Pete Tickler

13 June 2013 — Perth-based consultancy Greensense is on the move, hiring three new staff members in recent weeks and opening a Melbourne office just before Christmas.

The recent appointments take total staff numbers to 15. They are: Sal Tringali in software development, after a role as longtime head of innovation at Origin Energy based in Perth; Will Turbet in marketing, previously with project managers Aconex for eight years; and Stuart Moores, previously with Schneider Electric, based on the west coast, in a business development role in the building automation sector.

The company was co-founded by former colleagues Derek Gerrard, Fabian Le Gay Brereton and Pete Tickler only four years ago and specialises in building sustainability monitoring and occupant engagement.

Mr Tickler, the company’s “token scientist” said he had recently moved to Melbourne to head up a three staff office. Plans were to continue to expand with another five staff over the coming year, mainly in Perth.

Customers include RAC, Rio Tinto, universities, and more than enough government clients and local councils.

So what’s driving the expansion?

Mr Tickler said the company works on the “interface between human behaviour and building performance”.

Building occupancy was one of the biggest variables in building performance, “yet most building managers have no idea why their buildings perform the way they do and how behaviour can lead to underperformance,” he said.

While other companies worked at the building level, Greensense worked at the “people level”, offering motivational programs such as running competitions between offices to be the most energy efficient users and so on.

“Our business is built more on how to engage building occupants; it can increase results by 10-15 per cent.”

Mr Tickler said the software is a starting point to trigger behaviour change, using methods such as pitting the Melbourne office against the Sydney office for instance.

“We’re working at the micro level, pulling data at a quite granular level.”

Typically the company uses a monitoring system to track water, waste and energy with data then “crunched up in the cloud”, he said.

“That sets a benchmarks and that get pushed out in a funky dashboard that enables building managers to track where the opportunities are for making savings.”

Tickler said that it was often forgotten that buildings were built for people, yet there was little to create a sense of connection with the building.

“Once we leave the front door of our space our connection with spaces we use is almost zero.

“People using their offices day-to-day are not on board, not connected. There’s almost no explanation and no feedback mechanism so it means nothing to you as an individual.”

The job is therefore to stimulate greater connection through technology mechanisms.

The company recently notched up some gongs: Best Green Start-Up at the Startup Smart Awards 2013;  the iiNet Innovator of the Year award at the WAToday Entrepreneurs and Innovators Awards; and inclusion in BRW’s annual Fast Starters list.