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You Have Been Replaced by AI: Ahmet Köse – “The role of AI in demand-side energy management for commercial real estate”

Dr. Ahmet Köse, R8 Technologies Chief Product Officer and Co-Founders, gave an insightful presentation on “The Role of AI in Demand-side Energy Management for Commercial Real Estate” during the 11th Annual Conference of Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

R8 Technologies is the leading artificial intelligence (AI) technology company that manages over 3 million m2 of commercial real estate across Europe. The company’s human-centric data-driven AI solution, R8 Digital Operator, helps achieve climate-neutral real estate worldwide by improving the efficiency of real estate operations, including office and public buildings, shopping malls, and hotels. The R8 Digital Operator enables the management of real estate portfolios more efficiently, reducing energy consumption and CO₂ emissions while achieving sustainability compliance, as well as maintaining balance and frequency on the power grid.

Ahmet’s passion lies in the field of energy efficiency, with a particular interest in HVAC systems, thermal comfort, and leveraging computational and artificial intelligence techniques to drive sustainable practices. He is driven by the goal of creating innovative solutions that enhance energy efficiency and contribute to a greener future. In his presentation “The Role of AI in Demand-side Energy Management for Commercial Real Estate,” he explained how AI is used in commercial real estate and public buildings, uncovering several topics to provide a comprehensive overview and genuine insights. 

How to Achieve the Zero-Emission Real Estate Goal

Ahmet began his presentation by explaining the issue statement and providing examples of how R8 Technologies has implemented AI solutions into energy management. To start, Mr. Köse displayed an energy consumption chart, the breakdown by sector in the EU. As per the chart, different buildings are responsible for ~40% of the energy consumption. In Estonia, the number is much higher, and buildings are responsible for 53% of energy consumption. Ahmet also noted that while managing a building, not only should new energy solutions be added, but the current state of the building must also be investigated.

Utilizing the AI potential

There's almost always potential to discover and optimize some of the already ongoing processes, which is possible with the help of AI. AI systems could help monitor and update the levels of temperature, air conditioning, etc., in the building, taking into account all the different indicators and wishes of the tenants. After the issue statement, Ahmet continued with the introduction of R8 Technologies. The company's first project was the Viru shopping mall in the heart of Tallinn's city center; now, R8 Technologies has expanded across Europe, managing over 3 million m2 in 18 countries with Artificial Intelligence. Here, Ahmet emphasized that R8 Technologies AI solution was developed by a comprehensive expert team of diverse skills and people, not only data scientists or machine learning engineers but many more. It is essential since AI supports various types of buildings, and the expectations or opinions of their tenants or visitors differ from one another. 

The Benefits of the R8 AI-powered Solution

Moving forward, Ahmet proceeded to showcase the segments where R8 Technologies AI is already used, including shopping malls, offices, hotels, and public buildings. He then continued with examples of the benefits AI delivers to owners and managers, like providing efficiency and transparency in operations with ESG compliance and increasing the real estate value. Speaking from the Environmental perspective, R8 Technologies helps lower CO2 emissions and prolong the lifespan of systems. The AI solution enables higher indoor climate comfort and lower utility bills. Mr Köse also brought attention to the importance of the power grid, where AI can deliver earnings from balancing energy, or otherwise, the Demand response, as well as the growing concern and actions required for energy security.

The Main Role of AI

The main role of AI, the speaker says, is in powering AI optimization engine with industry expert knowledge. The AI gathers data from the building every 15 minutes, connects the data silos, and writes new settings according to the data collected, accounting for weather, user preferences, occupancy, power grid balance, and energy prices. AI makes more than 1.5 million dynamic adjustments monthly; a human could not be expected to manage such a volume. AI makes small temperature and air volume adjustments, working around the clock, 24/7. Ahmet gives an example of AI indoor climate assessment, where AI would preheat or -cool the building before people arrive and adjust the HVAC throughout the day depending on the inputs and goals. The AI technology makes decisions on the required changes and aligns with the human operators.

AI-powered Real Estate Potential

Ahmet introduced two case studies to bring concrete examples of R8 Technologies' AI impact. One of Ülemiste City, a thriving business and innovation district in Tallinn, Estonia, with 350 000m² of commercial space managed by R8 Digital Operator. And the second of Öpiku 1& 2, business, office, and administrative buildings, where the conference was held. AI works with automation systems in every building, which is very different, helping lower energy consumption and reduce costs and CO₂ emissions. AI is a great opportunity; at the same time, it should always be aligned with reality, states Mr. Köse.


The full presentation is available on our YouTube channel. More information is at the  conference homepage.