Glasgow-based proptech specialist arbnco has created a research and development division, arbn labs, which will aim to develop scientific solutions to some of the biggest challenges in the built environment.
It comes as the company opens up two US offices in Detroit and California, and doubles in size in the past year, going from a team of 18 to 37 with recruits from across the globe.
Of arbnco’s 19 new starters, 11 are in the labs team, significantly enhancing the company’s existing research and development capacity. With decades of combined international technical, academic and commercial experience, they will ensure emerging academic research is developed into technology solutions, and deployed in real-world commercial environments.
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Founded in 2012, arbnco develops software solutions to transform the commercial and public sector property markets, helping to improve sustainability, reduce carbon outputs and create healthier environments. Its data-led optimisation technology is used to enhance energy performance, manage building compliance, monitor and improve indoor air quality, and predict the impact of climate change on buildings.
The newly created arbn labs division will form the company’s research and development arm, building on its existing partnerships with academia and industry.
Working with academic institutions, including the Energy Systems Research Unit at the University of Strathclyde, and the Energy and Efficiency Institute at the University of California, Davis, the team will develop software solutions for commercial deployment. These will be tested via pilot projects in commercial environments, with industry partners such as Nuveen Real Estate.
The projects currently underway at arbn labs aim to address universal issues within the built environment and have been funded by organisations including Construction Scotland Innovation Centre and The Data Lab.
These include closing the energy performance gap – the difference between the predicted energy efficiency levels of a building, and how it actually performs – optimising the indoor environment to improve the health and wellbeing of occupants, and utilising artificial intelligence to automatically suggest energy improvement options for a building.
The 17-strong team at arbn labs brings together experience in the fields of building energy modelling, data analytics, smart building technologies, and the study of occupant behaviour in buildings.
He said: “At the heart of arbn labs is an ambition to bring together the world’s best minds to tackle global energy problems. We act as a bridge between innovative academic research and commercial, real-world practice.
“This ability to leverage emerging research and deploy it effectively can dramatically transform the built environment, as we all strive to reduce carbon emissions and make the world a more sustainable place. Our labs team has been strengthened significantly by the cumulative expertise of our new colleagues, and we look forward to the milestones that will be reached with them on board.”