Tertiary decree: the Lyonnais Lowit relies on AI to “massify” the energy audits of buildings

“We often forget that the buildings affected by the tertiary decree are extremely varied and are not made up solely of office space: these are all buildings that are neither industrial nor agricultural, and which include both hotels, health (Ehpad, clinics, hospitals), buildings managed by communities (nurseries, schools, school canteens, party rooms, etc.) “Summarizes Thomas Lagier, co-founder of Lowit.

And in addition to providing ambitious reduction targets in terms of energy from 2030, this new decree will also require the establishments concerned, from September 2022, to carry out annual monitoring of their consumption, in order to check that they are on the good trajectory.

“However, we started from the observation, two years ago, that conventional tools were not at all up to expectations, which presuppose being able to achieve a real massification of the energy transition and in particular, of the audit, which until now was carried out in the traditional way, with visits that could take several weeks before resulting in a report,” adds the entrepreneur.

A digital twin of the building coupled with AI algorithms

It is therefore based on the creation of a digital twin of the buildings concerned that Lowit is able to produce not only a personalized audit of one or more buildings making up a building stock, but also to establish different reduction in consumption, using modeling enabled by artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms.

“For this, we base ourselves on around thirty public datasets as well as data that we buy and that we cross to characterize a building, before asking only the questions that seem necessary to its owner. “, explains Thomas Lagier. All without a visit and within 24 to 48 hours.

An offer that is intended as a decision-making tool, intended for real estate companies and communities holding real estate affected by this new regulation. ” This makes it possible to rationalize, objectify, and test different scenarios, which a simple paper report did not allow up to now. Our customers can even enter different variables, such as testing what would happen if, as in a context such as today, the price of energy were to double”.

If he does not yet provide any statistics, Lowit affirms that his tool would have already enabled communities of 50,000 inhabitants to vote multi-annual investment budgets of up to 3 to 5 million euros in order to engage them on the path of the energy transition.

Datasets that humans are not able to analyze alone

“We must not forget that for local authorities, 75% of direct greenhouse gas emissions are actually attributable to the consumption of their buildings, whether through their heating method, but also through uses related to collective catering, etc. This is why AI serves as a support for us, in order to model all of these items, in order to calculate them and to propose different scenarios”, reports Thomas Lagier.

A particularly important help, according to him, when the changes to be carried out are numerous, and to be spread over time: “ it is a way of measuring all the possible actions on the one hand, of weighing their advantages and their disadvantages, but also of contributing to building multi-year action and investment plans, by forecasting the costs over the long term, as well as the management and sizing of certain installations, which may need to evolve”.

The Lowit software platform also references a set of 150 aid systems, already offered by national bodies such as Ademe, but also by local authorities, in order to integrate them directly into the scenarios and the various actions offered to owners, even going so far as to predict the rate of probability that a file will be accepted, depending on the device and the region concerned.

A cost up to 5 times lower than a traditional audit

On the economic model side, Lowit charges a flat rate of 1,700 euros per building for the creation of the digital twin and the energy audit (i.e. a price which is intended to be “ultra-competitive” compared to a traditional audit, usually reaching an average of 6,000 euros ), which will then be coupled with a monthly subscription, in order to be able to keep and develop this file over time.

“We believe that, like the banking world, digitization in the construction sector will above all make it possible to take charge of certain actions, such as when one today automatically consults one’s bank balance, but by transferring tasks with higher added value on other functions,” says Thomas Lagier.

Currently, after only 18 months of existence, Lowit employs 19 people in Lyon and has already attracted around fifty customers, mainly public landlords, municipalities, urban communities and hospitals, but also private market players, such as industrialists. with tertiary premises, real estate, etc.

A figure that represents up to 2,000 to 3,000 modeled buildings, because all of them are actually at the helm of several assets. ” Our average basket is now at 45,000 euros observes the founder of Lowit.

With the viewfinder, a potential market of some 3.2 million existing tertiary buildings in France, which represent nearly a billion square meters, integrating both small SCIs holding a handful of buildings, to major players or real estate which have, on the contrary, more than 11,000 buildings to manage such as the Poste Immo, or the SNCF…

A fundraising of more than a million in progress

What is interesting is that, in addition to becoming a topical subject with the rise in energy prices and the arrival of the tertiary decree, the question of the energy audit of buildings is no longer only a technical subject as before, but it has become a strategic issue that now drives the governance of communities, such as companies observes Thomas Lagier.

To contribute to its development and the massification of its offer, the Lyonnais would also be on the point of completing a fundraising of more than one million euros, and plans to recruit ten employees (developers, project and sales managers) during 2022. With the objective of exceeding one million euros for its second financial year from 2023.