Jack Laken, P.Eng. B.Sc., and President of TermoBuild Canada, specialize in thermally charged buildings to fill the deep gap in global decarbonization. With over 30 years of North American and International experience, Jack has been a driving force behind low cost, low-energy building solutions, rated as the best in Canada, India and USA . His passion and crucial role lies in connecting existing products to create new value edge, particularly within the realm of Smart City intelligent buildings. Proven track record of “doing more with less,” a philosophy set to propel the decarbonization of many buildings into the climate-smart category.
Recently, in an exclusive interview with CXO Outlook Magazine, Jack shared his insights on the importance of sustainable design, the inspiration behind establishing TermoBuild, the new technologies that can be used to help increase energy efficiency, future plans, and much more. The following excerpts are taken from the interview.
From your experience, what do you believe sustainable design is? What does it aim to accomplish?
By designing and building systems that not only conserve energy but also actively share it, we’re creating a blueprint for a future where buildings are not just structures, but active participants in a cleaner, more efficient urban landscape.
TermoBuild represents a paradigm shift from linear wasteful building designs in the pursuit of today’s energy-efficient buildings. Our approach “Do more with less,” goes beyond conventional practices to fill the gap in the market. It is aiming to expand building and energy grid performance while enhancing the management and outcomes of today’s specified materials and operational reliability and reduced run to failure risks. The outcomes of this innovative balanced energy supply and demand approach speak for themselves. At the heart of our vision is a silent revolution in the form of rechargeable buildings, safety and indoor wellness as new standard.
This validated approach, encapsulated by the mantra “Do more with less,” stands in stark contrast to imposed solutions. Sustainable design, for us, is a holistic concept that aims to accomplish more than just minimizing energy consumption. It encompasses a broader vision that includes indoor wellness, elevated comfort, and safety. We believe that a sustainable building should seamlessly integrate with the Smart City Energy Grid, contributing not only to environmental conservation but also to the overall well-being of its occupants.
At TermoBuild, our commitment goes beyond meeting standard sustainability benchmarks; we aspire to untangle the intricacies that often impede the progress of climate-conscious initiatives in the realm of buildings. By doing so, we strive to redefine sustainable design, ensuring that it not only meets environmental standards but also enhances the quality of life for those who inhabit these spaces.
What are the strategies to manage energy and other resources consumption through effective design of façades to attain net-zero building?
Effective façade design should be integral to the broader objectives of sustainable building outcomes, moving beyond mere comparisons of individual commodities. At TermoBuild, we approach this challenge differently, seeing it as an opportunity to create integrated solutions that extend beyond the façade and in fact improves its specified performance. One key strategy involves harnessing the historically passive properties of concrete floors, transforming them into year-round rechargeable thermal batteries. It begins with
One Floor – 5 Systems – is an innovative approach not only reduces stress on the building envelope, creates carbon negative assembly and significantly impacts the overall desired outcomes. By activating passive concrete as a climate-smart asset, buildings have the energy potential to become carbon-negative in operational mode as well. For instance, a Climate Smart Floor, seamlessly linked with any heating/cooling system, can replace up to five stand-alone, costly, and eliminate carbon-intensive mechanical systems.
The question we asked ourselves was: Can we create super-performing buildings that cost no more than conventional construction? The answer is yes, and TermoBuild achieves this through two key principles:
Thermal Energy Storage and Distribution: TermoBuild creates a distinctive form of non-disposable thermal energy storage and distribution using conventional building materials, by actively managing thermal properties of concrete linked with noticeably reduced HVAC systems.
Mechanical Systems Simplification: TermoBuild’s technology consolidates five mechanical systems into one, utilizing standard HVAC equipment. This simplification results in significant cost savings, for example, a 100,000 square foot building can save up to $3.0 million in avoided costs.
The combination of using standard building materials and optimized mechanical plant requirements positions TermoBuild as a pioneer in supercharged buildings, delivering elevated performance edge at a cost no higher than conventional construction.
What was the inspiration behind establishing TermoBuild? What sets it apart from other market competitors?
