Colliers prevents 18 pipe burst incidents


In addition to well-known brokerage and real estate services business lines, Colliers International manages a portfolio of buildings in New York City owned by Williams Equities. Like their other businesses, the Colliers team is committed to providing the best product possible. In this context, that means effectively maintaining building systems so that tenants remain comfortable and productive.

Similar to other properties in New York, cold weather presents a number of challenges to building operators. When temperatures drop below freezing, the Colliers team had to be vigilant that pipes exposed to outside air intake would not freeze and eventually burst.

“We work hard to monitor pipes during the coldest months to avoid freezing It’s a challenge because we don’t know where the problem might occur next.”
Luis Iglesias Jr.
Managing Director of Property Management

A pipe burst is one of the most costly and disruptive incidents that could happen in a commercial real estate asset. The direct costs of clean up and remediation can easily exceed $17,000.

To ensure this situation would not occur, Colliers would pay union operators overtime to monitor the ambient temperature around pipes and to be on site if anything went wrong. In early 2019, there was a polar vortex that caused temperatures to drop well below freezing for an extended period of time. The concern was so high during this period that staff slept overnight at the property

“The Enertiv team worked with us to develop a solid plan to install sensors at every critical point in the building.”
John DiFiore
Executive Managing Director


One property in the Colliers portfolio, the iconic 40 W 23rd Street building that houses Home Depot, had already implemented Enertiv’s platform to streamline their operations and maintenance activities. After the issue was brought up to Enertiv during a regular client success meeting, the two parties began to explore alternative solutions.

Working in close collaboration with the Colliers team, Enertiv deployed a customized “Freeze Watch” sensor package that met the needs of the portfolio for a fraction of the cost. Dozens of wireless temperature sensors were installed throughout the property in strategic locations to continuously track temperatures around the plumbing infrastructure.

“The Freeze Watch solution really helped us. It made things much easier to simply add this data to a platform that we were already familiar with I’m looking forward to getting these sensors installed throughout the portfolio before next winter.”
Luis Iglesias
Managing Director of Property Management

Each wireless sensor was networked to feed data into the same platform that the Colliers team had become familiar with. Most critically, the platform was set up to trigger a series of SMS and email notifications directly to operators when temperatures dipped below set thresholds.


In the first month that Freeze Watch was deployed, the platform helped avert 18 potential incidents. In addition, the portfolio saved costs associated with overtime pay and freed up operator time for more value-add activities.

Due to the success of the Freeze Watch sensor package, the Colliers team is looking to scale the solution across their New York City portfolio. Deployments will be made in the spring and summer in preparation for the upcoming winter.