Keynote Presentation: Giraffe CEO Rob Asher & Dr Caroline Noller of The Footprint Company

No items found.

Transcribed by Zoom from the Giraffe Creator Summit - January 17th, 2023

Rob Asher: Welcome everyone. It's really exciting to be able to show something that we spent what the better part actually. Now the Decade building and see how you guys are using it. So I wanted to just cover 3 things 3 ways which we think about Giraffe which hopefully are very clear to you already intuitively and then talk about why we're doing it.

‍Why, we focus on those 3 things the the people in this in this call represent organizations that have hundreds of billions of dollars of assets on their balance sheets and a deploying‍ billions of dollars, building new cities every year, so that can be anything from transport infrastructure schools sort of multi-family or commercial and we think, and and and and doing that well, doing that prudently and creatively‍ is is their job is is your job.

‍But when we think about‍ the impact that that has beyond the finance will be on the mandate that you have to deliver a financial return or a policy outcome.

‍It's an incredibly serious job, because you know, humanity is an urban species now, and people live in cities, and the decisions that are made‍ by people on this call and their organizations profoundly impact the lives‍ of of millions, if not billions of people, and we take that extremely seriously. And so we think of Giraffe in 3 ways to try and improve decision making in cities, which is our our absolute mission. And the first way we think about Giraffe is, it's just an individual force. Multiply‍ so for a person who is thinking and probing a problem, trying to tease it apart, trying to understand it, trying to communicate some ideas or be creative.

‍Giraffe is an outstanding tool‍ and we and that's where our probably our most relentless focus is. And I think of that as power to weight‍ giraffe is incredibly powerful‍ but it's probably not the most powerful tool in any of the categories in which we play, but it's power to weight ratio is outstanding. So whether you're doing some gis analysis, some design modeling communication. You're able to‍ get a handle on Giraffe very quickly and get an outcome that's necessary. And we we focus on those 2 metrics because we want to get as many users as possible in giraffe and add value from the intern all the way up to the c-suite have the power to do that without demanding that someone needs to do a 3 year technical cost to understand Giraffe‍ optimizing that power to weight ratio‍ and and being extremely useful, even if you're the only person in that, you know who user draft or is still creating value.

The second way we think about it is as an enterprise tool. And that's because we understand that capital is being deployed at an enterprise level. Very few people in the world can build a tower with their own money, and even if they have, you know they one of the the lucky few that can build a tower with their own money, they still need to deal with enterprises, with banks, with engineers, with architects, with government, with large organizations.

‍And there's no city moving infrastructure or city making that happens outside of an enterprise and enterprise an individual. They're very different, you know, If you can just get everyone facing the same way and not thinking about the problem in the same way. You've basically one at an enterprise level. But that's incredibly difficult. And I know that the other people on this call have felt this problem of how do you standardize data across an enterprise? How do you make people make sure the people are on the mission that they that they have what they need that they're not working across purposes that things aren't falling through the cracks.

And so Giraffe is built with that  at again right at the center of the product, helping, helping do that organizational plumbing that administrative work and and and lightning that load.

‍And finally, we think of Giraffe as an ecosystem, and that's because cities are ecosystems.

‍What's magic about cities is proximity to other people with other viewpoints, with other expertise, is, you know that diversity provides the creativity and energy of cities‍ and we want our product to work in the same way. So we know what we're good at‍ and we want to be the best in the world at what we're good at, and we don't want to do anything that we're not good at.

So we we can talk, you know, with footprint company and Caroline about carbon‍ because that's not our that's not our bag, and and our product is built to allow experts to come together,‍ without, you know in a really nice way that mimics what actually happens now? No project is done without this already. You know you you, that you're collaborating in the real world‍ and Giraffe is allowing you to collaborate in the digital worldand you know, to drive the home again. The reason we do this is because‍ the decisions that are made by by your organizations‍ profoundly impact people's lives, you know. I think of‍ think of neighborhoods that have say led to an extra hour commute because things were unplanned or or infrastructure was failed to deliver. That's an hour of time away from families like there's a real direct link between the assets that we build, and what kind of life is possible in and around those assets so profoundly important‍ and part of that impact that we're worried about, or that we think about is how we actually utilize this planet's resources. And so I’m‍ pretty excited to intro Caroline. Dr. Caroline Noller to talk about decarbonization.

She's recognized internationally for her contribution to the development of property, carbon and energy, life, cycle analysis.

