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Data is the new currency for net zero

July 4th Paul Laycock CEO VinZero

There is a great level of commonality in the messages from many of the leading organizations and associations charged with governing our built environments. The need to do more to protect the health of our planet, the need to use less resources to stabilize our environment, the need to leverage technology to increase efficiency and to reduce construction waste. It is not hard to see why data is the new currency for net zero.


Across infrastructure we are seeing a greater focus on using technology to develop a more integrated approach to design, to construction and to ongoing maintenance. Rotterdam's sustainable highway is a notable example of smarter infrastructure driven by data. The use of data is enabling better design, the use of technology is enabling more creative integration with the surrounding environment and then both combined are delivering intelligent solutions for electricity, heating, ventilation, and lighting making it Europe's first energy neutral highway with a tunnel.



Above Rotterdam Sustainable Highway, Netherlands


Hermanson, leaders in lean fabrication and LEED building and design processes, are successfully using digitalization to model designs ahead of time to save time, save materials, and to streamline shop workflow and prefabrication. These efficiencies are saving months off project delivery.


We are seeing organizations that have been around for over 100 years, like Knutson Construction, embrace technologies to solve never-before-seen problems like those experienced in the pandemic. Leveraging the power of 3D scanning to conduct virtual walk throughs of their projects, and receiving certificates of occupancies without a building inspector setting one foot in their buildings. This use of technology is game changing in an environment where we have typically required so much activity to be onsite and on premise. Outcomes like these provide a direct impact for industry on lowering carbon emissions.


Even the mining industry is experiencing rapid transformation as it looks to integrate technologies such as AI and robotics with powerful data insights to create the mine sites of the future. Mine sites which remove the miner from the traditional ‘coal face’ to a safe and clean environment, minimizing impact to the environment, and at the same time prioritizing the health and safety of its workers.


Anglo America is one such company. Their Future Smart Mining ™ program transforms the very nature of mining for a safer, smarter, more sustainable future. Their UK Woodsmith Project is utilizing technology to meet the challenge of sustainability on multiple fronts. This mine will produce Poly4, an environmentally friendly fertilizer with less carbon dioxide than any other commercial fertilizer. Poly 4 will help meet the demand for the more efficient, effective and sustainable farming practices needed to meet the challenge of feeding our fast-expanding global population.


Despite being one of the most significant and deepest mines in Europe, Anglo American’s integrated design, technology and digitization approach will make this site barely visible above the ground.




Above Anglo American Woodsmith Project, North Yorkshire England



Data is changing the world. The momentum and appetite for technology adoption is building and we need it too.


The IPCC Sixth Assessment Report was clear in its recommendation that we need to move at scale and with speed if we are going achieve rapid and deep emission reductions at the levels required. Researchers around the world are suggesting that speed may be upwards of ten times faster in our efforts if we are to limit global warming to 1.5%

“It’s now or never, if we want to limit global warming to 1.5°C (2.7°F),” Jim Skea, co-chair of the IPCC “Without immediate and deep emissions reductions across all sectors, it will be impossible.”

Ten times faster. The only way we can possibly do that is through a massive drive on digitalization and technology adoption. We are facing human resource shortages, yet our increased population growth is putting increased strain on infrastructure and the places, and spaces we occupy.


The only way we can keep up with maintaining existing infrastructure in a safe way, and building new infrastructure to meet demand, is if we get smarter. If we leverage technology, drive innovation, and develop a deep understanding of the data it produces.


With data comes the ability to predict, and project outcomes, based on fact. The ability to model a full working scope ahead of construction for a house, a building, a community, a city, our infrastructure is our best opportunity to reduce the environmental impact across our built environments.


Whilst the adoption and use of BIM has become mission critical during design and engineering phases to identify, predict, and solve issues before they occur, the focus is now on the continued use of this data after project creation.


Continuing to leverage data insights gained during the design and construct phases for the full lifecycle of the building extends the value and investment of BIM, providing robust ROI for decades. Digital Twins enable monitoring both real time, and predictive, and can drive practical shifts to optimize performance of assets, including identifying problems and even testing potential solutions remotely, delivering cost and performance outcomes long after project completion.


The only way for the AEC & Manufacturing industries to lessen their contribution to carbon emissions is to work across all disciplines. Encourage and mentor each other throughout the entire project lifecycle to adopt technology. Help each other through the change. Work together to share data insights, and most importantly the outcomes that are being achieved. Sustainable is possible.


About VInZero

With offices across USA, UK, EMEA, ANZ and India VinZero inspire the Architectural, Engineering, Construction and Manufacturing industries to design, build and solve more effectively using data insights. Providing software solutions and professional services globally VinZero helps organizations achieve both profitability and purpose. VinZero’s dedicated industry experts provide modular or full end to end consulting to drive best in class project, product utilization, and workflow collaboration outcomes. VinZero’s solution discovery process applies a ‘Think Future’ methodology to digitalization and central data environments, enabling customers to integrate seamlessly, onboard easily, and maintain project momentum and profitability as they do so. VinZero believes data is the new currency for achieving net zero and is committed to helping industry reduce waste, improve efficiency, and deliver sustainable building, and design practices through data insights to build a better world.


For more information visit www.vinzero.com


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