Leading CIM’s European expansion, Paul joined CIM with a passion for combating climate change and how disruptive technology has the ability to remove barriers to delivering demand-side energy savings for large property owners in a very short timeframe. Prior to joining CIM, Paul led the Johnson & Johnson Ireland Energy Team, delivering over 15,000MT of CO2 reduction programs and also working on several sustainability initiatives. With 20 years of industry experience in delivering energy savings, Paul is a Certified Energy Manager with a Bachelor of Technology (Hons) in Manufacturing Technology and an MBA from the University of Limerick.

How did you become involved in the Smart Buildings industry?

I stumbled into it, if I’m honest. My previous energy efficiency experience was primarily with large manufacturing companies. I was observing the success my brother David was having as CEO of CIM optimising the operational efficiency of commercial buildings (shopping centres, airports, banks, as examples). Once I realised there was an opportunity for building data analytics in EMEA, Dave and I secured finance to set-up a CIM European office; and that was the start of my involvement in the smart buildings industry.

What excites you about the Smart Buildings industry?

I’m a huge advocate for climate change initiatives and have spent my career delivering solutions that cut CO2 emissions. The built environment currently accounts for over 30% of the world’s GHG emissions and as a result is becoming a key focus for organisations. . Seeing new technologies, such as CIM’s PEAK, being embedded in buildings gives me hope that real change is possible. At CIM we track the overall difference our clients are making to the environment by making the changes recommended by the PEAK Platform. Since our inception, we’ve reduced CO2 emissions by 112,000 MT for clients, which can be equated to growing over 2 million seedlings for ten years, or the CO2 emitted from 275,000 barrels of oil.

Are there any particular technologies that we should be aware of, but are currently under the radar?

I genuinely believe that building analytics technology has the capacity to move the dial in terms of CO2 emissions from the built environment. I have witnessed first-hand building operators delivering up to 20% operational efficiency on the existing HVAC equipment that maintains space conditions in buildings.

Another reason I am so excited about this particular technology is that it does not require capital expenditure. PEAK focuses on low and no-cost fixes, optimises existing equipment, and delivers actionable insights within 30 days of being deployed. In my 15 years of working in the energy efficiency space these types of results are unheard of.

What services does your company offer?

CIM offers a building intelligence platform called PEAK for large and complex buildings such as commercial offices, hospitals, airports and cultural institutions. PEAK harnesses the power of real-time building data analytics, machine learning and automation to give property owners and operators more visibility and control over their building operations. CIM enables more proactive and predictive facility and portfolio management, pinpointing operational inefficiencies within live building data and alerting onsite teams of corrective actions to reduce capital and running costs, reduce energy consumption, improve sustainability and enhance tenant comfort.

Are people aware of the regulations that they will need to comply with in the near future?

I don’t believe so, while I think everyone is aware of the physical manifestation of climate change through storms, increasing temperatures, droughts etc - I don’t think that they realise that governments will be using legislation to drive reduced consumption. The tools available to the law makers are:

  • Carbon tax increases - which will increase the unit cost of energy
  • Operational efficiency certification - requiring building owners to demonstrate that their building is running at a certain level of efficiency before it can be rented/sold
  • Planning laws - where net-zero emissions will be a planning condition

What are the benefits of a smart building?

With CIM, PEAK gives visibility, control, transparency and accountability back to Building Owners and Managers. This is done through the continuous monitoring of building data, and the automated detection and diagnostics of issues that our platform supplies. Overall, our clients are experiencing a number of benefits;

  • Lower energy & utilities consumption leading to less CO2 emissions
  • Workflow collaboration and resource efficiencies
  • Less unplanned & reactive maintenance, and a shift to predictive and proactive maintenance
  • Extended equipment life span
  • Smarter capital planning with increased data visibility
  • Thermal compliance which leads to improved occupant experience
  • Overall H&S compliance, particularly key now as buildings return to full occupancy
  • Full portfolio visibility and tracking in one central view

Who has been the biggest influence in your career?

My wife, Eimear.

What is the question you are most often asked in your business life?

What is the financial, and environmental, impact of deploying data analytics on my buildings?

What are the best/worst things about your job?

The best is definitely reducing CO2 emissions from the built environment, the worst is 6am flights (but I still don't mind that as I sleep well on airplanes!)

What advice would you give to someone starting out in the industry?

Display initiative, willingness to learn, and passion in everything you do.

What living person do you admire and why?

Greta Thunberg, she is leading the climate change movement for Gen Z.

Where would you most like to live?

Annecy, France

What is your favourite book?

Drawdown by Paul Hawkins

How do you relax?

I am an avid cyclist, and always try to get a good distance covered on weekends. I’ve also linked my cycling experience to the engineering principles for HVAC. If interested you can read more here.

What sports team do you support?

I’m Irish and a rugby fan - has to be Munster rugby!

What is your desert island disk?

Harvest Moon by Neil Young

What is your ideal holiday?

Cycling in the Alps