We talked to Reza Alaghehband, CEO and founder of Envio Systems, about smart building solutions, and this is what he said about it.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Reza Alaghehband: Like everyone else in the world right now, we are trying to navigate this unprecedented situation to the best of our ability.
Tell us about you, your career, and how you founded Envio Systems.
Reza Alaghehband: I’m passionate about developing technologies that produce a positive impact on the world. I have deep industry knowledge, as well as a passion for Industrial Automation, IoT, and Energy that has enabled me to successfully found three B2B companies in three different countries.
Back in 2008, I was walking home from work late one evening when the number of lights on in empty buildings took my breath away. I don’t mean in a way that compliments the city landscape, but in a way where I wondered why it was acceptable to waste so much energy. What made it worse was that this “always-on” attitude for energy was the norm. As we are all too tired of hearing these days, I knew it was time for a new norm, and I wanted to help it happen. That’s when Envio Systems was born, a platform that makes it possible to do more with less. This desire to do more with less, which is the proximal purpose of tech, is rooted in making a positive impact on the world through responsible energy use and improving sustainability.
Envio Systems, an award-winning startup based in Berlin, pioneering technologies that transform how we monitor, manage, operate, and interact with commercial real estate. Since 2016, Envio Systems has grown from a garage in Canada into an international 50 member team delivering innovative solutions to leading clients across 16 countries.
How does Envio Systems innovate?
Reza Alaghehband: Envio Systems connect and enable an affordable IoT system for any building. We address all aspects of concern from energy to comfort, security and operations, while keeping costs low and solutions accessible for buildings of all sizes. We have developed an end-to-end solution for ANY existing commercial building regardless of the facility’s size, age, or infrastructure. We made it affordable and accessible, and we’re positively impacting the world through energy efficiency.
Our main goal is to improve people’s lives and create a more sustainable future through innovation.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Reza Alaghehband: The pandemic has undeniably accelerated the previous adoption rates of PropTech in the commercial real estate sector, with the health and comfort of tenants at the top of everyone’s mind. Last August, we partner with ebm-papst and RESET to create a smart building response to airborne pandemics, enabling operators to achieve high-performance indoor air quality without sacrificing energy efficiency goals.
ebm-papst produces fans that are used within various types of equipment, such as air handling units, certified by RESET and are guaranteed to deliver accurate and comparable air quality measurements. RESET is the world’s first sensor-based building standard for commercial buildings and their interior spaces, which monitors, certifies, and communicates air quality in buildings. We have also partnered with a variety of sensor companies, such as Airthings and Disruptive Technologies, that specialize in monitoring different health and comfort factors within the built environment.
Our software pairs 360* real-time indoor air quality data like temperature, humidity, CO2, volatile organic compounds, and others with building data like occupancy information and applies it into a framework of tracking parameters to help make and keep buildings safe and occupants healthy.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Reza Alaghehband: One of the most challenging situations in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic was mobilizing our company to a home office environment, developing strategic protection plans for all members of our team, defining who is essential and needs to be in the office and the people who work remotely.
What specific tools, software, and management skills are you using to navigate this crisis?
Reza Alaghehband: Slack and Zoom have been essential to the management of our team.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Reza Alaghehband: Our main competitors are Schneider Electric and Honeywell.
Our main competitive advantage is that our solution is end-to-end. It is universally compatible, integrates existing systems, and enhances both monitoring and control capabilities. Envio Systems’ solution is also affordable, costing 25% of competitor products and saves up to 60% of energy waste/consumption, providing an ROI in 12-24 months. To achieve this, Envio has developed its solution around four main pillars: scalability, affordability, compatibility, and intelligence.
Your final thoughts?
Reza Alaghehband: There has never been a more important time to know what’s happening within your building and never been a larger opportunity for buildings to serve their occupants.
The commercial real estate sector has entered an era of reinvention through digitization. Future buildings will be smart, efficient, and sustainable. Only those within the industry who understand the increasing technological shift will be able to get ahead of the game and thrive in the future.
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