JLL bolsters AI profile with Hank acquisition

By Dominic Ellis
JLL buys Hank whose system applies ML and AI to solve many of the commercial real estate industry's largest operational challenges

JLL has bought Sacramento-based Hank, a virtual engineering platform powered by AI, for an undisclosed fee.

Hank's system applies ML and AI to solve many of the commercial real estate industry's largest operational challenges, including HVAC programming inconsistencies and energy and equipment performance inefficiencies.

Its cloud-based platform optimises energy efficiency, air quality, maintenance costs and tenant comfort, providing increased net operating income to real estate investors.

"Our vision for the future of buildings is automated, AI-powered, smart and sustainable," said Sharad Rastogi, President at JLL Technologies (JLLT), a division of JLL. "By joining JLL, Hank's cutting-edge technology presents a major opportunity to drive efficiencies for our clients today and best anticipate the needs of tomorrow. JLL's acquisition of Hank represents a continued commitment to drive sustainability and embrace technology to shape the future of real estate for a better world."

Hank was co-founded in 2016 by Zachary Denning - now CEO - and Jerremy Spillman, who have a wealth of experience in engineering and the sustainability space, managing teams and growing significant revenue across multiple sustainability-focused companies.

"Having worn many hats in the building management space, we uniquely understand the opportunity to drive impact through smart building technology," said Denning. "With JLL, we will have the resources to scale faster to advance healthy, sustainable buildings worldwide."

Hank works by plugging into an existing building automation system (BAS) and developing a "digital twin" of the building in the cloud to start learning how it operates. Hank is able to generate a full systems audit of the building, detail where it can make efficiency adjustments, and action against it automatically, autonomously and remotely.

Its system can be deployed in weeks and drive immediate value that spans energy savings, asset longevity, comfort scores and indoor air quality (IAQ).

Hank will operate within JLLT and Denning will serve as director of sustainability product. Hank will continue to serve existing customers, and its AI-powered technology will now be available to JLL clients to help improve tenant experience and investment returns while accelerating achievement of sustainability goals.

JLL is a Fortune 500 company with annual revenue of $16.6 billion in 2020, operations in over 80 countries and a global workforce of more than 95,000.

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