Only about 1% of construction businesses in Alberta used AI last year.
Regardless, construction innovation is booming in Alberta—through hustling startups orienting their tech around the space.
Cofounded by Chloe Smith and Hogan Lee, real-time construction intelligence platform Mercator AI this year secured US$3.75 million in an oversubscribed seed round co-led by Freestyle Ventures and Builders VC.
By mining and analyzing millions of data points across commercial and industrial projects, Mercator AI is able to identify signals of early construction activity, reveal who’s involved, and tie active project information back to rich company profiles.
Another Calgary-born startup, Arthrotó, believes the future of housing lies in the factory. Collaborating with global construction giant DIRTT, Alberta-based Arthrotó this year launched with a mission to convert vacant office spaces into sustainable residential units—a tactic being used in Canada’s real estate landscape in response to high residential housing costs next to devalued commercial spaces.
Arthrotó intends to strike partnerships covering a gamut of aspects, from prefab interior structures to building information management systems, smart home tech, and new AI design tools.
Another startup in the space is FORM Innovations, cofounded by Ray Paiement, who boasts nearly four decades of experience in the construction industry, and his righthand Jenn Billesberger.
Based out of Cochrane, FORM is best known for PolarBlock, an insulated and climate resilient solution for construction projects.
PolarBlock, which this year garnered seed capital from Sustainable Development Technology Canada, focuses on providing high performance buildings in an affordable package to optimize the construction industry’s transition to energy efficient housing.
The company’s product is a polyurethane concrete form used to construct strong, energy efficient building envelopes that are water-resistant, fire-resistant, and airtight. PolarBlock also claims its R31-rated envelope is quicker to build, and costs less, than when working with traditional construction materials.
Paiement spent nearly a decade researching and developing the technology necessary to create and commercialize PolarBlock, which he says simplifies and accelerates construction projects while also enhancing environmental sustainability.
”Requiring fewer specialized trades, using PolarBlock significantly cuts the construction time,” the company explains online. “Our innovative product and process is focused on ensuring that builders, developers, and consumers have a high quality option when looking to streamline energy efficient construction.”
The 25 Innovators in Construction is a yearly award recognizing Canada’s top construction companies for groundbreaking contributions to the industry.
The award celebrates firms excelling in technological innovation, workforce development, and collaborative partnerships.