The market for AI-enabled energy management & sustainability services is growing fast and attracting a good number of new market entrants, with 32% of vendors now offering services for this space, states our recent report on AI and Machine Learning in Smart Commercial Buildings.
Leading building controls companies including Honeywell, Siemens, Schneider Electric and Johnson Controls all offer their own AI or Machine Learning powered energy management and sustainability solutions for autonomous building management. They are joined in the space by a range of specialist firms and energy-focused startups. This article reviews three European startups leveraging AI for autonomous building management.
Founded in 2018, DABBEL, a Düsseldorf based start-up, is changing Building Management Systems with the introduction of AI that promises to simplify, improve transparency and efficiencies that allow for smarter self-managed building control systems. DABBEL can independently make its own decisions through a self-learning and self-configuring system with cognitive artificial intelligence. The company is focusing on office buildings, schools, and hospitals up to 250,000 square meters.
Compared to classic BMS systems, the firm claims to improve energy efficiency by up to 40% and to provide better working conditions for people in the buildings in a much more cost-effective way and without manual programming of the system. These results have been validated across different use cases and geographies spanning Europe, the U.S., China, and Australia. Average reductions achieved so far across the circa 250,000m. of space where its AI is in charge of building management systems are around 27%. A further 1,000,000m. is in the contract or offer phase (as of May 2021) — slated to be installed “in the next six months”.
Early clients are facility managers of large commercial buildings - Commerzbank clearly sees potential, having incubated the startup via its early-stage investment arm - and several schools. Since then, DABBEL has secured a strong group of clients, including GELSENWASSER AG, Dr. Sasse AG, VINCI Facilities, ZURZACH AG, and E.ON.
Myrspoven, founded in 2017 and headquartered in Stockholm is focused on the energy efficiency of properties with the help of AI. Their autonomous solution connects to existing BMS (Building Management Systems) and external data sources (i.e. weather and utility tariff structure data) combining deep learning and cloud-based computing to support a 24/7 self-operating building.
Myrspoven’s AI enables the HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) system in a building to operate autonomously, in real-time, generating:
- improved occupant comfort by 50% (measured in a lower number of error reports from tenants and a more constant and adapted indoor climate)
- up to a 25% reduction in total energy costs
- 20-40% reduction in a building’s carbon footprint.
The solution has been implemented in over 130 buildings amounting to over 1 200 000 sq.m., with Sweden’s largest property owners as clients. The company has, for example, partnered with Schneider Electric in a Stockholm City project whereby their AI solution is connected to the EcoStruxure Building Operation platform to monitor, identify and prioritize deviations that lead to inefficient operation and exchange data in real-time and adjust values within a preset range.
R8 Technologies, founded in 2017 and based in Tallinn, Estonia is focused on decreasing energy consumption and CO2 emissions of large premium class commercial properties (shopping malls, office buildings, hotels, etc) while keeping outstanding indoor climate for every room and area and creating significant cost savings for the building owners and managers.
The AI-based software technology, R8 Digital Operator, integrates with building management systems and reads, calculates, analyses, and adjusts settings 1,000s of times every 15 minutes. The solution can be integrated remotely with almost any existing BMS without additional hardware. It can cut total energy costs and CO2 emissions by up to 30% (average is ca 15%) and improves indoor climate stability with fault diagnostics features.
R8 Digital Operator has been tested and validated with building management systems ranging from brand new to over 10 years old in Europe from Finland to Portugal. Current partners listed on their website are Siemens, Honeywell, Schneider Electric, Distech Controls, Caverion, Sauter, Deos, Fidelix, and BACnet. Clients including WeWork, CBRE, EDP, Sokotel, and EfTEN Capital. As of November 2021, R8 Digital Operator is now deployed in more than 1,000,000 m² of commercial buildings all over Europe.
The market for AI-driven autonomous building management will benefit from a healthy ecosystem of vendors, made up of both large incumbent players and several promising new AI startups.
This article was written by Daphne Tomlinson, Senior Research Associate at Memoori.