Case Study: Trammell Crow – American Express
Downtime Is Disastrous
Business interruptions can be costly for companies whose livelihood depends on the continuous uptime of their mission-critical equipment and staff. According to Ontrack International, downtime costs can range from about $1M to $2.8M per hour depending on the industry, and water is one of the chief culprits. Further, water damage ranked second only to power outage as the leading cause of business outage. These statistics are what caused Trammell Crow Company, a leading provider of facility management services to firms of all sizes, to begin its search for a monitoring solution for its secure data center
Ensuring American Express's Uptime - An Around-the-Clock Job
The Trammell Crow Company (TCC) provides commercial property and facilities management services, commercial property brokerage and transaction management services, commercial property development and construction services and project management services. One of their larger customers, American Express Operations Center in Greensboro, houses more than 3000 employees and provides back office support for credit card processing for the entire East Coast. TCC's staff of professionals are responsible for ensuring the continuous operation of the 450,000 square foot facility 24x7, 365 days a year. This includes all the engineering, system setup, and monitoring of over 500 servers and phone line switches in the Operation Center’s Technologies Spaces which is 10,000 sq.ft.
Even A Small Water Leak Can Be a Big Problem
The current water leak detection system was badly in need of an upgrade, could not support facility expansion, and was creating a high incidence of false alarms. Thus, Andy began to search for a new water leak detection solution and compiled a set of minimum requirements:
- Broad distance coverage to handle the 1500+ feet of supply and return lines
- Tough and durable to endure stepping on or dropping
- Robust enough to minimize false alarms from slight condensation drips yet reset quickly
- Flexible to address different sensitivities required in different environments
- Compact to meet tight space requirements and that can be bundled with other wires
- Allow for integration with an existing Building Management System (BMS)
TCC quickly concluded that a cable-based solution best meet these requirements and proceed to evaluate the different technologies and available products from various vendors. The cable-based intelligent sensors allow for more comprehensive protection by supporting detection of multiple leaks, covering larger areas, and better pinpointing the exact location of a leak. Among the various choices, he found that non-conductive cables are better than conductive cables because they are more durable and less prone to false alarms from the cable coming in contact with metallic surfaces such as metal rods or grounding planes.
RLE Had the Solution
TCC found that the SeaHawk Water Leak Detection system from RLE Technologies best meet his requirements for durability, scalability, flexibility, and cost. His team deployed over 1250 feet of the SeaHawk Sensing Cable to protect the mission-critical servers and phone switches within the technologies spaces. According to TCC's Facilities Engineer, “the cabling that we ordered is far away and above what we were using to monitor these spaces - we feel that the product we have installed is the best out there.”
The SeaHawk solution helped Trammel Crow save on labor costs by eliminating the need to add personnel for man-hour coverage 24 x 7. Instead, the cabling system provides proactive monitoring and notification with equivalent level of protection at much lower cost. “The products we have installed allows our engineering team to sleep at night knowing that any moisture under the floor in any of these critical spaces will be detected in a moments notice and alarmed to the appropriate personnel.”
Apply the Solution to Other Facilities
As the company expands, he foresees an even greater role that the SeaHawk will play as an integral part of monitoring other facilities that Trammel Crow manages. “We are very pleased with what RLE had to offer us, and will continue to share the information with our other sites across the globe for any updates they may perform as well. In the end, we are very pleased with the company, the product, the customer service, and all parameters in between! Thanks RLE!”
Trammel Crow desperately needed to upgrade their water leak detection system. They needed a system that offered:
- Reliability with minimized false alarms.
- Easy installation and configuration.
- A scalable design able to expand with growth.
- Durability as well as flexibility.
- Quick and easy
- SeaHawk Distance-Read Leak Detection Controller
- Conductive Fluid Sensing Cable
“…The sensitivities and coverage provided by this equipment is exceptional.”
- Trammell Crow Company
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