May 26, 2022

Building design teams face a range of challenges during the design phase, from reducing commissioning time to avoiding the high cost of building blocks. If teams do not exercise due diligence, they risk removing critical mechanical equipment from the design documentation, such as exhaust fans and valves, or electrical circuits that are not suitable for the load. Designing for sustainability further complicates the process, especially as it requires the integration of green principles and compliance with environmental laws and regulations.

Construction industry veteran Steven Levy believes technology can solve many of these problems. He is the founder of BeamUp, a startup that thrives on stealth and data to reduce design time and manage facility systems throughout its life cycle. BeamUp today announced that it has raised $15 million in a seed funding round led by StageOne Ventures and Ibex Investments, as well as angel investors including Workday CEO Chano Fernandez.

“Construction and property management are among the latest major industries to be digitized. While it is widely believed that legacy processes are unsustainable, some in the industry fear that new methods may pose even greater risk. [There are] Lots of regional players and lots of stakeholders with different incentives,” Levy, a Tel Aviv University graduate with a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania, told gaming-updates via email. “Increase [is the] The first platform using artificial intelligence to design and manage objects at scale [meet] The unique requirements of Fortune 500 organizations.

Application of AI in building design

Large corporations own and maintain many buildings. According to a study by the US Census Bureau, the average company with more than 10,000 employees has about 411 employees, including data centers, corporate campuses, logistics centers, and warehouses. These designs, many of which initially required special compliance and safety, are becoming more complex with the advent of building automation systems. They are also becoming huge carbon eaters, using up about 40% of all energy used on the planet.

Theoretically, this technology could help simplify the management, design and reduction of the carbon footprint of a portfolio of corporate buildings. But the field of architecture is very slow to accept new processes. According to a 2020 Wall Street Journal excerpt, computer software became the norm in the 1970s and 1980s, but it wasn’t until 2002 that 3D modeling coincided with Autodesk’s purchase of building information modeling software provider Revit (BIM). However, it took nearly 20 years for BIM software, which allows architects to view building cross sections from any angle, to become the industry standard.

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Photo of the BeamUp team. image credit: beam up

Slow adoption hinders the industry’s progress towards desired goals, such as increasing sustainability. A recent survey by the American Institute of Architects found that only 10% to 11% of architects use building performance assessment methods such as lifecycle assessment software, plug-ins, or other measurement tools. According to the survey, only one in three architects believe they are fulfilling their design responsibilities in an environmentally sound manner.

“Ninety percent of spreadsheets contain errors. Yet hundreds, if not thousands, of companies are tracking critical information on them,” Levy said. “Seventy percent of the rework is due to design defects during construction. [and re]The work is expensive and accounts for 7.25% and 10.89% of the total construction cost. Think of these wastes in, say, a data center that could cost upwards of $1 billion to build… [the] Project data… is lost, so the documentation doesn’t match the actual function. [The] The overall life cycle of an object is fragmented by many engineering firms. [and] Many single point devices are designed for only one part of the lifecycle, such as engineering, with different file formats.”

Levy says that BeamUp can uniquely solve this problem by creating a “network” of an organization’s premises, allowing the enterprise to manage each of its facilities as a separate asset, while increasing productivity and efficiency. The platform can help answer questions such as “Which type of building has the most compliance issues?” and “Is my equipment superior in one area than another?” and “How can I cut my costs by endorsing only equipment that has a longer life and lower failure rate?”

“Our technology consists of deep learning algorithms and models trained on a comprehensive training set of thousands of building samples to automate the design process,” Levy said. I[We use a] A unique set of business cards to teach our system. Our training images number in the hundreds of thousands. [As] As part of our research efforts, we use… design and feature databases to train AI models. [that] Design and predict solutions to meet your requirements.”

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BeamUp construction portfolio control panel for mobile devices. image credit: beam up

The data that BeamUp works with includes object model numbers, locations, wiring infrastructure, and various architectural elements. While the platform collects some sensitive customer data, such as email addresses and system activity, Levy says users can request that their data be deleted in accordance with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation.

Levy believes that BeamUp’s data-driven approach is of great value to enterprises as it goes beyond rule-based design and compliance standards, which can become difficult to document over time. The “digital progressive” nature of BeamUp has also gained momentum during the pandemic, he says, at a time when the ability for designers to fly around the world for asset verification and regulatory compliance assessments is limited.

I[Our] The technology provides a fairly deep understanding of design standards, best practices, regulatory compliance, and visibility into facility and asset performance on a global scale,” Levy said. “Changing the layout of offices and reducing the occupied corporate office real estate [during the pandemic] They all require building systems to be redesigned – for example, reducing three floors to one still requires significant changes in design and management.”

market competition

In 2021, the BeamUp urban planning and design software market was valued at $2.91 billion. Levy argues that he has no direct competition outside of existing BIM software, but he acknowledges that there are several technology and building technology companies that are applying analysis to various sectors of the industry, such as launching an exchange to automate construction planning.

However, Levy says BeamUp has had no problem attracting customers: five Fortune 100 companies are piloting or under contract, and the platform has more than 1,100 users. Levy said building data centers and logistics has proven to be BeamUp’s biggest focus to date, perhaps because these facilities often have complex systems that need to be maintained over time.

One of the obstacles for BeamUP – and others who want to compete with it – is the prospect of sustainable growth. According to The Wall Street Journal, the adoption of BIM only accelerated during the recession of the late 2000s, when many laid-off and underpaid young architects used their free time to develop software and design companies with fewer employees. In the absence of a comparable shock to the industry, BeamUp should reassure companies that the investment in its technology will pay off in the long run.

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BeamUP gives you an idea of ​​the building layout. image credit: beam up

Nate Meir, partner at StageOne Ventures, expressed his confidence in the success of BeamUp.

“The sheer scale and global reach of large corporations, which account for 60% of the world’s commercial real estate, affects not only their financial performance, but also energy consumption, transportation planning and employee well-being. Jobs also affect the economy …, construction and so much more,” he told gaming-updates via email. “Because we [BeamUP’s progress]They have demonstrated impressive customer support around the world who automate these processes year after year to improve operations and reduce costs. ,

Levy says the capital will be used to grow BeamUp’s three-year marketing, sales and customer service team of 37 people spread across the US, UK and Israel (where the company is based). Beamup expects to increase its workforce to 85 by the end of the year as revenues increase by 800% compared to 2022.

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