In a global picture, buildings are responsible for around 15% of our total carbon footprint. Out of the total CO2 footprint, 35% comes from heating and cooling, which means that thermal isolation is one of the most urgent things we need to address in large cities, but not only.
Heat pumps and more efficient radiators, the ideal combination
Officials at building decarbonization startup Kelvin recently announced that the company raised 30 million USD, which will not only help it grow in the market, but also expand its lineup of services aimed to lower the environmental footprint of buildings.
New York-based Kelvin released one of its most important devices back in 2016, called Cozy, which is able to control the output of radiators and thus, reduce their energy consumption.
Also, the company's special heat pump is able to replace air conditioning units and in combination with Cozy, it enables a significant reduction of energy usage.
Insulating panels for legacy buildings
By scanning the buildings inside and out, the team at Ecoworks is able to map out the perfect insulation system, which speeds up the process, while also ensuring the perfect fit.
Emmanuel Heisenberg, the founder of the startup, says that "if you have a digital twin, you can actually automate planning, which, in a normal renovation, would take months and a lot of engineers and architects."
We explained last year that through the company's process, workers can install a facade panel in just 20 minutes. At the same time, renovating the entire building, which includes replacing the fossil-fuel heating system, should take no more than a few weeks, compared to the months or even years using traditional methods. Also, the roofs are fitted with modular solar panels, which further increases the efficiency and eco-friendliness of the building.
Another benefit of using Ecoworks' solution is that the facade is made out of wood, which is made from trees that absorbed carbon during their existence, and materials from the old building are being used in the process as well, which eliminates the need for new materials.
Leasing green power systems, the future of efficient homes
Another startup that we covered last year, BlocPower, received 155 million USD in March of this year to expand its business, which will be enough to equip as much as 5.000 buildings with green power generation sources and low-consumption electronics and appliances.
Among the products that landlords and homeowners can lease, we find green heating and cooling systems, electric appliances and solar panels.
The company's employees take care of installing the equipment and maintenance in exchange for a monthly fee.
Through their business plan, the team behind the project reports that they were able to reduce energy consumption by 30% to 50%, and greenhouse gas emissions by 40% to 70% in some cases.
Polycare, the startup that takes building rubble and finds it a home
Polycare is another company in Germany that aims to close the loop of construction materials. The team not only develops sustainable construction materials, but also look forward to integrating secondary products in those building materials.
Industrial waste, construction rubble and secondary materials, they all go into the startup's Polyblocks, instead of being wasted and left to wander in Earth's ecosystems.
These are just some of the startups that aim to make our existing homes more energy efficient and comfortable for us to live in or that work hard in order to bring more sustainable future buildings where we can work and spend time with our family in.