Author: Angie

Reference: City of Rotterdam

City of Rotterdam

  • Project: Robedrijf, Rotterdam 
  • Category: Office and Industry
  • Surface Area: 15.714 
  • Year of construction: 1992 
  • Package: hello energy + show 

 

Current partnership

This social work company of the municipality of Rotterdam is super sustainable. hello energy helps it share its energy consumption and solar panel efficiency while also displaying personalised sustainability tips, public transport data and eco-friendly information about the building. Managers can see the details online, while visitors can view them in the lobby. This makes it clear just how sustainable Robedrijf is in reality.

 

“The hello energy screens show just how important sustainability is to us.” – City of Rotterdam

 

Future partnership

Rotterdam is committed to sustainability in deed as well as in word. Together with the municipality of Rotterdam, we will look at how we can involve even more citizens in this important topic. Change starts with you, but the municipality has a role to play in kick-starting sustainability measures!

  

Benefits 

  • #customer experience 
  • #tenant engagement
  • #certification & legislation

Health comes first in Aan de Rijn

Recent years have witnessed an increased focus on the health aspects of buildings. Especially those used for working have been improved, such as offices and distribution centres. Now the time has come to do the same for the health of residential buildings and Dutch rental agency Vesteda is leading the way: its Aan de Rijn apartment complex will be the first WELL-certified occupied residential building in the world.

Why WELL?
The WELL standard is the leading certification in the field of health and wellbeing in real estate, benefitting residents and the sector alike. “Health and comfort are becoming major valuation aspects in real estate,” says Raymond Schäperkötter, Technical Acquisition Manager at Vesteda. “Until now we have focused more on green and energy-efficient buildings than the health and comfort of tenants. Now we want to shift our focus to these latter aspects, and the WELL Building Standard allows us to do just that.”

A golden experience
Health and wellbeing are fully promoted in Aan de Rijn, Schäperkötter continues: “The quality of the real estate is anchored in the experience of its users. WELL certification will contribute to the residents’ comfort and a healthy living environment, providing them with a positive residential experience. You can finish an apartment in gold but it will never be a comfortable home if it fails to function properly.”

Fresh air
While there are no golden ceilings in Aan de Rijn, the insulation and ventilation have certainly been the subject of careful consideration. The air quality has been significantly improved using monitoring and communication with the tenants. Schäperkötter: “WELL has a major focus on air quality and, together with hello energy, we can guarantee a good performance. Where necessary we can encourage residents to change their behaviour, such as smoking in rented apartments. While tenants who moved in before certification are not prohibited from smoking, we do use the screens in the hall to request them to stop.” New residents are subject to a general smoking ban so the complex is gradually becoming smoke-free, enhancing air quality and giving residents cleaner air in their living environment.

Comfort
In addition to air quality, there is also a growing focus on comfort. As tenants are becoming more critical on this subject too it is an aspect that investors and developers need to take into account. “Health and comfort are increasingly important,” adds Schäperkötter. “Air conditioning and climate control have become the standard in cars, for instance, so why should that not be the case in homes?”

Office versus residential
There have been significant developments in the field of health and comfort in real estate over the past five years. Despite that, and while new commercial real estate has been getting certified for some time, Aan de Rijn will be the first WELL-certified residential complex in the Netherlands. Schäperkötter says that there are various reasons behind this discrepancy: “An office is increasingly seen as a company asset rather than a cost item because comfortable and healthy offices contribute to greater productivity and help staff take pleasure in their work. A healthy office is ultimately, therefore, simply more profitable.”

The same cannot be said for residences, and there is another factor to take into account: “The average residential real estate features far less technology than commercial real estate, limiting the possibilities for creating a healthy and comfortable living environment. This is gradually changing due to the rising sustainability of homes in the Netherlands, which is, in turn, creating more opportunities.”

Integrated approach
According to Schäperkötter, real estate should revolve more around its users. “An integrated approach is far from common in the current real estate sector, and the interests of investors, developers and tenants are miles apart. We should listen more carefully to tenant demands: desirable homes are more easily let and, therefore, the most interesting objects for real estate investors.”

Tenants desire healthier and more comfortable homes, and WELL monitors these aspects. That makes for an ideal match, concludes Schäperkötter “The only thing tenants notice about BREEAM certification and energy labels is the lower energy costs. That’s great, of course, but it does not contribute to their living experience. We believe this should be the focal point, which is why we now feature screens from hello energy. We will also soon be developing an app that will help residents make healthier choices in their behaviour, cleaning products and even their furniture. People will then feel like they are both living in and contributing to a better living environment.”

Reference: Bouwinvest

Bouwinvest 

  • Project: Nieuwe Vaart, Utrecht 
  • Category: Office
  • Surface area: 4.555 m2
  • Year of construction: 1992 
  • Package: hello energy + show

 

Future partnership

Since the start of our partnership, the annual energy consumption in Zuidpark has fallen by more than a quarter. And we don’t plan to stop there! By spelling out energy challenges, we will encourage tenants to be even more environmentally conscious about their energy use.

 

“Hundreds of people see the impact of the solar panels every day!”

