Innovative business models and construction processes
The access model provides product access instead of ownership and is therefore dependent on service level agreements. In the construction sector, access models are usually used for service-dependent products such as lighting, climate control and lifts. Experimental projects involve the ‘leasing’ of building components with a long lifespan, such as facades. The interviews, case studies and especially the calculators developed by the CBCI have shown that service models are best applied for building layers (shearing layers) with a limited lifespan. More specifically, the layers, the space plan and the technical installations. The uncertainty of cash flow calculations only increases the longer the term being considered. In addition, the circular added value, e.g. by residual value at EoL, becomes insignificantly small by discounting due to the current net worth methodology.
The performance model delivers product performance rather than the product itself. In the construction sector, the example of ‘pay per lux’ (a joint concept from Philips and Turntoo) is often used. The physical products are robust, sustainable and easy to maintain, meaning that revenues increase the longer the products last. This model relates to the substantiation of the costs for the user in a fixed fee and for the provider in the form of a fixed cash inflow.
In the case of the living lab concept, an access model was also applied, although this does require some additional explanation. The contract stipulates that the technical installations remain the property of the lessor and are therefore activated in their accounts. The transaction is regarded as a lease on the part of the tenant (KU Leuven). The entire transaction remains off the balance sheet of the lessee. Strictly speaking, however, this is not sufficient for circumventing the principle of acquisition of ownership by incorporation, a difficulty which was not addressed at the time of the conclusion of the lease.
So it is clear that not the components themselves, but their use was contracted. In addition, the tender did not prescribe specific installations, but the performance they had to deliver. This was done by setting applicable standards, the usual best practices and the BEN label (BEN stands for “Bijna Energie-Neutrale Woningen”, which means “Nearly Energy Neutral Homes”) as the standard for the performance level in terms of energy efficiency. This performance is made possible by design considerations (thermal performance of the building skin, airtightness, etc. tailored to the properties of the chosen installation components) and by enabling data-based maintenance and replacement of components during the use phase via the OpenMotics software and data collection.