Especially in the wake of the pandemic, office landlords are increasingly turning to technology to solve operational challenges like air quality and energy efficiency.
Betting on that demand, JLL has acquired Hank, a Sacramento-based virtual engineering platform that uses artificial intelligence to optimize building control systems, focusing on energy efficiency, air quality, maintenance costs and tenant comfort. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
“Our vision for the future of buildings is automated, AI-powered, smart and sustainable,” JLL Technologies President Sharad Rastogi said in a statement. “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.”
Zachary Denning and Jerremy Spillman co-founded Hank in 2016. Hank will operate under the JLLT umbrella, with Denning serving as director of sustainability product.
Hank works by plugging into existing building automation systems and creating a digital twin of the building to audit existing operations, identify efficiency adjustments and make changes.
The acquisition will give Hank additional resources “to scale faster to advance healthy, sustainable buildings worldwide,” Denning said in a statement.
JLL is no stranger to the proptech game. It made several acquisitions in 2021 to expand its presence in the sector, like its purchase of data analytics platform Skyline AI in August. A couple of months later, the firm paid $300M to buy Building Engines, a cloud-based building operations platform. And in December, JLL announced it invested in and partnered with HqO as a way to offer new services to clients as they bring workers back to the office.
JLL isn’t the only brokerage betting big on technology platforms designed to drive efficiencies for tenants. JLL’s Thursday announcement comes a day after CBRE acquired Buildingi, which provides space utilization data and technology services such as computer-aided design, integrated workplace management systems and building information modeling to help office occupiers make decisions about the size and layout of their workplaces.