High-Tech Startups in Singapore Transforming the Built Environment Industry
We heard from eight startups as they pitched their solutions at the BE Demo Day at the International Built Environment Week 2022 on 7 September. The BE Demo Day is a regional marquee built environment innovation ecosystem event that features the most promising startups and technologies that contribute to the BE sector.
The event covered four main themes pertinent to the modern-day BE sector - Site Management, Smart Infrastructure Inspection, Improved Construction Process, and Material Innovation. Each startup had to present their solutions within five minutes. This was followed by a Q&A session from a panel of judges that comprised esteemed venture capitals and industry experts.
With two startups competing within each category, the judges awarded three winners for the (1) Rising Star Award, (2) Impact Award, and (3) Innovation Award.
Category 1: Site Management
Airsquire 360° Virtual Sites helps capture, visualise, and share a construction site’s “360° street view” simply and quickly. The platform has helped top main contractors and developers extend progress supervision, enable faster site documentation and progress claims, as well as to organise 360° evidence to reduce costly variation orders and disputes.
Tagvance is an IoT Innovation startup based in Singapore. They help various industries transform digitally, by monitoring assets real-time status and location. By leveraging TinyML algorithms along with various commercial products, Tagvance is developing ready-to-deploy solutions to monitor the workforce in near real-time both indoors and outdoors, even in confined spaces. They are constantly experimenting with embedded AI on different sensors for training various work safety and productivity models, and improving their “living lab” built environment for real-life data set collection. Tagvance solutions are currently deployed in construction, mines, seaports, and shipyards to improve operational efficiency while reducing costs.
Category 2: Smart Infrastructure Management
H3 Dynamics enables Advanced Air Mobility with a three-pronged approach that starts with digitisation, leading to solutions around autonomous operations, and enhances flight autonomy with hydrogen propulsion. The company scales globally over time from small drones to large aircraft platforms, starting with immediate regional markets.
Vebits AI helps enterprises to digitise and automate to improve productivity and safety. Their current products and services include smart inspection of infrastructure, buildings, trees, and vessels, automated sorting machines for recycling and materials separation, as well as cloud AI solutions for visual applications. Vebits has business presence in Singapore, mainland China, and Hong Kong.
Category 3: Improved Construction Process
ConcreteAI (Innovation Award Winner)
ConcreteAI is an NUS spin-off that enables builders to monitor concrete strength gain in real-time continuously. ConcreteAI's solution can save contractors and pre-cast manufacturers 20% of their casting cycle time, 50% of resources wasted during the current process (cube testing), and ensure high-quality control of in-situ concrete.
Fabrica AI (Rising Star Award Winner)
Fabrica.ai builds automatic tile grouting robots and currently pilots on construction sites in Singapore managed by Woh Hup, BHCC, and Gin Chia. They have early leads in the US and Europe as well. Tile grouting is the process of filling up the gaps between tiles after the tiles have been laid. Grouting is part of virtually every construction project and a highly laborious process, is considered one of the most physically damaging tasks resulting in tilers’ knees and back issues, leading to possible quality issues. Fabrica.ai is on a mission to cut the labour process down to save costs and improve operational efficiencies.
Category 4: Material Innovation
T-bot started as an autonomous mobile platform and robotic solutions provider. The company has developed an end-to-end workflow that allows physical objects with complex one-of-a-kind designs to be produced using its very own large-scale 3D printing system.
Gush (Impact Award Winner)
Gush is an advanced materials company that mingles the concerns of wellness and sustainability with the concerns of building. To combat indoor air pollution, Gush has developed Cair, a non-toxic indoor paint that purifies the air of pollutants such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs) at a rate of 99% in 21 hours, rids mould, and eliminates bacteria, alongside with low-VOC sealers and adhesives. To improve a building's energy efficiency, Gush has also developed anti-thermal exterior paints and Clearcool solar films, all of which are competitively priced, making them suitable for widespread adoption by developers, facility managers, architects, interior designers, and individual eco-conscious consumers who seek comfortable, safe, and healthy spaces. Gush is empowering all to live better, act responsibly and be part of something bigger than themselves.