Group Van Roey, in cooperation with IFTech and Factor4, wants to take concrete steps in the direction of Technology as a Service (TaaS). Abroad, this has been a common concept for some time, but in Flanders it has yet to break through. We have the ambition to guarantee comfort in buildings in the most sustainable way possible, with a minimum use of energy. There is a need for solid parties who can guarantee that comfort at a guaranteed cost to the users. This is what we call Comfort as a Service (CaaS).
This concept requires far-reaching integration between all actors involved in the construction: designers, general contractors, installation companies, etc. Sustainable techniques often have a higher investment cost, but pay for themselves after a certain time.
Currently, we are still experiencing two system bottlenecks in the market. On the one hand, not all customers have the financial resources for this extra investment. On the other hand, installation companies and technology suppliers are not yet prepared to offer guarantees about technical returns. Furthermore, the end customer is often not relieved of the burden of managing these more complex technical installations.
Within this project, we want to try to solve these bottlenecks via a disruptive business model, in which we, as a private partner, enter into a clear result commitment. There are several possible avenues. With an energy volume guarantee, for example, we can guarantee a certain consumption under a normalised consumption pattern. A step further is to guarantee a certain quality of indoor climate. If financing is included, a separate financial vehicle will act as an Energy Service Company (ESCO).
We participated in the circular tender for Camp C where we came in an honourable second place. This project taught us a lot and we can consider it our first case. We built on this in our subsequent cases.
Thanks to our expertise, we won the DBME (Design-Build-Maintain-Energy) tender for Bewel's new office. With this dossier, we are able to present ourselves strongly at presentations and in the press.
With IFTech we are pioneering the Flemish landscape by offering geothermal power plants as an ESCO. For example, we are responsible for the total operation of the Quartier Bleu project (25,000 m² of retail space and 410 homes).
Our commercial team works actively to inspire building owners to tender for energy and comfort parameters in a circular manner. As pioneers in the Flemish construction market, we also invested in a broad campaign on social media and in the press.
MOST IMPORTANT LESSONS LEARNED
Less is more. A common pitfall is to make the technical concept and follow-up too complex. In many cases, low-tech works more effectively than the latest, expensive IoT solutions that actually add little value.
The follow-up according to the IMPVP method is done in a clear and simple way. Customers are generally not looking for a complicated model that is adjusted annually. Formulas for correction keep the follow-up on both sides of the table clear.
If, as a private party, you want to guarantee indoor comfort for the next 20 years, a cultural match between client and provider is an often underexposed but crucial factor for a good long-term relationship. Developing a project together from the start is essential.
Involving the ESCOs for neighbourhood development right from the permit phase is important for an optimal design and correct price, but also for a simple legal construction in relation to the VME.
1DBME file in progress
2ESCO projects with geothermal energy
WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD?
The Van Roey Group continues to focus on offering Comfort as a Service through DBME procedures. For developments, IFTech offers the option of offering part of the investment cost of sustainable technologies via an ESCO as standard. Factor4 is a pioneer in energy performance contracting, and continues to specialise in this area.