TermoBuild mindset “do more with less” with purpose and passion using clients’ preferences sets us apart from market competitors in our commitment to filling the gaps that the Business as Usual (BAU) approach. We understand that true innovation lies in reducing reliance on large heating and cooling systems as it’s not usually done. This appeals to hearts and minds by helping them understand that reimagining the entire process reduces costs and risks using their preferences. Our inspiration for establishing TermoBuild stemmed from the lessons learned globally from wasteful conventional building designs and construction. It recognizes the need for meaningful integration by engaging concrete into climate smart floor kit that eliminates the need for many energy saving systems.
Our focus goes beyond mere efficiency; it extends to optimizing sustainability and enhancing the overall user wellness experience edge. TermoBuild’s integrated building solutions are not just about meeting industry standards but about setting new benchmarks for excellence in construction, ensuring that every aspect of the process contributes to a more efficient, eco-friendly, and user-centric built environment.
The inspiration behind founding TermoBuild stems from our extensive experience in conventional building construction. Having immersed ourselves in the intricacies of traditional methods, we recognized the need for a paradigm shift towards integrated building solutions. Our value-added journey was fueled by the lessons learned from the limitations of the Business as Usual (BAU) approach prevalent in the building industry.
Through meticulous research and development, we discovered that a significant number of equipment can be reduced or eliminated without compromising the quality of construction. This revelation not only contributes to the immediate improvement of our daily lives but also aligns with our dedication to cost effective reduction of carbon footprints. TermoBuild is not just a validated construction solution in demand today; it’s a testament to our commitment to building a more sustainable and eco-friendly future edge from the start.
You are also an Advisor at AdvisoryCloud. Can you please tell us about this platform and your role in it?
I have been associated with AdvisoryCloud since its initial unveiling. AdvisoryCloud is a platform that evolves and connects experienced advisors with organizations seeking strategic guidance.
Looking ahead to the New Year, we are planning to leverage our broader strategy. Specifically, we intend to incorporate AdvisoryCloud into our Playbook and Guide for decision makers to Maximize ROI on Sustainability. This playbook will serve as a cost effective and easy to implement road map for businesses and individuals looking to enhance their initiatives and navigate the complexities of integrating sustainable practices into their operations.
On a different note, the sustainability initiatives also tie into my role at TermoBuild. For instance, our year-round indoor wellness is a part of a larger effort to optimize building system decarbonization. Built in thermal energy storage adds safety and significantly reduces reliance on traditional air conditioning systems by tapping into free and natural energy sources such as night sky cooling. This approach is often overlooked in conventional building systems, leading to the incorporation of more heating equipment than necessary for comfort. TermoBuild, on the other hand, takes full advantage of these natural resources, minimizing mechanical equipment, and consequently reducing both capital costs and ongoing energy bills. The synergy between nature connected buildings and TermoBuild allows for a holistic daily approach to sustainable practices and business strategy.
How do you feel sustainability is progressing in the market and among professionals?
Linear approach to building design that begins with green and yet wasteful design choices unintentionally contributing to greenhouse gas emissions, climate change, natural resource depletion due to excessive waste, pollution of air, energy, water, and soil.
Not many are aware of the cost-effective precision engineered sustainability solutions that exist in the market today. Significant opportunity available for decisionmakers to act now rather than wait for government incentives to make them attractive. TermoBuild’s Climate Smart solution is a testament to this perspective as it doesn’t solely rely on government incentives to be cost-effective. We believe in the immediate viability and value of sustainable practices, and the growing awareness in the market is a positive indicator that the shift towards sustainability is gaining momentum.
How has sustainable value add design and build come to be at the heart of TermoBuild’s practice?
Filling the gap with conventional “business as usual” (bau) approach warms the heart of investors and customers in more than one way. Our Climate Smart buildings turn out to be the cornerstone of TermoBuild’s practice of “do more with less”. It has uncovered instantly rewarding climate transition opportunities that often go unnoticed in mainstream designs. Embracing a systemic approach to building solutions, we recognized the potential for synergy by fusing Heating/Cooling Systems with thermally managed concrete floors.
