This Calculator Helps Buildings Save Money on Utility Costs

By Published On: July 19, 20214.4 min read

Electricity is a huge expense for office buildings, but an even bigger problem is global warming. Property owners have a responsibility to operate their buildings in the most energy-efficient way possible.

Enter BrainBox AI, a company that uses artificial intelligence to lower the use of energy and its costs in buildings. With HVAC using 45% of energy in commercial buildings, according to the Montreal-based company, there is one way to reduce that consumption.

The team recently launched a new Real Estate Energy Savings Calculator. It allows property owners and managers to crunch the numbers. It shows how much energy they’re spending — and can save — in their CRE buildings. In turn, it will help provide a pathway to make offices more healthy and sustainable by reducing energy consumption and GHG emissions in buildings.

“By using self-adapting, advanced artificial intelligence, we’ve been able to drastically improve building performance and cut detrimental emissions,” said Jean-Simon Venne, the Chief Technology Officer and Co-Founder of BrainBox AI. “This is significant, because our technology doesn’t just save building owners money, but it also can fundamentally alter the way buildings function.”

Jean-Simon Venne is the CTO and co-founder of BrainBox AI.

Jean-Simon Venne, Chief Technology Officer and Co-Founder of BrainBox AI | Image provided by BrainBox AI

With AI requiring no human intervention, the goal is to have the highest level of comfort for a building’s tenants while remaining energy efficient at all times.

“We think this change can greatly contribute to efforts to save the planet,” Venne said.

The bigger picture is about reducing energy consumption and wielding influence across the industry.

“If you’re able to show how large an impact you’re making in the fight against climate change, especially when you’re cutting back both emissions and costs, that’s a significant step toward adoption,” he said.

The calculator considers building type, HVAC use and utility costs to see how a commercial building can reduce its energy consumption and carbon emissions up to 25%. Venne explained: “It’s about creating a conversation around energy savings in buildings across the globe.”

This calculator is the first of its kind. It can offer an instantaneous projection of a personalized and quantified estimate of savings between 12 months and five years through BrainBox AI’s combination of deep learning, cloud-based computing and a proprietary process to optimize HVAC systems.

“It helps create a self-operating building that requires no human intervention,” Venne said.

In one example provided by Venne, an office building with an annual utility cost of $875,000 can save up to $218,750 of energy per year, which is roughly $1,093,750 over five years.

On average, building owners can slash energy costs by 25% and reduce their carbon footprint by 20 to 40%. BrainBox AI can also help increase occupancy comfort by 60% in buildings, which range from schools to medical facilities, hotels, retail stores and offices.

“Buildings are one of the world’s biggest energy consumers,” said Venne. “If you don’t take a step to change the way these buildings work, you’re facing an even steeper uphill battle against climate change. We’ve realized that this is where artificial intelligence needs to come into play.”

This AI calculator combines data from a building’s HVAC, expenses and goals to get an immediate estimate. As a result, property owners can use the calculator to meet their savings goals in just a matter of months.

“But for buildings that haven’t yet utilized our technology, this calculator will emphasize the impact we can have on the commercial real estate industry,” said Venne.

It’s just a matter of time before all commercial buildings opt to become more sustainable. Roughly 13% of global greenhouse gas emissions originate from buildings. HVAC systems are responsible for over 30% of those building emissions.

“Without a change to the way buildings operate, these harmful emissions will continue to rise and have significant effects on the environment,” Venne said.

BrainBox AI is one company on the forefront of AI-driven businesses in real estate today.

“It’s the best way to make buildings smarter because it will make them proactive rather than reactive,” he said. “Artificial intelligence can learn how a building operates and is able to factor in any external influences that may affect it, maximizing the impact technology can have on energy consumption, carbon footprint and building operations.”

Since BrainBox AI launched in 2019, they’ve built on their goal of redefining building automation. They’ve positioned themselves at the forefront of a green building revolution helping real estate clients that range from office buildings to airports, hotels, multi-residential properties and commercial retail.

Having worked with brands like Holiday Inn, AMP Capital and Microsoft, they’ve helped reduce the carbon emissions of the commercial real estate industry by impacting over 100,000,000 sq. ft. of real estate.

Their new calculator is one step toward transforming the commercial real estate industry with advanced AI tech. Still, there’s much work to do for buildings to battle climate change.

“These structures aren’t just staid cages of concrete and steel — they all behave differently and need to be treated as such. A one-size-fits-all approach won’t work; climate change is just too urgent an issue to not find a solution for all buildings and their unique situations.”

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