10 Jun 2019

Our Investment in Spacemaker: Designing better, more sustainable cities with AI

Five years ago, Håvard Haukeland was an architect in Oslo who had just received his dream project: he was asked to design a large residential development. As with any project, it was complex, and he asked experts for help as he worked on his design — including acoustic engineers, people to assess daylight, accessibility consultants. Not only did the experts take a long time to get back to him, they gave him conflicting information; the optimal plan from the acoustic engineer left more of the apartments in shade, while the sunlight specialists suggested a plan that would have been more noisy for residents. Håvard wanted to find a better way to marry all these recommendations and come up with the best possible plan across all these criteria.

Our planet’s population is exploding. By 2050, 2.5 billion more people will be living in cities — to accommodate them, an area the size of Paris will be developed every week. At the same time, buildings and the construction sector combined are responsible for nearly 40% of total direct and indirect CO2 emissions. New urban developments will need to make the best possible use of the available land to accommodate these new residents while balancing environmental concerns, yet the construction industry does not currently have the technology to create these cities of tomorrow.

That’s why Håvard founded Spacemaker, along with his co-founders Anders and Carl. Spacemaker’s mission is to help build sustainable and better cities using AI by dramatically improving decision making and collaboration in real estate development. They have developed a platform that for the first time allows developers and architects to use AI to generate and assess optimal solutions to multi-building residential development design. In only hours,they can choose from hundreds of possible layouts based on physical data, regulations, and preferences from sun exposure to noise to wind to apartment size..

Atomico is proud to announce its partnership with Spacemaker. At Atomico, we believe that entrepreneurs are key in solving some of our society’s biggest challenges, including how to provide the planet’s people with comfortable living spaces while considering the environmental impact of construction. As part of this investment round, Atomico Principal Ben Blume will join Spacemaker’s board.

By allowing developers and architects to test many iterations from the earliest stages, Spacemaker can help developers pack volumes smarter and thus increase sellable area. At the same time, by intelligently distributing volumes, the AI can help dramatically improve the living quality of future residents across key factors such as sunlight, view, noise, daylight, and outdoor areas.

Furthermore, by optimizing concepts based on the most important factors from day one, Spacemaker can help reduce both time and cost of project completion. Finally, the software can greatly reduce planning approval risks with granular, fact-based documentation and argumentation material.

Spacemaker’s world-class team of data scientists, mathematicians, software developers, architects and urban planners is working some of the largest names in property development globally including Skanska, AF Gruppen, NREP, and Aspelin-Ramm.

We are delighted to welcome Spacemaker to the Atomico family.