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Three Ways Rudin Is Investing In Its Buildings

Show us a landlord who looks for building materials that'll outlast brick, and we'll show you a long-term owner. (Limestone seems to be working for the pyramids.) Here's how NYC's legendary long-hauler Rudin Management is investing in its 36 buildings (10M SF of office and 4M SF of residential).

1) Developing its own technology


VP Michael Rudin tells us it's piloting the first operating system for the built environment, Di-BOSS, which links all of a building's networks. Developed with Columbia University and Finmeccanica, it lets landlords and even large tenants watch and control operations. One building, 560 Lexington Ave, used 30% less energy during a heat wave. (We've beaten you, sun.) Di-BOSS uses fancy algorithms (that's where Columbia came in) to help determine the best wake-up and go-to-sleep times for buildings. Finmeccanica subsidiary Selex eventually will sell the product, and Rudin also hopes to use it in residential. Fun fact: Rudin was one of the first firms to fully wire a building for Internet after CEO Bill Rudin and COO John Gilbert read Nicholas Negroponte's Being Digital in 1995.

2) Turning to terra cotta


Rudin is investing $90M in the 1M SF, 600-apartment 215 E 68th St, which includes a terra cotta rain screen (popular in Europe but never used on a large-scale building in the States) rather than replacing the brick. The new skin hangs a few inches off the wall, and the air that flows through forces moisture out through the panels. The price difference is minimal, Michael says, but the terra cotta lasts longer. The facade delivered this summer, and now Rudin is renovating the lobby, adding a gym and children's play room, and sprucing up the driveway and landscaping. Michael also tells us the company just leased 13k SF in the building to Grace's Marketplace.

3) Giving virtual tours


Over at The Greenwich Lane, Rudin is doing for residential what tech companies like 42Floors and View the Space do for commercial: giving potential buyers iMax-worthy virtual tours of what their space could look like. Michael says this redevelopment has such a variety of units that it's hard to sell off floor plans this early (condos will deliver from late '15 through the first half of '16), so Rudin uses an iPad-like, 80-inch screen to show potential condo buyers floor plans, renderings, and even views. It's pre-certified Gold for LEED for Neighborhood Development (the first pre-certified resi one in Manhattan) and tracking Gold for New Construction. It's also got "ubiquitous Wi-Fi," meaning each unit can have its own secure network and use all those cool home automation tools you see in commercials.