Miru is on a mission to enhance the well-being of people and our planet. Miru’s team of designers and engineers invented an entirely new way to make eWindows — innovating windows that are beyond ordinary, by developing dynamic smart window technology that lowers energy consumption, reduces emissions, and connects people to the outdoors.
Tell us about yourself?
I’m Curtis Berlinguette, CEO & Co-Founder of Miru Smart Technologies. I am a Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at the University of British Columbia (UBC), and have led clean technology research for more than 15 years.
I head a research program at UBC centred on clean technologies that have the potential to reduce GHG emissions by at least 10%. Miru was built with this goal in mind.
If you could go back in time a year or two, what piece of advice would you give yourself?
Buy a bigger building. When you are growing as fast as we are, you fill up real estate fast.
What problem does your business solve?
Windows provide access to sunlight, but do not manage energy efficiently. Walls manage energy efficiently, but block out sunlight and our views.This conflict is only heightened by the increasing energy efficiency standards builders are facing.
Why is this important?
1) We need access to sunlight to lead healthy lives, but we spend 90% of our time indoors and keep our blinds closed 60% of the time. Miru electrochromic windows (“eWindows”) avoid the need for blinds and curtains.
2) Miru eWindows will reduce the heating and cooling of buildings by 20%. This number is important because 20% of global CO2 emissions come from the temperature control of buildings. eWindows will soon be needed to meet building energy codes that mandate stronger insulation and less energy consumption.
What is the inspiration behind your business?
We spend 90% of our time indoors and keep our blinds closed 60% of the time. This means, we spend over half our lives disconnected from the world around us.
Studies prove increased access to natural light has beneficial impacts on our mental health and well-being.
Miru is building windows designed to replace blinds so you can stay connected to the world around you. Miru dynamic windows can be electronically tinted with an app on your phone or autonomously through your smart thermostat.
This dynamic tinting lets you control the glare and heat of the sun. All while increasing your access to natural light.
What is your magic sauce?
Miru’s patented manufacturing process does not require high temperature ovens or vacuum equipment to produce smart windows.
This not only makes our manufacturing process green, it also means we can make our windows at a cost that is accessible to everyone.
Miru’s business model will licence our patented manufacturing technology to leading window fabricators, enabling our partners to compete with leading smart window companies around the world.
What is the plan for the next 5 years? What do you want to achieve?
Miru is on a mission to deploy 1 million sq ft of eWindows by 2026.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?
One of the largest challenges we are faced with is the rapid scaling of our company. We have grown to over 30 employees (from 3 in 2020).
This is always an exciting challenge to have. We managed to leverage our resources to expand our pilot facility to stay consistent with our growth.
Miru has a strong team of engineers and researchers and we are on track to expand our talent pool even further by the end of the year.
How do people get involved/buy into your vision?
Miru is committed to the triple bottom line: People, Planet and Profit.
This applies to our everyday business activities, as well as the user experience; Miru windows enhance user well-being, lower their emissions, and save users money throughout the product’s lifespan.
Miru is working with glass manufacturers and window fabricators to bring our technology to market faster.