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Sensors to the Rescue

The Bay Club Condominium, a pair of 22-story towers in Bayside, Queens, was full of potential for disastrous leaks. There are two elevator mechanical rooms in bulkheads on the roofs, two water storage tanks, a domestic hot water tank and 44 laundry rooms, as well as the largest private indoor pool in Queens. 


Bobby Hodge, the Bay Club’s resident manager and a believer in preventive maintenance, reached out to Aware Buildings, which offers wireless sensors that detect water leaks and sends out immediate notifications to help clients catch leaks before damage escalates. David Zilenziger, Aware’s director of business development, promptly set up test sensors at the condo. The very next morning, one of the sensors alerted Hodge to a breach in an eight-foot section of overhead pipe that ran to the condo’s domestic hot-water tank. The faulty pipe was quickly replaced and disaster averted.


The condo’s insurance policy has a $25,000 deductible for leaks. Knowing that in today’s hard insurance market any claim will very likely trigger a rise in premiums and deductibles at renewal time, the board approved the purchase of 84 Aware Buildings sensors, which Hodge has deployed throughout the property in potential trouble spots. In addition to leak sensors, the purchase included door monitors that send an alert when someone enters or exits a secure area. 


The cost for the hardware was $15,360, and Aware Buildings’ annual monitoring fee is $8,662 (about $2 per month per sensor) — totaling less than the condo’s insurance deductible. The money came out of the operating budget. “If there’s one major leak without detectors, it could easily cost more than the cost of the detectors,” Hodge says. “It’s preventive maintenance. And it’s such a great tool for peace of mind.”

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