Thought Leaders Interview Series: Rishi Chowdhury, Incube Space

By Mia Brown
News • Thoughts
6th January 23

“Smart, efficient and healthy spaces don’t need to cost the Earth”

Rishi Chowdhury is Co-Founder & CEO of Incube Space – making buildings as dynamic as the people who use them – through predictive HVAC optimisation and automated machine learning.

Since 2013, Rishi has designed and built over 30 incubators, accelerators and corporate innovation programmes and spaces.

Rishi has been working for years to create stronger innovation ecosystems by closing the gap between start-ups, corporates and governments, and is now ensuring that the buildings they work from are smart, efficient and healthy.

1. What is the mission of Incube Space?

Incube Space is on a mission to make buildings as dynamic as the people who use them. By enabling buildings to adapt to changing use and needs we can reduce the resources required to achieve better outcomes for people and the planet.

To reduce energy waste whilst ensuring optimal indoor air quality, Incube has developed CubeOS; a predictive HVAC optimisation platform.

CubeOS consolidates building data and runs that through our proprietary autoML models. This provides recommendations and automation that make commercial HVAC systems proactive to real-time changing space utilisation trends.

2. What excites you most about the potential of smart, connected buildings?

The fact that all the smart aspects can run in the background and make our lives better without us even noticing.

Smart buildings still need to become a much more seamless experience. Currently, they’re often too reliant on another app or siloed technologies or hampered by a disconnect between landlord and tenant.

Being the world’s biggest asset class, I’m also excited real estate has a significant impact on the world.

Smart buildings can help turn more of the negative impact into a positive impact, including keeping people healthier and more productive but also reducing carbon emissions emitted that harm the planet.

3. The biggest challenge we face in the built environment?

Culture and incentives. This needs to be aligned with a sustainable future. Right now there are too many stakeholders and third parties that stifle innovation, progress and transparency in the industry.

4. Most disruptive technologies you’re seeing come to market?

IoT – IoT may not be new, but the rise of sensors gives us the opportunity to do so much more when it comes to efficiency and experiences.

Modular fit-outs – Circularity is much needed when it comes to construction and fit-outs. Being able to build up, use, break down and reuse we’re drastically cutting down on waste in an industry renowned for it.

AI/ML – I may be slightly biased in having an ML company, but only because I know the impact it can have. It enables the dream of fully dynamic buildings that allow building owners and facilities to focus on future innovations and not just maintaining the status quo.

5. In 2050, what will our cities look like?

Great question – it’s actually the title for a series we’re putting together in the new year.

In the same way we have seen Open Data revolutionising Banking, I think we will see similar in cities.

Better data sharing between landlords and tenants, CRE owners and public services, and public transport and private transport, will open up efficiencies that make for more liveable cities with bigger populations.

Improved public transport and micro-mobility can reduce reliance on cars and open cities up for people. Buildings will become hubs open to more transient foot flow and not just full-time occupiers.

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