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PassiveLogic to get more active in smart building tech with $15m funding

Global alternative asset manager partners with provider of autonomous building systems and foundation technology for smart cities to bring the first general-purpose autonomous platform to the building market

PassiveLogic, which claims to be the maker of the world’s first autonomous building platform, has secured $15m from the growth technology investment arm of global alternative asset manager Brookfield to support the development of a first-of-its-kind autonomous building platform that can be used to retrofit buildings of all shapes and sizes, and could pave the way for the next 30 years of energy efficiency.

The tech firm says it was founded to reimagine its relationship to the built environment, enabling buildings and building controls to make independent real-time decisions based on digital-twin descriptions. It says it has reimagined how people design, build, operate, maintain and manage buildings using revolutionary “deep physics” digital twins and artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled future-forward controls, and has made this technology accessible to all kinds of building, big and small, new construction and retrofit.

The company also claims to offer the first general-purpose autonomous system platform, unlike single-use-case systems marketed in industries such as automotive. “An autonomous car will only be an autonomous car – it can’t be reconfigured for any other purpose,” said CEO Troy Harvey. “PassiveLogic’s technology can be used for any type of autonomous system that the end-user wishes to design – including custom use cases.”

PassiveLogic’s generative autonomy technology is designed to open the door for a broad set of new applications, particularly in the building industry. It believes that in industrial applications such as buildings, each project is a custom one-off – a unique combination of architecture, engineering, system topologies and business use cases that traditional automation or deep learning approaches cannot solve.

The company’s Autonomy Studio software provides end-users with a generative design and management environment that executes on its Hive Autonomous System hardware. 

PassiveLogic says its roots in building deep technology and commitment to a whole-platform approach has set it apart in a market of ageing automation platforms, and newer but limited point solutions. “Buildings are the most complex systems in the world, and yet of the four major worldwide players in automation, the newest platform is now already 25 years old,” said PassiveLogic CTO Jeremy Fillingim. “Just think of that, in technology terms, and how much has changed in that time.”

In addition to technology efficiency gains, PassiveLogic says that in a world increasingly affected by climate change, it has developed a way to reduce building energy consumption by one-third by making buildings truly intelligent. It says its platform has demonstrated 30% energy-efficiency gains in the field through optimised real-time control that responds to the dynamic nature of the building environment.

Through these direct efficiency improvements, coupled with enabling users to add enterprise applications to the platform through their Solution Store, PassiveLogic says it can help real estate leaders such as Brookfield to reach their carbon neutrality goals.

“To get to the future of real estate, there needs to be a digital platform that can aggregate building data, enable building managers to customise automation controls, and act on it in real time,” said Brookfield managing partner Josh Raffaelli. “This platform will be the interface for the next generation of proptech services that the market wants to plug into buildings and will save customers both time and money in deploying automation projects.”

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