London engineering contractor turns to Gooee – for property technology

Feb. 10, 2020
Lighting not mentioned as the contractor, TClarke, also buys a stake in Gooee

British contract engineering company TClarke plc has placed a small equity stake in smart lighting pioneer Gooee, while also engaging Gooee to install smart building technologies over the next five years. The hook-up marks Gooee's latest reshaping into a data analytics and building operations outfit.

London-based TClarke said that the five-year deal calls for selling, installing, and maintaining the “Gooee suite of smart building products.” TClarke's press release makes no mention of lighting, which is notable because Gooee was once known first and foremost for chipsets intended to turn lights and luminaires into data-collecting devices.

The publicly held, £326.8 million ($422.1M) mechanical and electrical specialist described Gooee as a company that provides “an interoperable, smart buildings solution that connects and controls a building (that) allows owners and users to unify all building controls, using remote engineering and data analytics to provide a real-time, ‘single-pane’ view and control of the building and its systems.”

And in lauding Gooee, TClarke CEO Mark Lawrence reaffirmed that perspective, again leaving out any reference to lighting. “We are excited about the very significant potential of the Gooee technology. Gooee allows building owners to significantly reduce their carbon footprint, it is ready to scale in the UK and other markets."

Nor did Gooee's own managing director, Neil Salt, use the “L” word.

“Buildings need to lower their impact on the environment and adapt for the future,” said Salt. “They contribute 40% of global energy demand and 40% in CO2 global emissions.”

Salt, who is a Gooee co-founder, added that Gooee is providing property technology to deliver “efficient and sustainable smart build environments” and noted that “the TClarke partnership gives us an accelerated route to market at scale.”

While Gooee does indeed still serve the smart lighting market, it has been adapting its mission.

As much as the lighting industry would like to drive the potentially booming smart building movement, the reality is that many other players including those from the IT and property worlds are also major players. Sensors and communications chips that are the nuts and bolts of smart buildings can reside on walls, ceilings and many other places outside of luminaires. While they might control lights – and many other building functions – they don't have to live in the lights.

Thus Gooee, founded in 2014, has in recent years broadened its offerings to also include connected sensors focused on supporting other building operations and also on collecting data that, when analyzed can help property managers make better use of their space.

Gooee's suite of products and services is thus potentially a good fit for TClarke, which counts facilities management among its five main business areas that also include mechanical and electrical engineering, infrastructure, residential building, and building services technologies.

Neither TClarke nor London-based Gooee revealed the size of TClarke's investment in Gooee. TClarke described it as “small but strategic.”

The TClarke partnership is reminiscent of Gooee's announcement last June with Dutch engineering company Croonwolter&dros, calling for Gooee to provide cloud data analytics at up to 5000 commercial properties, but initially have little to do directly with lighting.

In a similar vein, British semiconductor stalwart Arm recently mounted the many smart building sensors at its new 19,000m2 headquarters outside of the building's 6000 LED luminaires, although in a smart lighting move, it is controlling the lights and powering them over Ethernet cable.

MARK HALPER is a contributing editor for LEDs Magazine, and an energy, technology, and business journalist ([email protected]).

About the Author

Mark Halper | Contributing Editor, LEDs Magazine, and Business/Energy/Technology Journalist

Mark Halper is a freelance business, technology, and science journalist who covers everything from media moguls to subatomic particles. Halper has written from locations around the world for TIME Magazine, Fortune, Forbes, the New York Times, the Financial Times, the Guardian, CBS, Wired, and many others. A US citizen living in Britain, he cut his journalism teeth cutting and pasting copy for an English-language daily newspaper in Mexico City. Halper has a BA in history from Cornell University.