We Can’t Innovate Alone as Manufacturers

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hello I’m I’m David Briggs I’m the CEO

of the village group Danish roof window

manufacturers as you know and I’m here

today for two days here in Paris we have

the daylight symposium which we’re

sponsoring and organizing on day one and

the healthy buildings day again which we

sponsor and organise on day two I’m very

happy to be here

well village today is where a 77 year

old company we’re still family owned and

foundational so interesting that 90% of

our dividends actually go back to

society in form of of Grants back to for

research and societal good we are we’re

a very strong company we have a turnover

without group turnover including other

sister companies 2.6 billion euros with

presence in 46 countries around the

world we’re growing both in our core

residential market where we put daylight

and fresh air through the roof of houses

and we’ve also made acquisitions to grow

in the commercial segments so we are

actually now increasingly have an offer

for four buildings such as factories

warehouses but also airports offices

shopping centres and that kind of thing

many people will know villas for our our

roof windows which which have added

space and broad daylight into the it’s a

millions of houses around around Europe

but up until now we really were not very

focused on the what we call the

commercial segments so rather the places

people were work play and and and so on

so we’ve we’ve made three acquisitions

into that area that gives us a line of

products which are capable of bringing

daylight into buildings as well as

differences as factories people in

factories also need daylight’s and fresh

  Robert Miles Kemp

air and good indoor climate but even up

to airports so we have a huge project

for example in one of the biggest

airports in China recently which is

using our products to bring all of the

daylight into the

into the arena so I hope and believe

that we can take the expertise that

we’ve developed over 75 years in terms

of daylight and fresh air through the

roof and we can use that to bring

further innovation into the into the the

segments of the commercial segments as I

call it and so we have a we have an

innovation function we split it into

what we call front end so these are

people looking at mega trends and how

how those trends are likely to impact

people’s need for for daylight and fresh

air and and of course then we have a

product development team and I can give

you an example of something we did

recently we have also 10,000 or 11,000

now were the acquisitions colleagues

around the world and these are people

have built up a huge amount of

experience who are speaking to customers

every day we ran a an Innovation

Challenge we asked these people for

their ideas about what innovative ideas

they might have that we could take

forward into new products or new

services in two weeks we had 2,000 360

ideas from 11,000 people and I don’t

just mean a two-line idea

I mean 510 pages with sketches with

drawings it’s it’s a fantastic fountain

of ideas that we’ve got to deal with so

I can promise you you’re likely to see a

lot more innovation from villas in the

coming years and I think that

digitalization is something that as an

  Politics and Mechanics of Institutions

industry we need to get hold of I think

that to be fair architects have had

their part in digitalization for some

years but if you look across the entire

industry we are so far behind we are so

far behind and and this is something

which I think can speed up for building

techniques it can improve maintenance

schedules it can improve the building

process dramatically if we can

digitalize more and more so firstly I’m

a great believer in in BIM and I really

think that that can help the the

building process in valence we’re also

digitalizing our product so that now

actually you can

stall a solar driven motor into into a

Philips window it installs in 40 minutes

also into older older products our solar

driven shutters our solar driven blinds

and we can connect all of that to a

digital hub which uses sensors to to

look at the air quality in the house but

also the weather forecast outside and

therefore control your windows

automatically without you needing to

think about it and and that can

significantly improve the indoor climate

so if you take a country like a warm

country like Spain it can dramatically

reduce the need for air conditioning for

example which is good for the planet you

take a colder country like like Denmark

it can make sure that the house is

ventilated at the appropriate time so

that you have as much as little heat

loss as possible during that process so

digitalization I think can play a big

role for us whilst in the building

process but also in the whole lifecycle

of the products that we produce really

believe that if you look at the

  Future Architecture Platform and Coming Changes

challenges that we have in terms of

buildings where we’re going to have to

build and renovate significantly over

the coming 30 years if it’s a hit our

our target system in terms of carbon

emissions those challenges that we have

they involve the they require the

knowledge and the experience and the

ideas of people at all different stages

we can’t do that we can’t innovate

sufficiently alone as a manufacturer we

need to listen to researchers who are

doing cutting-edge work in terms of how

to bring daylight into buildings the

impact of air renewal and so on so forth

but we need also to work with

legislators because the legislation that

they that they bring to the table

impacts what people are allowed to do in

buildings so if we don’t work with

legislators and we allow that the the

legislation to go down a path of only

looking at energy efficiency it will be

a big disaster in our opinion because

nobody builds a building just to be

energy-efficient you don’t don’t live in

a house

the energy-efficient if you wanted to

just be energy-efficient we’d live in

case under underground we would all be

sick we would all hate it and it’s

ludicrous so of course by bringing

together these people who have these

different lenses at which they look at

the same problem we hope to inspire

everybody across the across the board

that’s super important for us and I

think it’s part of our responsibility as

a as a manufacturer who’s been here a

long time who’s committed to to the

future of the building industry