Rethinking Physical Spaces Through Tech

Built environment technology investor, Taronga Venture’s Managing Partner, Avi Naidu, shares with Asian Property Review about how technology is key in creating a more sustainable and valuable built environment.

The real estate sector is still responsible for 39% of total carbon emissions globally (UNEP). What can be done by property developers in Asia to make built spaces greener, cleaner and more efficient?

An increasing number of Asian developers are building more energy-efficient buildings, however, progress remains slow. What developers can do is to set targets, adopt standards and measure progress. A sizeable portion of a developer’s carbon footprint lies outside of their business operations and direct control, thus they need to actively engage their supply chains and stakeholders to mitigate their company’s climate impact and add value to the communities that they operate in.

They also need to look at the lifecycle of their assets and value chain as a whole; from conception and design to the materials in the build, operations, and infrastructure, and challenge each stage of the process.

Due to rapid urbanisation in Asia, there has been a significant impact in the development phase in particular, opening up opportunities for technology to make construction processes more efficient, cheaper, safer and more transparent.

Avi Naidu, Managing Partner of Taronga Venture

For example, carbon emissions can be influenced at the construction phase of the asset lifecycle. CarbonCure, an investment Taronga Ventures has made alongside Microsoft’s Climate Innovation Fund and Amazon’s Climate Pledge Fund, is a technology that allows existing carbon waste to be sequestered into concrete, making the product stronger, thereby reducing the amount of cement used and carbon emitted.

There is a big push from leading owners and operators to become carbon neutral, with net zero targets publicly declared from now until 2050. In recent years, we have seen a growing interest in having clean technology solutions for the built environment, and more longer-term initiatives introduced into portfolios. Global capital providers are beginning to recognise that a greener building is generally a more valuable building, and that by implementing these technologies, their portfolios can become more sustainable and on their way to carbon neutrality.

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