American dream for Scots company

GLASGOW-based ‘proptech’ company arbnco has doubled its team from 18 to 37 after opening American offices in Detroit and California.

Founded in 2012, the company specialises in developing software solutions aimed at transforming the commercial and public sector property markets. The firm utilises data-led optimisation – which they say is used to enhance energy performance, manage building compliance, monitor and improved indoor air quality and predict the impact of climate change on buildings.

The bases in America will act as the company’s new place of research, with the 17-strong international team speaking nine different languages between them. Links, however, will still be continued with the University of Strathclyde – the research team will work with experts from the Glasgow university, and those from the University of California, to develop software solutions for commercial build deployment.

The projects currently underway at arbn labs aim to address universal issues within the built environment, and have been funded by organisations including Construction Scotland Innovation Centre and The Data Lab. The projects include closing the energy gap – which is the difference between the predicted and actual efficiency levels of energy within a building – optimising indoor environments to benefit the health and wellbeing of occupants, and using artificial intelligence to suggest energy improvement options for buildings

Alan Wegienka, chief executive of arbnco said, “At the heart of arbn labs is an ambition to bring together the world’s best minds to tackle global energy problems. We act as a bridge between innovative academic research and commercial, real-world practice.

“This ability to leverage emerging research and deploy it effectively can dramatically transform the built environment, as we all strive to reduce carbon emissions and make the world a more sustainable place. Our labs team has been strengthened significantly by the cumulative expertise of our new colleagues, and we look forward to the milestones that will be reached with them on board.”

Joe Clarke, director of the Energy Systems Research Unit at the University of Strathclyde, has worked with the arbn labs team on two Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs), an initiative funded by Innovate UK which links businesses with research or academic organisations to promote innovation, added, “The success of being awarded two KTPs by the University of Strathclyde is evidence of the strength and breadth of the arbn labs team. I am delighted to be part of the success story and continue to support arbn labs and the wider arbnco business in their many innovative R&D projects.”