How to Solve Sustainability? Data is the Solution Says Procore’s CEO

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Tooey Courtemanche considers construction’s footprint

In a recent interview posted in ‘For Construction Pros’, Procore Technologies, Inc. CEO, Tooey Courtemanche, stated that construction technology is the key to unlocking a more climate-conscious construction industry.

Courtemanche expounds that while the construction industry is responsible for incredible feats of engineering, it also has a significant impact on the environment. He cites statistics that nearly 40% of all annual global carbon emission come from buildings. While it may be logical to assume that most of that emanates from factories, the bulk actually originates from vast urban sprawl of residential buildings and their energy consumption.

Tons of construction waste

As for construction, the manufacturing of construction materials account for 11% of global emissions. And, according to Transparency Market Research, solid waste generated worldwide each year from construction is 1.3 billion tons. That number is expected to reach all the way up to 2.2 billion tons of construction waste by 2025.

The manufacturing of construction materials account for 11% of global emissions according to the World Green Building Council. Also, according to Transparency Market Research, solid waste generated worldwide each year from construction is 1.3 billion tons.  That number is expected to reach 2.2 billion tons of construction waste by 2025. Here, Courtemanche points the problem at the lack of proper data access. “One of the causes of this waste comes from people working off of outdated information, showing up to the wrong jobsite at the wrong time, with the wrong materials and equipment,” he writes.

Data access can fix poor communication

Accordingly, Courtemanche attributes the problem to the lack of proper data access. “One of the causes of this waste comes from people working off of outdated information, showing up to the wrong jobsite at the wrong time, with the wrong materials and equipment,” he writes.

The cause of this data problem is outdated data channels—the reliance on outdated transmission systems such as fax machines, phones, and paper. To overcome the data deficiencies and turn poor communication into immediate, accurate communication, the data must be cloud-based and used at all levels of the vertical.

Execs expect “connected technology’ to rise

In a recent McKinsey study in which 100 senior construction execs were asked what trends they expected to see grow during the COVID-19 crisis, 53% said sustainability was chief among them. This was being spearheaded from before the pandemic, but with decreasing labor forces and more reliance on machines, there has been an even stronger need for “connected technology” to fill in the gaps.

In a recent McKinsey study, 100 senior construction execs were asked what trends they expected to see increase during the COVID-19 crisis. Reportedly, 53% predicted sustainability would accelerate, post-pandemic. Sustainability was already a priority prior to COVID.  Now, with decreasing labor forces and more reliance on machines, there has been an even stronger all for “connected technology” to fill in the gaps.

One industry leader who is taking things in the right direction is Skanska, the first ever international general contractor to be certified under the ISO 14001 standard. “Instead of thinking about how to do less harm,” said Steve Clem, head of sustainability for Skanska. “We started thinking about how we can do good by the environment, how we can ingrain sustainability into our core values, and how we can leverage the supply chain and everything else we influence to make a difference.”

Sustainable legacy

Procore’s Courtemanche sums it up by saying that collectively as an industry, there is an incredible opportunity to leave a positive and lasting legacy for future generations. Through data management, which will decrease construction waste, we can build a better, more sustainable future.

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