HAL is predictive building climate control that delivers occupant comfort, while minimizing energy use.
Our technology works by:
- Having an advanced understanding of comfort in a building by considering the effect of multiple inputs, e.g. indoor & outdoor temperature, direct sunlight, humidity, etc.
- Looking at weather forecast data from international climate models, including cloud cover, humidity and temperature data.
- Learning the most effective and efficient way of controlling the existing HVAC equipment in a building.
HAL then combines these 3 components, and generates predictions about the building’s comfort level and energy consumption in the immediate future. And finally, HAL takes active control of the HVAC system in real-time.
Our target market are owners and tenants of existing commercial buildings with centrally controlled HVAC systems. Sectors within this market include universities, office buildings, shopping centres, public buildings, cultural venues, hospitals, hotels, etc. There are approximately 41,650 of these types of properties in Australia (around 360 million m2 in floor area).
The key route-to-market strategy for Hal Systems will be targeting clients that own or lease a large number of commercial properties. We will employ a direct B2B sales approach with the aim of connecting with a director or manager of Sustainability or Operations within organisations with major property portfolios. We have already developed strong relationships with universities and local councils who are keen to collaborate with us.
Our initial market will be Australia and New Zealand. As we grow and develop partnerships with contract installers, we will look to markets about the ANZ region.
One of the key challenges will be conservative customers who are reluctant to try new innovations like HAL. Some customers may not trust a new technology, and are comfortable with their old solutions. They may not understand our product - seeing it as too technical. We will endeavor to understand these conservative clients and create solutions to help them overcome their hesitation, e.g. video graphics that explains HAL in layman terms, trial periods with lower commitments, etc. Our market is also quite broad, so concentrating on sectors who are more open to innovation will be a focus as well.
Another challenge in this field historically has been split incentives. This is where the owner makes the capital investment in purchasing an upgrade like HAL, but the tenant (who pays the energy bills) is the one who financially benefits. We have found through market feedback that split incentives are much less of an issue these days. Tenants are actively asking owners ways in which they can improve the sustainability of their buildings, so they are open to purchasing HAL directly. For owners, the value proposition in HAL is through the environmental benefits we deliver, not cost savings. Greener buildings increase property values and improve tenancy appeal. Government schemes, like Environmental Upgrade Financing, can also overcome split incentives.
THE SCALE OF THE PROBLEM
The operation of buildings is responsible for 30% of total global energy consumption, and up to half of that energy is used for heating and cooling. Since 2000, the amount of energy used to cool buildings worldwide has doubled. The IEA reports that if action isn’t taken now, this demand will double again by 2040. The IEA sees improving HVAC efficiency as one of the biggest opportunities to make a difference.
And not enough companies are working on the problem. A 2021 report from Holon IQ that surveyed 1000 climate-tech startups worldwide, found that only 3% are working in the built environment sector, and only 1% in the Australia & New Zealand region.
So with an enormous amount of untapped efficiency potential and a lack of innovation in the area, Hal Systems is in a prime position to provide an easy cost-effective solution and make huge gains.
The Hal Systems team is composed of a strong mix of technical capabilities, innovative thinking, real-world execution, and accomplished project management. Together they have a solid history of working on countless projects - from large complex projects involving many stakeholders, through to smaller projects where they have managed the whole process from concept to delivery.
Co-founder Vicky Featherston is part of the rare group of female climate-tech founders, who make up only 9.2%. She brings a fresh new perspective to the male dominated HVAC industry, who have been deploying the same dry strategies and presentation styles for decades.
Learn more at : https://www.halsystems.com.au/
Cover Photo by Jerry Shen on Unsplash