This innovative integration is not merely an add-on but a strategic move to maximize investments appeal edge in Climate Smart buildings and scale sustainable development. By reimagining the relationship between heating and cooling systems and thermally charged concrete structures, we unlock opportunities for financial and environmental viability from the start. This newly created fusion not only reduces the perceived risks associated with the net-zero transition but transforms them into profitable opportunities.
What are future technologies that could save significant energy in buildings?
Connecting the dots between the Energy Grid with Thermally Charged Buildings, ushering in a new era of transformational climate smart innovation. The concept of energy sharing is not just a technological advancement but a cultural shift towards a more sustainable and interconnected community.
This concept revolves around creating clusters of energy-sharing buildings seamlessly integrated with the utility-scale energy grid. Expanding the energy grid capacity is a crucial step towards unlocking the full potential of power supply and demand. TermoBuild advocates for a comprehensive approach, leveraging beyond-the-meter cloud-based energy management systems to financially enhance the process of decarbonization. This innovative strategy edge offers a cost-effective solution for reliably improving supply and demand capacity, particularly during winter or summer peaks.
By integrating cloud-based energy management, TermoBuild seeks to optimize the utilization of electric buildings within the broader energy grid. This approach goes beyond traditional methods, allowing for real-time monitoring, analysis, and adjustment of energy consumption patterns. The cloud-based system facilitates a dynamic response to the ever-changing demands on the grid, ensuring efficient and sustainable energy usage.
Financially enhancing decarbonization becomes achievable through this approach contributes to the overall stability and resilience of the energy grid. By synchronizing power supply and demand in a smart and responsive manner, TermoBuild’s strategy aims to create a more sustainable, cost-effective, and environmentally friendly energy ecosystem for all-electric buildings.
By harnessing typically dormant thermal capacity of the buildings, we significantly reduce the need for traditional energy sources as well as Solar PV or Wind. Instead, we tap into the untapped nighttime free ambient cooling capacity or idle power stations energy.
Validated building cases within the TermoBuild framework have consistently demonstrated benefit-cost ratios edge greater than one. This not only underscores the economic viability of our solution but also positions TermoBuild as a trailblazer in the quest for sustainable and energy-efficient building technologies for the future.
What are some of your passions outside of work? What do you like to do in your time off?
Cycling, hiking and chess help in both physical fitness and mental wellbeing.
Tell us about your future plans. Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
The idea of our new standard of energy sharing between buildings represents more than just a technological breakthrough; it signifies elevated indoor wellness, safety, resilience and social low carbon shift toward a sustainable interconnected community edge.
In the next 5 years, we envision TermoBuild continuing to play a pivotal role in the journey towards net-zero and sustainable construction practices. With TermoBuild new standard we are committed to addressing significant decarbonization challenges faced by investors, architects, capital project managers, and engineers, especially in the early planning stages of a project.
As #investors, #architects, #HVAC #engineers and #facilitiespanning professionals, together we hold a distinctive opportunity to spearhead the practical journey toward zero-carbon buildings from the start. It allows us to immediately set the stage for a climate smart future where buildings evolve from mere structures to dynamic contributors in a cleaner, healthier and more efficient urban landscape.
Our future plans involve actively contributing to the transition towards more sustainable and energy-efficient building solutions. We aim to be at the forefront of innovation, providing leading-edge multi-tasking building capabilities. As part of this journey, we encourage interested parties to reach out for a free assessment to see first-hand what drives positive change in shaping the future of sustainable construction.
Going forward, what is needed to move the mainstream toward sustainable buildings?
Moving toward requires a mindset shift with decision-makers. The inertia of those doing “Business as Usual” (BAU) is holding back from embracing validated, innovative and sustainable solutions. At TermoBuild, we advocate for a change in perspective, emphasizing that Climate Smart buildings don’t demand new technology or skills to create better outcomes from the start.
To accelerate the adoption of sustainable buildings, it’s essential for decision-makers to capture what truly matters to them. Our solutions directly address some of the most pressing climate questions, providing a pathway for individuals and organizations to contribute meaningfully to a more sustainable future.
We invite everyone to be a part of Climate Smart Buildings with purpose and passion at the edge of innovation. By collectively embracing sustainable practices, we can shape a built environment that aligns with both environmental responsibility and economic viability.