Make way for innovation !
The path to the energy and digital transition cuts directly across innovation, which has gathered impetus with the tearing down of boundaries between sectors. We take a close look at three trends that have left their mark on the exhibition: AI and digital, which are a boost for all the sectors, biosourced materials, and lest we forget, also low-tech.
Artificial intelligence, the brains behind tomorrow’s buildings !
Connectivity of buildings is a big issue across the whole spectrum. Artificial intelligence solutions using gathered data offer operators the ability to learn and to anticipate situations in many areas. It’s an outstanding lever for improving well-being, comfort, and the health of users while optimizing energy consumption.
Some rising stars unveiled their innovations at the exhibition : Green System, a young Nantes outfit offering a global energy management solution for service and commercial buildings, industry, and local authorities, or like Monabee, a start-up from Lyon, specializing in energy optimization ranging from distributed consumption to own consumption, who witnessed a growth of 2834% between 2014 and 2017, or then again like MyLight Systems, who seized on the exhibition to launch its Smart Battery, integrated with its smart solar energy own-use consumption systems in collaboration with BCM Energy. The Wood energy sector wasn’t going to be left out either. The Supra company was honoured in the BePOSITIVE Awards for its work in developing a smartphone-based remote firelighting system for wood stoves, namely its E-Fire service.
Digital on the building site !
Designing and constructing buildings, controlling equipment, producing and storing energy—digital is everywhere these days. With the Construction 4.0 age upon us, companies must look to data management. BIM, which has taken an ever more important place in the building design and execution stages, is now becoming equally important in the building occupation and maintenance phases.
At BePOSITIVE, the exhibitor BIM&CO presented its new “Onfly” solution aimed at construction stakeholders working with BIM. This software is used to upload and centralize BIM data and objects in order to compile its own library. It is interoperable with all BIM systems.
Biosourced materials—building for the planet
New environmental regulations will soon be replacing the old 2012 regulations in France. This new standard sets out to advance the construction of buildings that produce more energy than they use, limit greenhouse gas emissions over the whole of a building’s lifecycle, and promote carbon sequestration in constructions. Biosourced materials reduce a building’s grey* energy and are an ideal lever for tackling the coming challenges. They realize their full value on the scale of a construction scheme, be it newbuild or renovation.
A biosourcing cluster placed centrally at the exhibition was dedicated to these new environment-friendly smart solutions. Le Relais Métisse company in particular was the recipient of an Award for its “Metisse” insulating materials made from recycled cotton, which have the added advantage of natural fire resistance. This product is fireproofed with organic products containing no boron or ammonium salts. In another example, the manufacturing companies Zolpan and Pavatex have got together to create RESP’YR, the only biosourced solution on the market for external building lagging. Our final example of a star product at this biosourcing cluster was the P2R boards invented by FBT ISOLATION, made from rice straw with a microperforated reflector on each face to enhance the heat barrier.
Innovation doesn’t mean casting aside low-tech solutions
High-tech might be the talk of the town, but it isn’t the only solution. Low-tech—lower-key, resilient solutions—can also claim a role in the energy transition. They are characterized by the use of simple, low-cost technologies accessible to everybody and easy to maintain or repair with no special tooling. They are often common-sense solutions.
The BePOSITIVE Awards judges were not oblivious to this approach and rewarded Kompositube for their Furanflex system, a revolutionary process for renovating complex ductwork using a thermo-hardening membrane, which is undisputedly low-tech. The thermo-hardening membrane facilitates access to and the refurbishing of all types of duct.
The St. Gobain group’s Sage Glass Harmony product is another good illustration of the low-tech approach. This intelligent, elegant glazing system adapts to outdoor conditions to maintain the desired indoor temperature while reducing the need for artificial lighting, heating, and air conditioning.
High tech and low tech are certainly motors of the energy transition, but other types of organizational, commercial, or even social innovation can also contribute, in the image of the “function economy”. A positive step toward a green economy, the function economy involves replacing the concept of selling goods by that of selling the use of goods by linking the user to the performance of a building.
Make a date with us at the next BePOSITIVE to explore this subject further !
* energy needed to produce an industrial good or a material.