She's now at the Footprint Company, which has mapped millions of square meters and even more square feet of of buildings with a vision of delivering low carbon design leadership. She's also an incredible skier, and I think she's joining us from Japan, where she has been for the purpose of work or skiing. I'm not sure, Caro, how are you a bit of both?

Rob Asher: Caroline. Thanks for joining us.

Dr. Caroline Noller: It's a pleasure to be here. Thanks.

Rob Asher: Let's dive into it. Why, don't you remind us how big the impact of construction is on carbon emissions.

Dr. Caroline Noller: Yeah, I mean it's that great question, Rob the I mean, when we look at the stats, you any imagine the building stock that we have today on the planet and the forecasts by the UN. For human urbanization.

Dr. Caroline Noller: As you elegantly said, it is to look at a doubling of all those square meters by about 2060. So you know 2 X, the number of square meters we've got obviously a lot of that's going to have to happen in cities on existing buildings. But that's sort of the same as trying to build all of building stock of Japan each year from now until 2060, and so you. And and then on the background of that, with the whole climate crisis concern, we are needing to at least sort of see from today a 50% cut in the embody carbon intensity of all that new construction. If we're gonna have this pathway that gets us down to those Paris targets. So in each year that we delay that that could that line just get steeper. So if we sort of miss, you know by 2030, that then the cut becomes 65. So I imagine we're doubling the building stock but we have to do it at half the carbon footprint. so it's sort of like. If you think about? Okay from a planning perspective planning authorities? Okay? Well, you can build that new building stock, but it has to be at 0 net additional carbon footprint. So that's the scale of the challenge, because we all know infrastructure, capability and just knowledge at this point in human time doesn't give us the ability to act at that speed. So we're, you know, everything in all power, steaming forward to try and grow capacity in the sector to act.

Rob Asher: And and what is, what are the policy? What are the policy moves? I think you know people would be familiar with things like the Paris agreement. And these these high level, global agreements. But what's happening in this at a more local level.

Dr. Caroline Noller: This there's been a a lot of action. I think it's been fantastic to see the amount of action, particularly in the last 2 years. But you you still got a bit of fragmentation for those of us who it that sort of that forefront of policy and regulation and just industry movement with we're all talking at the moment that it took us as an industry sort of 15 years to get on top of operating carbon intensity, energy, use intensity, planning. So mostly around the world, most developed countries and I used to things like energy use intensity for operating carbon. You can't build a, we want to build an office building in Philadelphia. Then you know the the us section 24 guidelines title 24 guidelines, so you can't have a energy use in Tet City of that office space of more than however, many kilowatt hours per square met 15 years that took us to have the world come up with consistency. And we're talking about basically trying to do the same from an embodied carbon perspective in 5. So there's this enormous action starting to happen. But I think the main thing that everybody sort of starting to realize is okay. Now, we need a little bit of consistency, and how we're going to get capacity growing, we at the speed of trying to sort of augment and implement all of that level of policy. So we look at the Au, for example, a. You has had mandatory measure and disclose to get planning approvals for at least the last 3 years. Each country sort of slightly different timing. The Uk's got to a point where they very key in this year 23, to get a thing called part Z. App, which is like in Australian term. Section J. But it's for embodied carbon.

Dr. Caroline Noller: The Australian Building Codes board is looking at. Well, what's the next version of the building code in Australia. The neighbours team up hot on the track at the moment of trying to deliver a prototype embodied carbon evaluations assessment this year as a trial. And then over the background of that. Finally, all the Q. S's of the world have got together and sort of said, okay, Well, from an international quantities of my perspective. We want to get carbon embodied carbon measurement parallel to financial evaluation of buildings. So there's been fantastic work with the harmonization of a reporting and measuring standard that has been launched this year, which is great because that also then ties into the International Standards Accounting Board, which is now trying to accelerate for public companies, you must now disclose your carbon liability in assets existing and future assets. So for development companies, I've got a 5 year Development pipeline of 25 million square meters of buildings.

Dr. Caroline Noller: I need to start thinking about disclosing Well, what's my risk, and why but risk an opportunity financially for the carbon footprint in body carbon footprint of that development pipeline and disclose that publicly. So a lot happening so, and it. Everybody needs to really be starting to think about exactly what they need to start doing now.

