Toronto proptech company Andorix is growing across Canada and its in-building network infrastructure solution is also making inroads with major developments internationally.
Andorix was formed by the 2020 merger of cloud computing service provider StorageASP and information technology and services provider NetKeepers, creating a converged network management solution to improve building operations, energy utilization and sustainability.
Andorix helps customers optimize their building operations with a focus on security, scalability and efficiency. Its vendor-agnostic digital infrastructure is purpose-built for real estate operators and provides a platform to support 5G, Internet of Things (IoT) and future smart building technologies.
“Before we could actually transform a building we need to be able to collect all the data in a unified way,” Andorix president and chief executive officer Wayne Kim told RENX.
Kim said buildings traditionally used active networks, which he said can be expensive to maintain and must be refreshed every few years.
What Andorix does
Andorix uses a managed passive optical network (PON), a fibre optic-based infrastructure platform that connects all building systems in a scalable and secure manner.
Instead of active switches which require electricity, a PON uses light splitters which are less expensive and require no power to operate – thus saving money and power.
The company designs, deploys and manages operational technology (OT) PON in-building network systems.
Within a typical OT environment, major building systems — including building automation, lighting control, access control, indoor environment quality sensors and video surveillance — will utilize the network to communicate with endpoint devices. All IoT sensor data devices in a building are also connected to the network.
This information is collected in a central dashboard for analysis and to ensure the continued optimization of building operations.
In comparing passive and active networks, Andorix claims passive will:
– save 67 per cent on installation costs;
– reduce power consumption by 72 per cent;
– reduce cable weight by 96 per cent;
– save 68 per cent in core equipment space; and
– provide 400 per cent savings on capital expenditures and operating expenditures in a smart building network.
“Payback is so quick,” Kim said.
Design, installation, deployment and management
Design, installation and deployment time depends on the size of the project, but Kim said it averages two to three months.
Andorix has strategies for new and existing buildings and manages systems for at least five years after they’re designed and deployed.
Management agreements can be renewed beyond the first five years.
“We just don’t build this thing and walk away,” said Kim, who added Andorix’s end-to-end knowledge and service make it unique in the industry. “We guarantee the building owners that we are going to take care of it for the next five to 10 years.”
Andorix buildings in Canada and the United States
Kim said Andorix systems are now in over 40 buildings, mainly offices, comprising 20 million square feet of space in Toronto, Mississauga, Vancouver and Calgary.
These include Commerce Court, 18 York (PwC Tower) and 120 Bremner in the Southcore Financial Centre complex, 145 King Street West and 200 King Street West in Toronto, and the 1.1-million-square-foot The Post office building that’s under construction and will be occupied by Amazon in Vancouver.
QuadReal is the largest building owner partner and is working with Andorix across its portfolio. Kim said the company is also in talks with major players including Cadillac Fairview, Oxford Properties, Brookfield and others.
Thor Equities’ goal was to build the smartest building in Chicago. While boosting its sustainability and wellness efforts, it wanted a complete solution powering the entire building, along with managed services to help with system integration.
In addition to installing a PON, Andorix also installed a distributed antenna system, set up and is managing the wi-fi network for common areas, and installed a low-power wide area network to enable the scalable collection of building-wide IoT sensor data.
“We chose to work with Andorix not only for their proven converged network technology in built buildings, but also for their ongoing managed service approach to help us integrate various building system data in a secure and operationally efficient manner,” Thor Equities senior vice-president of development and construction Peter McEneaney said in a media release.
Andorix now has about 35 employees, about 85 per cent of whom are engineers, according to Kim.
Andorix received more than $2 million in a venture capital seed investment in late 2020, but Kim said most funding to this point has been internal.
The company is looking at term sheets for additional funding to help it reach a goal of raising $100 million and installing the platform in 1,000 buildings.