Creative firm subscribes to light and air to focus on their core business.
LED lighting, RTU
Fluent Visual is a creative firm based in Washington D.C. that specializes in photography, videography and studio space rental. The group of artists chose their 7,500 sq. ft. office space because of its affordability and the flexibility to make upgrades per a triple net lease that gave Fluent Visual responsibility for building maintenance and upgrades.
Though they were prepared to make small upgrades over time, when one of their two rooftop HVAC units (RTUs) went out, Fluent Visual needed to take immediate action. Only having one working RTU resulted in inadequate heating and cooling, an overworked second unit, and high electricity bills — as much as $5,000 per month in extreme weather.
Fluent Visual kept hitting roadblocks, though, because they weren’t the building owners, couldn’t afford to purchase new RTUs upfront and didn’t have the time or expertise to manage the project.
“We’re professional creatives and embraced renovating the space, but ultimately had to accept that we’re not professional building managers,” said Quentin Kruger, executive producer at Fluent Visual.
Fluent Visual found that the Sparkfund Technology Subscription™ met each of their needs simultaneously. Sparkfund worked with Fluent Visual’s existing HVAC vendor, Servicon Facilities and Management Services, to select and install a new RTU quickly without using the firm’s capital. While on the premises, Sparkfund also noticed a cost-saving opportunity for Fluent Visual to upgrade their lighting to LED, which is crucial to their photography and videography business. Fluent Visual extended the contract to include LEDs and Sparkfund enlisted Trifecta Energy to complete the installation.
Kruger said using the Sparkfund Technology Subscription™ for their project saved Fluent Visual time and gave them confidence the retrofit was done right.
“Having Sparkfund there was ridiculously helpful,” he said. “Sparkfund gave us confidence in the whole process even when we had equipment delays. When things did come up, Sparkfund understood the situation and did everything to communicate with us. And we didn’t have to start payback until the project was complete.”
To upgrade Fluent Visual’s HVAC, Sparkfund installed one RTU with new fans, ducting, controls and thermostat. Inside, Sparkfund installed 114 LED lights throughout their space. Now, instead of sending employees to work from home because of the weather or noticing odd coloring on video, Fluent Visual has consistent, safe and reliable lighting and HVAC.
Kruger said the impact on Fluent Visual’s business has been enormous. “You can’t underestimate how important having temperature and climate control in your space is,” he said. “The lighting package was also really important for us because we are in video and we need a stable, consistent source of lighting throughout the building.”
One of the biggest changes the firm noticed was financial. A five-year contract term with no upfront costs made the project affordable for Fluent Visual. And their average electricity bill was cut in half, from about $5,000 per month on average to around $2,000.
“If you’re a building manager and have a project you want to move quickly on, Sparkfund is one of your best options,” Kruger said. “They take a comprehensive approach to making every aspect of the project happen. It was a really supportive relationship.”
If you want a project done fast, professionally and affordably, Sparkfund is there. I’m super happy to recommend Sparkfund to anybody — we couldn’t have done this project without you, literally.
Quentin Kruger Executive Producer at Fluent Visual