 

Current partnership

Since the start of our partnership, there have been more and more committed employees walking around the Nieuwe Vaart office building. We help visualise things like the yield of the solar panels. This lets hundreds of tenants see how many households are powered by the energy generated on the roof every day.

 

Benefits 

  • #customer experience
  • #tenant engagement
  • #BREEAM 

Reference: RoyalHaskoningDHV

RoyalHaskoningDHV

  

Current partnership

Royal Haskoning showcases innovations for offices in the Living Lab, where hello energy has set up an enormous smart wall and a touchscreen for visualisations and interactions. The installation features animations about the sustainable character of the building, detailed energy information, indoor climate results and occupancy rate data. Visitors can use the touchscreen to search for background information about the Living Lab.

 

 

Future partnership

hello energy works together with other start-ups within the Living Lab. We have joined forces with RHDHV – together with Octo, Nuuka and Lone Rooftop, among others – to look for new possibilities to make buildings even more sustainable, energy-efficient and healthy.

 

Benefits 

Reference: Syntrus Achmea

 

 

Syntrus Achmea

  • Project: Willemspoort, ’s Hertogenbosch
  • Category: Residential, 75 apartments
  • Certification: GRESB 
  • Package: hello energy + show 

 

Current partnership

Walk into the Syntrus Achmea lobby and the first thing you see is a screen with a wide range of useful information, including the yield of the solar panels, bus departure times and even details of Friday’s social event. Together we have developed dashboard screens for buildings such as Willemspoort. The experience of residents and visitors to the building is instantly enhanced!

 

“The hello energy screens are a great way to properly inform residents about energy, sustainability and general issues.”

 

Future partnership

We are working with Syntrus Achmea on a roadmap with all kinds of new features for residents, visitors and managers. This helps us ensure that the company retains a high profile among users, and encourages them to lead more pleasant and environmentally aware lives.

 

Benefits 

  • #customer experience 
  • #GRESB
  • #tenant engagement
  • #energy savings

The purpose of partnerships: Wouter Truffino on PropTech

Slowly but surely, real estate giants are seeing the light and seeking out the benefits of proptech – innovative technologies that are specifically focused on the real estate sector. One of the most influential people in this field is Wouter Truffino, an international speaker known for his expertise in proptech, his bright orange braces and much more besides.

As the founder of networking association Holland ConTech & PropTech, Truffino has brought together countless start-ups and corporates in the world of real estate over the past four years. Many Dutch start-ups, including hello energy, have since become serious players in the market. “It gives me great pleasure to see that organisations are now understanding that they need innovative young businesses for many purposes,” says Truffino.

The (young) history of proptech
The world in which Truffino matches start-ups with established corporates has undergone rapid change. Until 15 years ago, he worked in construction as a business developer. Even then, however, Truffino had a passion for innovation and wanted to do more in that respect. “Eventually I started my own business and began helping other companies create an innovative culture as a consultant. During an interview on BNR news radio, it became clear to me that my business wasn’t scalable. I decided there and then to focus on establishing a network association in the construction sector. That’s where I feel most at home.”

Starting a network organisation focused on innovation in such a conservative market was no easy feat. “It was difficult at first. When the start-ups were in their early stages everyone was still in their niche and unable to meet corporate demands. Smart entrepreneurs began partnering together to draw up proposals and this resulted in significant growth.” The attitude of the corporates transformed. “Innovation was initially difficult for them and they were reluctant to involve externals. Nor did they know how to deal with smart solutions from the new generation of companies. Now they often understand that innovation is indispensable and that is thanks to these partnerships.”

Sustainable innovations
Many of the innovations are related to smart buildings, sustainability, and mobility. According to Truffino, sustainability is especially complex: “The Netherlands is way ahead of the pack when it comes to legislation and regulations so companies have to search harder for new solutions.”

But there’s still a lot to be gained, Truffino adds. “New legislation such as the compulsory energy label C for offices and the EBS requirements [Dutch energy monitoring law] mean companies don’t approach start-ups as often as they should or could. We aim to stimulate them to do so as innovations will then make an even greater leap forward.” Truffino sees clear opportunities for hello energy in this respect: “It is a great help that you provide insight into the energy situation in real estate. This is a smart move as it motivates people to reduce their energy consumption.”

Saturation
Although the market for innovations continues to grow, space in the market for them is becoming limited. “Several companies have been working on Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, data visualisation, and sensors for at least four years. As a start-up in its first stages, it will be hard to catch up. I don’t mean this as a discouragement to new businesses but as a warning. Choose your niche and work together with other proptech firms.”

All too often companies are trying to reinvent the wheel. “Tweaking an existing product is easy, but using that to grow is not, especially as many start-ups drop the ball on marketing and communication. This is a tip for anyone in business: in the Netherlands, we excel at making new products but sometimes forget that marketing them is equally as important. Large companies won’t find you if you are invisible.”

More information on how your property can comply with energy label C? Never heard of the EBS requirement? Or simply interested in issues related to real estate sustainability? We’re happy to tell you more: email us on hello@hello-energy.com.

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