CaaS: Comfort as a Service

Groep Van Roey wants to offer indoor climate as a service.

Groep Van Roey is set to build a new primary school for the Ravels local council. The original design included a conventional gas boiler. We managed to convince the governing body to adjust the design by replacing this gas boiler with a geothermal exchange system. Market research shows a clear call for affordable, durable and liveable buildings, but at the same time, governing bodies are often faced with limited budgets. Therefore, they are not in a position to invest in sustainable technologies. Groep Van Roey has already taken steps towards technology as a service (TaaS).

We were asked to take charge of financing and maintenance. However, it has become clear that we will only truly manage to convince the board with a clear commitment on the performance of the building. This is a very interesting case to analyse the feasibility of our model, given the usage pattern of school buildings. Unlike office buildings, the energy consumption pattern of schools is not constant throughout the year. Therefore, it is technically more difficult to achieve a neutral heat balance. This also results in a longer ROI, which we estimate at over a decade. From a purely financial perspective, this is not a good investment, which is why most school buildings today are still equipped with traditional installations. However, Groep Van Roey has already managed to showcase the other benefits of geothermal energy to the board, particularly comfort levels inside the building. The board has asked for a proposal which includes a guaranteed energy volume. Needless to say, this is an excellent opportunity to set the bar even higher and offer ‘Comfort as a Service’,

despite the market demanding more guarantees on the performance of the technical installation. With this in mind, we aim to draw up a business plan guaranteeing the energy performance of this model. We are also taking it one step further by analysing whether we can offer indoor climate control as a whole as a service, or ‘Comfort as a Service (CaaS).

Groep Van Roey

Partners IFTech NV, Factor 4