Greenbuild 2012: What is a Green Technology Disruptor?
At last year’s Greenbuild, LEED automation was a new idea in its early stages. This year, LEED automation is a fully developed software product that will streamline the green building certification process going forward. Lorax Pro was one of the first companies to develop LEED automation software. I sat down with the company’s founder, David Pratt, to get a sense of how far technology can take green buildings.
Chris: Last year, your company introduced one of the first LEED automation programs. This year you presented at Greentech@Greenbuild as a green technology disruptor. What does it mean to be a green technology disruptor?
David: A disruptor is somebody that is going to impact the status quo. Anyone introducing a technology product will face resistance because that this is not the way it was done before. To disrupt that mindset, you have to deliver value and articulate that value to your perspective customers so that they see a benefit in using it.
Chris: What’s next for your company?
David: We are positioning ourselves so that we can help with the process of delivering LEED. Lorax Pro’s LEED automation software is designed to help everyone on the project team collaborate and integrate more effectively. Our software eliminates redundant tasks so that green-building professionals can spend more time on higher quality activities.
There are a lot of things you have to do in LEED that you repeat over and over. Anytime you have repetitive activity, there is an opportunity for automation. For example, at the credit level, if you have documentation in one project that is similar to another project, then you can review the framework for your next project. Our software is not eliminating analysis and expertise, but we are allowing consultants to do their job more effectively.
Chris: Where is the field of green technology going?
David: We are just beginning to scratch the surface in mobile technology. There is not a technology explosion. There is more of a concentrated use of technology.
Over the next years, we will see the technology infrastructure expand. The incremental progress we make is going to add up and allow for the next big thing. LEED automation is the next phase of market transformation.
As industries mature, companies streamline processes, squeeze out the inefficiencies and remove the redundancies. The market then helps define who is going to be successful in this space. The question is what can I do to make your service more effective and profitable, and that is what LEED automation will do. LEED automation will create new opportunities for new people to get involved with green buildings that might not have otherwise.
What does that mean to the US Green Building Council, which has always positioned itself for top 25 percent of the market? I think the USGBC has to adjust and serve a mainstream audience as well. The International Green Construction Code and ASHRAE 189.1 is an expansion from building codes today. These codes will create more opportunity for the baseline green projects, but also the highest-level green building projects. As innovative municipalities use new standards, the innovative project teams will go for Platinum and beyond, like Living Building Challenge. As an industry, the visionaries can get further out in front because of green building codes.
I see us as being positioned to create an infrastructure for ratings systems and codes. That could be IGCC, or 189.1, or alternative international rating systems. It’s all within the realm of possibility.
Sustainable Cities Collective