Our selection of innovative businesses #47

French start-up Materrup to industrialise its low-carbon clay cement. StructionSite raises $10 million to apply AI to construction project management. ByFusion transforms non-recyclable plastic into building materials.

French start-up Materrup to industrialise its low-carbon clay cement 

After eight years of R&D and 35 patents filed, the French start-up Materrup has just started marketing its Clay Cement 1. The solution is made from raw clays and is mixed with a precursor and an activator. It is designed to replace traditional cement without compromising the quality of concrete.

So what makes it so great? Its carbon footprint is 40% smaller than that of traditional cement, with 350 kg of CO2 per tonne. What’s more, this mixture relies on an abundant resource present everywhere (clay) and could eventually provide a solution for concrete rubble. This eco-friendly action has earned Materrup a place in the top 20 green tech start-ups on the French Tech Green20 programme.

This low-carbon cement has already been used in various ways, such as for making hollow blocks and prefabricated elements for urban planning. The company has just opened a new 1,800 m2 factory in the Landes, as it steps up a gear into the industrialisation phase. In an effort to further reduce its carbon footprint, Materrup sources its materials within a 20km-radius of the factory. Other smaller production units are set to be established in France and Europe from 2023.

StructionSite raises $10 million to apply AI to construction project management

StructionSite, a start-up based in Oakland, California, has just raised $10 million from 500 Global and GS Futures investment funds, as well as from existing investors.

Its technology uses artificial intelligence to provide information on construction site project progress. Thanks to its algorithms and applications, the StructionSite software automatically sorts and organises photos and videos taken on site to monitor construction progress, incorporating them with data collected from sensors installed on site.

The tech can be used to monitor team productivity in quasi-real time by comparing the on-site progress of the various stages with initial estimates, to anticipate delays and to reduce errors. StructionSite estimates that it saves $5,000 for every $1 million in construction project budgets.

The company has 75 employees and more than 400 clients, with monitoring projects tripling in the space of a year. To date, the company has raised a total of $20 million since it was founded in 2016.

ByFusion transforms non-recyclable plastic into building materials

After years of R&D, the American startup ByFusion has just announced that it has passed the milestone of 100 tonnes of plastic processed per year and has announced its goal of recycling 100 million tonnes by 2030 (about a quarter of the US’s annual plastic production).

ByFusion combines steam and compression to transform all kinds of plastics, even non-recyclable ones, into standard building blocks called ByBlocks. These blocks can be used to build anything from fences to retaining walls, terraces or bus stops. They are lighter and more durable than hollow cement blocks and can be clad with any type of material. When used in outdoor projects, they must be coated in a clear paint or paired with another weather-resistant material.

These blocks are produced by compressing various plastics in machines called Blockers, without the need for sorting or cleaning. The machines come with a hefty $1.3 million price tag, or can be rented for $280,000 annually. The company recently installed its first production unit in Los Angeles, where it can process 450 tonnes of plastic per year. Twelve other units will soon be set up across the US.

The company’s goal is to sell machines to every city in the US, so that municipalities can take control of their plastic waste and can turn it into building material. If ByFusion is to reach its goal of 100 million tonnes of plastic processed each year, it will have to sell or lease 9,000 machines.

There’s more…

Placeshaker raises €4.5 million to digitize construction site management – L’Usine Digitale

PlanRadar, the digital field management platform for construction and real estate projects, signs Austria’s largest-ever B2B funding round – Batiweb

Eurazeo raises €150 million for its Smart City fund – Tech.eu

ByFusion is transforming non-recyclable plastic into building material – FastCompany

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