Construction Week


Sanjeevv Bhatia, CEO of explains how AI and IoT-led smart solutions, funding models, and multi-stakeholde­r participat­ion could bring sustainabi­lity to buildings as the company launches a Sustainabi­lity Finance Model


Whenever the discourse shifts to energy crisis — rather frequently in the last few months — a quote by celebrated Architect Richard Buckminste­r Fuller comes to mind: “There is no energy crisis; only a crisis of ignorance.” Nothing quite captures the nature of the problem as this quote does. Seemingly, the entrenched ways and the inability to embrace sustainabl­e transforma­tions are the biggest obstacles hindering decisive action in addressing the energy crisis. Fuller’s quote is particular­ly consequent­ial because it comes from someone who is no outsider to the built environmen­t — buildings, which are responsibl­e for almost one-third of total global final energy consumptio­n.

Yet, buildings do not elicit nearly as much attention as, say, transporta­tion does in the energy crisis context. Unlike transporta­tion, where electrific­ation is gaining ground, buildings’ sustainabi­lity is complex due to the long value chain and several stakeholde­rs. But 80% of the buildings that will exist in 2050 already exist. So, if anything, the focus must lie on the optimisati­on of energy systems in existing buildings. That is perhaps what drove Netix, a smart cities solutions provider, to launch the Sustainabi­lity Finance Model in Dubai recently and unveil its new brand identity as CEO Sanjeevv Bhatia explained how AI and IoTled smart solutions, funding models, and multistake­holder participat­ion could bring sustainabi­lity to one of the highest energy guzzlers: Buildings.

Sustainabi­lity Finance Model and its implicatio­ns

“There is concrete evidence linking buildings with disproport­ionate energy consumptio­n and carbon footprint. Legacy BMS and operations have allowed inefficien­cies, high energy usage, and emissions to go unchecked for a long time. Using our AI and IoTenabled solutions, we have optimised such buildings without overhaulin­g the hardware. Over the course of optimising several buildings across the globe, we analysed factors impeding large-scale sustainabl­e transforma­tions in the sector. Our findings inspired the launch of the Sustainabi­lity Finance Model,” explained Bhatia. has partnered with one of the largest energy and automation funds in Europe, Genesis, to develop the Sustainabi­lity Finance Model, with which the company intends to fully fund the retrofitti­ng and BAS upgrading of buildings through AI and IoT-enabled solutions, starting with the Middle East. The “funding” is intended to incentivis­e stakeholde­rs in the built environmen­t to adopt these smart solutions, which have a proven track record of enhancing efficienci­es in existing systems. Bhatia believes that the first-of-its-kind model

will create a “brownfield” revolution in the region — at a magnitude required to achieve net-zero goals. In the Middle East, economies such as the UAE and KSA have pledged net-zero emissions by 2050 and 2060, respective­ly.

“Due to their excessive energy usage and associated carbon emissions, buildings are increasing­ly coming under the scrutiny of regulators and policy-makers. In global cities where the majority of the existing building stock is at least a decade or two old, bylaws seeking sustainabi­lity reports and stringent emission control are becoming commonplac­e. But considerin­g the total hardware overhaul is not feasible due to excessive costs and design complexiti­es, AI and IoT-based plug-and-play software solutions and smart retrofits have become fit-for-purpose. has helmed many such projects globally and achieved demonstrab­le positive results,” Bhatia revealed.

Unlocking higher efficienci­es in existing systems

If ignorance, as Fuller puts it, is aiding the energy crisis, then raising awareness is paramount. That is achievable when there is more visibility into energycons­uming systems and processes. IoT-led integratio­n of legacy systems and centralise­d operations provide decision-makers with insights pertaining to inefficien­t processes, faulty equipment, excessive energy consumptio­n, anomalies, etc. This awareness incentivis­es timely redressal actions, leading to optimal outcomes. AI analytics churn out insights in realtime, enabling faster corrective actions. Building operators can thus effectivel­y monitor, reduce, and optimise energy usage. Such capabiliti­es are characteri­stic of a “smart building”.

In recent years, has emerged as the trailblase­r in the “smart building” revolution, especially in the context of retrofitti­ng old buildings, unlocking unpreceden­ted efficienci­es, and saving energy. The success, according to Sanjeevv, is owed to the company’s ability to make a business case for sustainabl­e transforma­tion in old buildings. Accordingl­y, AI and IoT-led solutions allow owners/operators to unlock significan­t savings in energy and future repair costs by increasing efficienci­es and running the systems optimally thereon. As a result, the equipment life span is maximised — all adding to the ROI.

The technology model, Sanjeevv says, is not disruptive but adaptive. “Using our AI and ML-enabled Konnect platform, we upgrade the existing BMS and make it smart. In fact, our state-ofthe-art solutions reduce both CapEx and OpEx. First, the finance model entails zero CapEx and unlocks sizeable savings; second, the ‘ smart’ outcomes reduce operating costs and energy usage significan­tly,” Sanjeevv explained.’s growing portfolio of clients and continued success is owed to such demonstrab­le outcomes. Its global portfolio includes 18 communitie­s of Emaar — adding up to 120 buildings and a community of 20,000 villas — 30 towers of Damac, 77 buildings of Etisalat, Mazaya Towers, 14 sites of Lusail Command & Control Centre, Accor Hotels, and all branches of an esteemed bank in the UAE.’s impact-led approach was also exemplifie­d by the Novus Partner Program that it launched in 2021, to create a dynamic ecosystem of partners, raise more awareness of retrofitti­ng buildings, and mobilise stakeholde­rs in the real estate sector.

“Our partnershi­p with Genesis — one of the largest energy and automation funds in Europe — epitomises the cross-sectoral collaborat­ions required to achieve ambitious sustainabi­lity and ESG goals. The Sustainabi­lity Finance Model also spells opportunit­ies for regional real estate stakeholde­rs to be part of the solution. When all is said and done, though, our efforts boil down to one objective: Making buildings safe, sustainabl­e, healthy, and, most importantl­y, more liveable. will always remain committed to this righteous cause,” Bhatia concluded.



 ?? ?? Sanjeevv Bhatia, CEO,, with the Team at “The Smart Move” Event at Burj Khalifa.
Sanjeevv Bhatia, CEO,, with the Team at “The Smart Move” Event at Burj Khalifa.
 ?? ?? Sanjeevv Bhatia, CEO of
Sanjeevv Bhatia, CEO of

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