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Transparent Data, Tangible Change: The Drive for Transparent Material Data

The contribution of the built environment to the climate crisis is a topic that’s gained increasing attention over recent years, and rightly so. Today, the construction industry is responsible for nearly 40% of the global carbon emissions, and with the need for new buildings projected only to increase, the built environment is facing a breaking point. If we want to stay within the 1.5°C of the Paris agreement, our current practices need to change.

In the last 18 months, we at revalu engaged with over 380 stakeholders across the industry to find out how they are tackling the current challenges of transitioning towards a more sustainable built environment:

From these discussions, we identified two major roadblocks:

  • 01 Access to transparent, reliable material data
  • 02 A knowledge and resources gap around sustainability

A significant part of the built environment’s emissions comes from the choice of materials, as the industry-standards are heavily polluting. Alternatives exist, but the environmental benefits they bring are hard to assess without clear data.

Moreover, material data and resources around sustainability aren’t available equally to everyone. Among architects, larger firms are able to dedicate resources to time-consuming explorations and collaborate with sustainability experts. Smaller firms and solo architects are instead struggling to keep pace. This widening knowledge gap is a big obstacle for a collective move towards more conscious practices.

Hence our strive to democratise knowledge and universal access to material data, by simplifying the access and usability of the fundamental data needed to make more informed decisions.

Our platform lets users browse through thousands of materials but also access and download their environmental data. Metrics like upfront carbon, water usage, and energy mix are displayed clearly and are easy to compare.

We believe that every architect, irrespective of firm’s size or resources, should be able to evaluate their projects’ footprints based on reliable data when it matters the most: early on in the design stage.

Kika Brockstedt, Ernst von Stegmann, Vamsi Akuraju, co-founders of Revalu Impact AG

This proactive approach can lead to a major reduction of up to 80% in environmental impact.

To tackle the complexity of sustainability, we must adopt tools and methods that are both tangible and measurable. Only with collective action, the building industry can, and will, pave the way for a greener future.

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