The Google offices in NYC, located across from Chelsea Market. Image source: WiPPP.
A city-building platform has been created by Google X, the secret developmental unit of the company behind the driver-free car and Google Glass which aims to “reimagine building design for a more sustainable future.” This tool, initially dubbed Genie, not only enables architects to design more environmentally friendly buildings of higher quality through advanced analytics and simulation tools, the Google X team reports that it could save 30-50% in prevailing construction costs and shorten the time from start of planning to market by 30-60%, according to Globes.
The global construction industry is a tremendous consumer and waster, creates 40% of global solid waste and responsible for 50% of the greenhouse gas emissions. As it continues to grow exponentially in heavily populated cities such as Rio de Janeiro and Beijing the question of green productivity has come to the forefront.
Google began working on Genie in 2011, initiated by one of the founders, Larry Page. The tool looks to tap into the large global construction market, estimated at $5 trillion a year, with the program projected to make the company $120 billion per year.
After a positive reception Genie was separated from Google X into its own company, Vannevar Technology. Vannevar’s website is currently a static homepage with call to join.