As climate change becomes an increasingly tangible concern, reducing carbon emissions (or achieving net zero emissions) is quickly becoming a priority. In this series piece we unpack the realities of carbon offsetting - the good, the bad, and the ugly - to show how it can (and can’t) be part of an impactful sustainability strategy for your company.
Sustainability is a core part of our mission at Converge. Our team develops products for optimizing the sustainability metrics of every build, all while ensuring a profitable and viable business model for all. Our intelligence softwares and sensors are Greentech and Cleantech solutions that drive massive efficiencies across the construction site, including helping you to decrease emissions in real terms, beyond offsetting and “net zero” goals. Here are some of the ways our technology is tackling the industry’s major sustainability issues:
Concrete accounts for the lion's share of the construction industry’s carbon output, so that’s why the first weapon in our arsenal is ConcreteDNA: Our AI-powered concrete intelligence software - and little blue Signal Sensor - are here to help you go green!
First and foremost, the biggest level we can pull to reduce embodied carbon in concrete is to reduce the cement content of concrete that dictates how performant it will be. Thanks to deeper insight into the in-situ performance of your concrete you no longer need to build in as much of a safety margin. Additionally, this enables you to more dynamically change what mix design you use based on time of year and environmental conditions. For example, switching to a less performant but greener summer concrete mix sooner in the year.
ConcreteDNA also promotes the use of low-carbon materials: Our reporting gives you confidence that materials meet safety and quality standards, thus enabling you to pioneer the use of ultra-low carbon and cement-free concrete at scale.
Our technology minimizes concrete usage and waste. Traditionally, concrete strength is tested via the “cube crushing” method. ConcreteDNA reduces the need for destructive testing - and the associated concrete use - by measuring early strength gain, and =increasing confidence in the pour. Converge also improves the quality assurance of cured concrete with accurate data from our embedded sensors. As a result, you have fewer cracks, and much less wasted concrete. In addition to saving concrete, this saves time and helps to keep projects on track.
Converge technology also decreases diesel emissions on site. By providing real time in-situ concrete maturity data, as well as AI-based curing predictions, we speed up your concrete cycles and help you to build faster. Aside from the obvious time savings, this means that your generators and tools spend less time running. While this may be a small piece of the emissions puzzle, it all adds up across thousands of construction projects across the globe.
Excitingly, our new products in the pipeline will further our commitment to sustainability. We’re poised to launch ConstructionDNA, our game-changing holistic construction intelligence platform. ConstructionDNA goes far beyond concrete monitoring, and integrates data from multiple sources to build a comprehensive and dynamic picture of projects, while providing intelligence and emergent AI insights. ConstructionDNA allows you to simultaneously optimise multiple variables, so you can bend the cost curve and the carbon curve at the same time.
The ConstructionDNA platform will be powered by our two upcoming intelligence softwares, StructureDNA and LogisticsDNA, in addition to our original product, ConcreteDNA. StructureDNA will help to increase the lifespan of designs, by giving deep insight into the structural health of buildings, during and post construction. These insights empower the prolonged use of a structure and the safe reuse of its assets. LogisticsDNA optimises logistics flows by collecting real-time tracking data from prefabricated units all the way from the factory to installation. This allows for a dynamic response to issues that arise, and with improved efficiency comes improved sustainability. Stay tuned for our launches in 2022.
We are currently gathering the largest and most diverse construction data set in the world. The insights generated from this vast data pool by our Physical Intelligence Engine (the AI brain that underpins ConstructionDNA) will feed back into your designs, optimising further than previously possible. We look forward to offering you even more ways to reduce your carbon and environmental impact.
Within the construction industry there’s a lot of work to be done on the sustainability front. While the challenge is daunting, we’re here to show you that there are plenty of tools available - tech-based and otherwise - to make a significant positive impact in the here and now. Our intention with this series is to pull back the veil on the prevailing “net zero” mentality, and to help steer your company towards a lower carbon future where outright emissions reductions are the main objective.
Carbon offsetting, even at its best, is not enough. It’s time to take bold steps to move beyond it.
About the author:
Helena Maratheftis writes regular content for Converge. She is a creative with an academic background in biology (BA) and the environmental sciences (MSc). Her special interest lies in science communication.
Converge, an AI-based construction technology company, has raised over GBP 15 million to digitise, optimise, and decarbonise construction materials and processes responsible for 11% of global CO2 emissions. The round was led by mission-aligned investor OGCI Climate Investments (OGCI CI), a specialist decarbonization investor, with the participation of TO Ventures, and existing investors.
In this final chapter of our series, let’s take a look at how Converge fits into the sustainability picture, helping your company to move beyond offsetting and towards a greener future.