Robotics Firm Raises $22M for Green Building Automation
Housing technology company Intelligent City Inc. was recently reported to have raised CAD 22 million ($17 million) to advance the sustainable urban housing industry using mass timber, automation and robotics.
The latest slew of funds brings the company’s total invested capital to CAD 30 million.
“We are focused on revolutionizing an industry that is notoriously slow to innovate while making a significant impact on our climate with lower carbon emissions from the construction and operations of buildings,” explained Oliver Lang, CEO and Co-Founder of Intelligent City.
“By utilizing green building strategies and patented technology to deliver affordable, mass-customizable urban housing, we can help cities to adapt more quickly as the needs of people and the planet evolve.”
About Intelligent City
Based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Intelligent City was founded over a decade ago by Lang and Cindy Wilson. Driven by a mission to empower people to live better urban lives, the company focuses on innovative urban housing, sustainability, building technology and design methodology.
Over the years, Intelligent City has gained municipal approvals and broad government support for its mass timber building system and tech development, which is noted to converge high-rise mass timber practices, design engineering, automated manufacturing and parametric software.
“We are a team of ambitious, open-minded, and motivated architects, designers and engineers. Drawing on a multi-faceted range of interests and qualifications, we create innovative, uniquely sustainable urban living solutions,” writes the company.
“A new kind of integrated and design- and technology-driven company, we offer unique opportunities. We bring together a diverse, highly skilled team united in the belief that technology innovation can enable an ecological, economical, and sustainable future.”
The company is reported to be one of the first in North America to apply automation and robotics to the design and manufacturing of prefabricated mass timber buildings. It is supported by leading developers in Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa and the United States.
The company was previously granted funding by the CleanBC Building Innovation Fund, the National Research Council of Canada’s Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC IRAP) and Natural Resources Canada’s Breakthrough Energy Solutions Canada program (BESC). The technology platform has also been awarded the Solar Impulse Efficient Solution Label.
Advancing Urban Housing
The recent funds raised were reportedly made possible by Series A venture funding with participation by BDC Capital’s Cleantech Practice, Greensoil PropTech Ventures, UIT Growth Equity GP, Fulmer & Company and over 30 independent investors.
In addition, Intelligent City also received support from various government programs and accelerators such as the Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) Investments in Forest Industry Transformation program (IFIT), the Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) Start-Up Fund and the Next Generation Manufacturing Supercluster (NGen) Manufacturing Project Funding.
Fort Capital Partners acted as financial advisor and placement agent for the Series A and Seed rounds.
With the funding, Intelligent City reports that it will continue to focus on vertical integrations of building systems, software, manufacturing automation, supply chain contracts and the commercialization of its Platforms for Life (P4L) building solutions.
“Affordable, efficient, and attractive housing is lacking globally. As cities and developers scramble to construct more buildings on pre-existing urban lots, Intelligent City developed a fundamentally better and faster way to erect buildings that are more energy-efficient and cost-effective,” explained Yuri Fulmer, Founder, and Chairman of Fulmer & Company.
Using its scalable technology and design platform, the company adds that it can help developers achieve nearly 100% cost certainty, deliver 1.5 times the number of residential units on the same site compared to traditional methods and realize savings of up to 50% on life cycle costs per home.
“Intelligent City’s technology is set to enable the future of the built world to be more climate-resilient by replacing emissions-intensive materials such as concrete and steel with a renewable material that naturally sequesters carbon,” said Matt Stanley, Director, BDC Capital’s Cleantech Practice.
In addition to the adoption of mass timber construction and other renewable materials, Intelligent City also utilizes energy-efficiency standards of Passive House design to achieve a 90% carbon emissions reduction in its buildings.
The concept reportedly uses building science principles, such as the use of continuous insulation and air-tight seals, high-performing windows and doors, balanced heat- and moisture-recovery ventilation and minimal space conditioning to meet desired energy efficiency levels.
To date, Intelligent City over 2,300 homes in the pipeline.
“By making effective use of Canada’s forest resources through low-carbon building systems, Canada is becoming a world leader in sustainable wood construction practices, increasing energy efficiency and climate resilience in our communities while simultaneously enhancing the global competitiveness of our forestry, wood manufacturing and construction sectors,” said The Honorable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources.
“That’s why our government is pleased to support projects like this one—to help lower emissions, create good jobs for workers and build better neighborhoods for everyone.”