Bricks And Bytes Podcast

Tech Comes To Rescue Amid Construction-Climate Crisis

The development industry has left the planet with more toxic waste than anyone else. A staggering 40% of global greenhouse gas is credited to the building sector. A study by the World Green Building Council, reveals that construction is currently the single biggest culprit for global greenhouse gas emissions. Our current construction model is failing – depleting Earth’s natural resources and consuming unsustainable amounts of energy.

For an industry responsible for developing monumental feats of human ingenuity, construction has hardly been a trailblazer when it comes to environmental sustainability. While the tech world transcended from mere mobile phones to putting supercomputers in our pockets and spacecraft on Mars – the very industry that built our world stood virtually unchanged – bricks, mortar, and a stubborn resistance to progress. 


Innovation & Investment | Disrupting The Status Quo

Governments are cracking down, with the UK parliament mandating Net Zero greenhouse gas emissions compared to 1990 levels by 2050. There’s mounting pressure. Cities, too, are toughening their stance on buildings that don’t meet the new requirements. Landlords are left with a choice to break their banks and upgrade or pay higher taxes. For innovators and investors – this demand for green technology is an unprecedented opportunity.

Founding A New Era

Innovators and investors are coming forth with new ideas, technology, and money – to help the industry. One such innovator is Brittany Harris – the co-founder of QFlow. Her startup company is a material-tracking platform that allows waste to be repurposed rather than dumped. This has the potential to transform an estimated £13 billion worth of reusable construction materials ( destined for landfills) into a lucrative revenue stream through resale and reuse.

We’re not building a business, we’re building a movement,” said Ms. Harris. She declares her mission is to overhaul the wasteful practices plaguing the industry. Her focus on sustainability has already attracted major attention from venture capitalists, raising £9.1 million in just three months.

Hear Brittany’s story of Oppression To £13 Billion Opportunity here on our podcast.

qflow climate tech

QFlow is but just one of countless waves of the new sustainability tsunami. Visionaries like Jeevan Kalanithi, CEO and Co-founder of OpenSpace, are set to transform the construction landscape. His reality-capture tool OpenSpace is Google Maps for construction sites – with mind-blowing results from pre-construction to operations.

Imagine inspecting your entire job site – only on your iPad, in hyper-realistic 3D – roll back in time and pull up your site from the past – see as it was a month/week/day ago (whenever). That’s what OpenSpace offers. Tech like Jeevan’s OpenSpace allows builders to spot issues before they become problems. It allows teams to align instantly. Tech like this is cutting work delays and eliminating endless documentation.

The VC Gold Rush

A new breed of venture capitalists (VCs) have come out to play – to back the development of new technologies in construction. These “buildtech” VCs admit that this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. They understand that green tech construction isn’t just a feel-good trend – it’s a goldmine and it’s untapped.

One such VC is Patric Hellerman, General Partner at Foundamental. We caught up with Patric in one of our recent podcasts – “How To Build A Unicorn In Construction Tech”. It was an eye opener. 

In this fascinating podcast, for the first time, we hear Patric talk about:

  • How VC funding in construction tech is the new goldmine and how its defying recession
  • The existing and future models of unicorn construction-tech startups
  • What shapes the VC world in construction; from top investors through to
    founder-fit, and what happens when a company begins to fail 
  • Patric’s favourite investors and his way of staying creative while managing a career in VC

Construction-Tech Gaining Momentum

Other investors smell the opportunity too. Fifth Wall, a powerhouse VC firm with a focus on prop-tech (property technology), has already invested heavily in companies like Uptake, which uses AI to optimise building operations and cut energy waste. But Fifth Wall isn’t alone.

Kleiner Perkins, a legendary venture capitalist with a history of backing tech titans like Google and Amazon, recently launched a $200 million fund specifically for sustainable construction startups. These VCs aren’t just throwing money at anything green. They’re looking for solutions that address the industry’s biggest pain points: inefficiency, waste, and environmental impact. Companies with innovative solutions in areas like modular construction, robotics, and building materials are attracting serious investment dollars.

Tech makes construction efficient, and that equals major cash in the bank. AI and ‘digital twins’ are slashing material over-ordering and optimising transport. Robots take on dangerous, repetitive jobs with laser-precision. In the finished building, smart systems learn from their occupants – adjusting light and heat for maximum comfort without crazy energy bills.

Quick pause to ask YOU a question. 

Are you interested in exploring the exciting new world of ConstructionTech? Want to stake your claim in the latest gold rush?

If so, get the latest scoop, the breaking news and insider insights delivered straight to your inbox.

Sign up for our newsletter and join the gold-rush:

This ain’t just tree-hugging, it’s smart profit. Green-certified buildings can save 10% in operating costs over their lifetime. Occupants stay healthier, get more done in better environments, and businesses win. The future in construction-technology is looking bright. Green building investments are exploding: topping $51 billion since 2015. It’s a win-win-win – planet, people, profits.

There’s resistance, no doubt. Adapting to the new in a rigid, old-school space like construction is not easy. But it’s happening. Driven by pioneers like Harris, Kalanithi and Hellerman, and the rising tide of sustainable tech, the buildings of tomorrow are being built today.


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