Apr 15, 2021

Robotics startup Canvas secures $24 million funding

Robotics
Startups
Safety
Dominic Ellis
2 min
Canvas plans to use the funds to accelerate the use of robotics in the built environment, starting with drywall finishing
Canvas plans to use the funds to accelerate the use of robotics in the built environment, starting with drywall finishing...

Construction robotic startup Canvas has raised a $24 million Series B funding led by Menlo Ventures.  

The financing included strategic investment by Suffolk Construction with participation from Alumni Ventures Group and existing investors Innovation Endeavors, Brick & Mortar Ventures, Obvious Ventures, and Grit Labs.  

Canvas plans to use the funds to accelerate its ability to transform construction work by bringing robotics into the built environment, starting with drywall finishing.

Advancements in robotics technology have been stymied in construction due to the complexity of the ever-changing job site environment - but Canvas claims technology it has invented now makes it possible to bring it to the industry. 

By enabling skilled trade workers with a new class of tool, Canvas helps customers deliver control over schedules and safer working conditions.

"Since our launch last fall, we've seen incredible demand for the Canvas system and our unique ability to set the bar on quality, safety, and predictability," said Kevin Albert, CEO and Co-founder of Canvas.

Canvas has started by focusing on drywall finishing, one of the most labor-intensive, unpredictable, and congested parts of the construction process. The company's approach combines the skills and expertise of trained union workers with robotics technology.

"At Suffolk, we pride ourselves on redefining what is possible by innovating, investing, and building – we therefore share an aligned worldview with Canvas," said Jit Kee Chin, Chief Data and Innovation Officer and Executive Vice President at Suffolk. 

Wan Li Zhu, Managing Director of Suffolk Technologies, said: "We are excited to partner with Canvas in creating a safer and more productive construction process where people and machines work together seamlessly and collaboratively to deliver at the highest quality levels."

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Jun 13, 2021

Digital tools key to ensuring housebuilder quality

UK
Housing
Codes
Digital
Dominic Ellis
3 min
A consultation into the draft New Homes Quality Code has been published by the New Homes Quality Board - and digital tools are key to ensuring quality

consultation into the draft New Homes Quality Code has been published by the New Homes Quality Board (NHQB).

The Code will sit at the centre of the new arrangements being put in place by the NHQB that includes the appointment of an independent New Homes Ombudsman Service (NHOS). In development for four years, it has had input from a broad range of stakeholders and takes into consideration other emerging policy including on leasehold and building safety, all of which the NHQB is committed to supporting.

The consultation will run for four weeks (from June 9 to July 7) and the NHQB is encouraging as many stakeholders, customers and interested parties as possible to respond. 

Tom Boland, Global Head of Digitalisation at Zutec, said the Code will dramatically increase build standards and involve a hand-in-glove approach linking the physical build and digital worlds. 

"Housebuilders will need to adopt the total capability of digital tools to check quality, have a digital footprint and allow homeowners to fully understand how their house has been built, and easily understand any defects that need rectifying," he said. "Residents will benefit from safer, better constructed homes and housebuilders will benefit from improved productivity and lower costs from fully implementing technology."

Rating the States 2021 edition issued

A strong building code is critical to reducing the damage and destruction caused by hurricanes each year. On the first day of the Atlantic hurricane season, the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) today released the 2021 edition of Rating the Statesits signature report evaluating building codes and the administration of code provisions along the hurricane coastline from Texas to Maine.

Now in its fourth edition, Rating the States is released every three years following the building code update cycle of the International Code Council (ICC).

The report scores the 18 Atlantic and Gulf Coast states vulnerable to hurricanes based on a set of questions related to statewide building code adoption, administration and enforcement and contractor licensing requirements in the adopted building code. It also provides a roadmap each state can follow to improve residential building regulations and reduce the cycle of repeated losses resulting from hurricanes and other severe weather events.

"Building science has advanced significantly over the last decade, providing cost effective strategies to reduce the impact of Mother Nature. Modern building codes are core to addressing the known risks of high winds and heavy rain that invariably come with these systems," says Dr. Anne Cope, chief engineer at IBHS. "Strong adopted and administered codes apply the latest science and engineering knowledge to protect homes and families from the catastrophic damage hurricanes bring and make our coastal communities more resilient for the future."

The Linux Foundation, the non-profit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, will host the Intelligent Supervision Assistant for Construction (ISAC-SIMO) project, which was created by Build Change with a grant from IBM as part of the Call for Code initiative. ISAC-SIMO packages important construction quality assurance checks into a convenient mobile app. 

Turn to page 78 of the current issue to read more from Boland on how field BIM is a "game changer" for the industry

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