Rob Asher: And yeah, so it sounds like I I I've picked up 2 things. It sounds like the wheels are are turning in various ways and in the lead neighbors. Sec. Government at different speeds around the world. There's a capability gap. What do you think. Say, what? How do you with the organizations like we's developers? How should they respond to these coming legislative changes as well as the need to decarbonize?

Dr. Caroline Noller: Yeah put your feet in and start growing your capacity. I mean, obviously, our work with you guys is very much focused on. How do we reduce the complexity and that time barrier, and that knowledge barrier to taking action, to start quantifying, start assessing and start just basically understanding. How big is it? Where is it. What can we do about it? And so I don't I don't see this any excuse.

Dr. Caroline Noller: I shouldn't sort of say that in a negative sense, but it's really imperative. I mean, if you want to sort of not get hit by a big brick. you want to be acting this year 2023 to start getting on board with actually understanding the implications, particularly for developers and for planning authorities. I mean, there's a lot of action having in Australia at that planning level and State government levels, national as well. About sort of okay, we have to start understanding

Dr. Caroline Noller: how big is this and get some consistency and then integrated into policy. So I feel like that is going to put a lot of a lot of impetus behind action in this year. And, as I said, the you know we've got lots of different examples that show certain methods that you can follow, and it's it's. I guess. I also will quickly want to make the point. It's not just about low carbon, steel, low carbon concrete, because the concrete, steel and aluminium and glass, and all those industries they have roadmap to net 0.

Dr. Caroline Noller: That go out 2050, right? So that they sort of not moving particularly fast, so we can't wait for them to move.

Dr. Caroline Noller: The opportunity here is really for planning authorities, banks, financiers, and the leading developers to go. You know what we're going to take that action. We're going to understand. We're going to start to push. correct, push measures, policy incentives, planning incentives, and actually move the the pathway forward because it's not just the materials it's about how the design comes together. What are the different design strategies? The picture you've got there is the Amp capital tower that was just recently finished in Sydney. That was a an adaptive reuse. It's been framed in the media is like the world's first re reuse, skyscraper, and the approach there was to essentially reuse the entire structure of that building saved time saved cost.

Dr. Caroline Noller: and obviously an enormous amount of embodied carbon is sort of that. This suggesting that sort of something in the order of 9,000 tons of Co. 2 avoided. So if you think about it from a planning point of view, you've got a a. And that existing site in the future. They may have had a cap. That means, if they wanted to renovate or deconstruct that building and reconstruct it. That Cap might sort of say, okay, we can do that. But you can only build 20 stories, not 48. The other project that we had sort of talked about which is 20. At Martin Place

Dr. Caroline Noller: they did an adaptive reuse because they had an existing building height that no longer existed. And so for them the only way they were able to re purpose. That building was to retain the structure. And it's important point, because just by retaining structure you're able to avoid a significant component of all that carbon, 15% in many cases in Cbd buildings. So coming back to that sort of what does that mean for everybody? There's multiple different ways that you can save carbon. Most of the 50% of the carbon in that first few stages of design.

Dr. Caroline Noller: So, having a planning tool that allows you very quickly to iterate and to quantify is critical, and I guess our mission is really about opening the box of giraffe and enabling so many different actors at that early stage to start at least quantifying and understanding, so that they can appreciate what can be done and for planning authorities. Okay.

Dr. Caroline Noller: what's that? What's the carbon implications of that? Lep?

Dr. Caroline Noller: What's the carbon implications of our growth? Open growth strategy, and understand whether they're going in the right direction which likely they're not. And what are the pathways that they should be looking at in terms of carbon caps to move forward to, actually sort of start to be the drivers of that agenda down to that Paris target.

Rob Asher: Okay, Yes, thank you, Caro. And I think that's that's an awesome way to close. So if it can't be measured. It can't be managed, and and having access to carbon data so that you can, whatever the strategy is, at least figure out the magnitudes of what you're dealing with. Whether is the mission that you've been working on and and part of the reason you know, that we've partnered with you to have this carbon and data because it it's very difficult. It's not the capability in the industry to understand it, and so bringing it to the for the forefront when it's this huge component of carbon emissions is something that we we really believe in.

Rob Asher: So thank you, Caro.

Dr. Caroline Noller: That's a pleasure. Thank you so much the opportunity. And yeah, I think you guys are awesome and terrific to to be part of that. The vision lovely. Thank you.

map line drawing
Start creating better cities

Giraffe is free to use for property developers, architects and governments. To access our full set of capabilities, integrate apps and add additional seats learn more about our paid plans.