in the first place.
Our Overtime HVAC software allows tenants to submit requests at any time from their smartphone or computer, fulfills the requests automatically through your BMS, and tracks all of the billing (including whether the requests are within lease hours or not). This means that in addition to saving energy and money, going on-demand can actually save significant amounts of time as well.
“We’ve found that 93% of our customer buildings go on-demand on Saturdays after implementing our software, resulting in a massive impact on their bottom line and carbon footprint. “
Running your building on demand also saves the sanity of the property teams, who don’t have to respond to last minute requests during their days off.
Building flexibility and responsiveness into your building operations is the way of the future, and going on-demand is just one way you can ensure that your building is operating as efficiently as possible.