BrainBox AI launches software to enable self-sustaining commercial buildings

Toronto building

Montreal-based BrainBox AI has announced the launch of a new product that combines deep learning, cloud-based computing and algorithms to support a self-sustaining commercial building. The company aims to redefine building automation and to be at the forefront of the green building revolution.

“Our technology uses AI to study a building’s behaviour, sending more efficient operating instructions to the HVAC system.”

BrainBox AI’s solution uses artificial intelligence to predict a building’s thermal load, then enables the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system to operate autonomously. Allowing HVAC systems, which the company said accounts for 51 percent of the total energy usage in commercial buildings, would lead to significant energy and cost savings, a reduction in a building’s carbon footprint, and increased occupant comfort, within a three-month timeframe.

BrainBox AI touts itself as the first AI technology designed specifically for HVAC in commercial buildings, however it offers a similar product to Parity, a Toronto-based company that recently raised $5 million CAD for its software that uses AI and deep learning to help HVAC systems run more efficiently in both multi-residential and commercial buildings. Parity claims that its software can create anywhere from 30 to 40 percent in building energy savings, at least five percent more than the energy costs that BrainBox AI claims to create.

BrainBox AI said from its pre-commercialization installations it can enable a 25 to 35 percent reduction in a building’s total energy costs in less than three months. The startup added that its product requires low to no upfront capital expenditure from property owners and claims to improve occupant comfort by 60 percent, and lower a building’s carbon footprint by 20 to 40 percent.

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“Our technology uses AI to study a building’s behaviour, sending more efficient operating instructions to the HVAC system and modulating the building in real-time to resolve issues related to energy consumption, efficiency and occupant comfort,” said Jean-Simon Venne BrainBox AI’s CTO who founded the company in 2017.

“BrainBox AI brings significant innovation to the built environment, meaningfully reducing the energy impact of buildings on our environment,” he stated.

The Montreal company has developed its AI technology in collaboration with the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory, IVADO, and several Montreal-based universities, including École de technologie supérieure.

“AI-powered autonomous buildings are the next disruptive innovation that will enable significant energy savings in the real estate space,” said CEO and co-founder, Sean Neely. “BrainBox AI adds an extra layer of intelligence to the existing HVAC control system and enables buildings to move from being reactive to pre-emptive in the way these HVAC systems are managed.”

Image courtesy BrainBox AI.

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle is a Vancouver-based writer with 5+ years of experience in communications and journalism and a lifelong passion for telling stories. For over two years, she has reported on all sides of the Canadian startup ecosystem, from landmark venture deals to public policy, telling the stories of the founders putting Canadian tech on the map.

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