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Douglas Elliman Property Management
Liebert UPS Keeps Building Communication System Running During Great Blackout

The Challenge
Provide 24-hours of backup power to building communications system

The Solution
Liebert GXT2 UPS system

The Liebert Difference
  • Solution-oriented channel partner
  • Proven product
  • Adaptable technology

  • The Partner
    Innovative Business Solutions

    The Situation
    As resident manager of a 150-unit co-op in midtown Manhattan, Bob Tullis places a high priority on safety. The 30-year-old building at 111 E. 85th St., owned by Douglas Elliman Property Management, houses residents in a variety of age groups.

    Beyond normal fire and life safety considerations, Tullis determined the need for a communications system to reach of the building's residents individually or as a group in an emergency situation.

    "We make a special effort to identify all residents who might have special needs and require assistance," said Tullis. "We needed a reliable way to communicate with those residents during emergency situations.

    In the summer of 2003, Tullis had an intercom system installed in the building on a pilot basis. Because the system would be most valuable during emergency situations, a source of backup power was essential.

    The Solution
    Innovative Business Solutions (IBS), a Liebert solutions partner with experience in disaster recovery and power quality management, was brought in to assess the situation and recommend a backup power solution for the intercom. IBS recommended a Liebert GXT2 UPS capable of powering the intercom system for 24-hours using UPS batteries."

    "IBS had provided solutions for some of our other properties and we trust their recommendation," said Tullis. "They worked closely with the local Liebert representative to provide excellent support. They even helped us troubleshoot a problem with the intercom system that even the vendor couldn't resolve."

    "One of the requirements of this application was that the intercom system be able to run for 24-hours on UPS battery," said Jason Blank of IBS. "The Liebert GXT2 supports longer runtimes in a smaller footprint than other UPSs we've evaluated. The fact that it is a double conversion UPS was also important because double conversion UPSs rely less on their battery system during day-to-day operation than other types of UPS, reducing the likelihood that battery capacity is diminished at the beginning of an outage."

    The Result
    It didn't take long for Tullis' emergency communications system to be put to the test. On August 14, 2003 a grid failure caused the largest blackout in the history of the United States, leaving residents of the co-op without lights, air conditioning and electricity-dependent appliances.

    Cell phone communication was difficult in the area and the intercom system was the sole means of communicating with many of the co-op's residents. It enabled building management to stay in contact with residents throughout the outage, particularly those with special needs due to age or disability. One particular concern was a woman on the 27th floor whose oxygen generator was inoperable due to the outage.

    "Through the intercom system, the resident's personal physician and a physician that lives in the building were able to stay in regular contact with her to ensure she had an adequate supply of oxygen," said Tullis. "It was a very tense situation that was much easier to manage because of the intercom. I couldn't be happier with how the Liebert UPS performed during a very difficult time."
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