Open Innovation Q&A: Entelligently

Over the course of our eight-week Open Innovation programme, we’ll be putting a series of quick-fire questions to our finalists to find out a bit more about where they’ve come from and what their plans are for shaping the future of our cities.

Today, Entelligently‘s Susie Tomson is answering the questions…

Who are the people behind Entelligently and what was the motivation to start it?

The Entelligently app was developed by Dr Susie Tomson, the sustainability director of built-environment consultancyand sustainability experts PCSG, and Chris Cooper, the CTO at KnowNow Information, the data services experts.

Susie is a leader in her field who has worked with top sporting teams and events, including London 2012, to support and deliver their sustainability commitments and programmes.

Chris is a social scientist and smart cities expert whose career has included being the Technical Leader for Smarter Cities in the UK at IBM UK.

They were motivated to develop the app by a compelling statistic: the discrepancy between the energy use predicted at the design stage of a building and the actual energy use once it is in operation.

This gap – the so-called ‘energy performance gap’ – can be up to 4.5 times the original prediction.

Its cause is largely people related (who hasn’t experienced the office ‘wars’ over air conditioning and of automatic lighting controls that are over-complicated and get overridden?) and its cost is significant.

The value of lost productivity due to buildings not being attuned to their users is on average between £1900 and £2200 per individual, the British Council for Offices found last year in its Defining and Measuring Productivity in Offices report.

Armed with this information we set out to develop a ‘smarter’ form of energy management. We wanted to re-connect buildings with their occupants, close the performance gap, increase occupant comfort and drive business productivity.

What is Entelligently?

Entelligently is an engaging and intuitive app which helps organisations to cut their energy bills while improving the comfort and productivity of their staff. In short, it connects people to buildings.

It works like this: building occupants (typically office workers) feed information into an easy-to-use app on their smartphone about their comfort levels – whether they feel hot, cold or sleepy, for example.

To encourage and empower them to take action to improve their comfort, they receive what we call ‘smart nudges’ or ‘snudges’.

The snudge provides them with information about how they might feel, depending on a combination of environmental conditions both now and in the future.

It also suggests actions they could take to avoid discomfort – to wear more layers if it’s forecast to be cold the following day, for example.

The app provides a ‘snapshot’ of summary information on its homepage with an instant insight into how the building is performing and the user’s level of comfort compared to others who sit nearby.

Our tool connects this user generated ‘comfort’ data along with real-time internal and external environmental conditions from sensor data.

We are able to provide a quantifiable overall picture of user comfort as well as give the insights into those poorly-performing areas of the buildings. The more data fed into the app, the more intelligent it becomes.

Working with facilities managers and department managers we can work towards optimising the building while at the same time being able to give everyone ‘the best seat in the house.’

The flexibility of Entelligently means we are able to connect to any sensors or BMS systems.

All the data collection is secure and we use KnowNow’s Consentua for consent management, ensuring permission is captured and data anonymised as standard. The app is hosted on IBM Cloud.

How has joining the CityVerve programme been for you?

Joining the CityVerve project is hugely exciting. Half way through the programme, we’re now ready to go ahead with our deployment and engage with the building users.

Working closely with programme leads and our implementation partners, Bruntwood, at the MSP Bright Building has been invaluable.

Their insights into how they would utilise Entelligently and the value it might bring to them is helping us further refine the offering.

We are confident that Entelligently is a tool for the future – addressing wellbeing, productivity and carbon footprint is sound sustainable, business management.

What are your next milestones?

We’re poised to expand Entelligently into wider markets – these could be shopping centres, hotels or universities.

This follows development of the app in two locations – PCSG’s headquarters in Croydon, south London and the Manchester offices of BDP, the architectural, engineering and design agency.

May 02, 2018 in Energy & Environment

Tune in to CityCast, the smart cities podcast from CityVerve