Observatory of Green Businesses
Life cycle assessment and operational energy demand calculation of buildings in just one second.
CAALA calculates the operational energy demand of buildings in real-time during the early design stage. At the same time, a complete environmental and economic life-cycle assessment is performed. The results are visualised in a comprehensible and intuitive way.
The founding team consists of eight members who have known each other from university for 10 years. The co-founder Alexander, architect and engineer has worked on the innovative method PLCA® for two years, the parametric lifecycle analysis, based on CAALA®.
With CAALA, energetic balances, ecological lifecycle analyzes and life cycle cost calculations of building designs can be carried out early in planning and in real time. This allows architects to compare a wide variety of variants and find the optimal solution for their building design - within a tenth of the input and processing time of alternative software. With the prototype, the Start Up has already achieved savings of 66% in GHG emissions and a 30% reduction in life cycle costs.
Size of business
- 9 employees + support of external employees
- Cooperation with industry partners
- Application for an Exist-Studentship
- Qualification for the Climate-KIC Accelerator
- Support from the founding center of the Bauhaus-Universität Weimar
- Support form UnternehmerTUM in Munich
Opportunities and plans for the future
With CAALA we have the aim of integrating sustainability into the planning process from the beginning. For the first time, it is possible to optimize building design quickly and easily. We want to reach this for prestige projects as well as the large number of buildings that have to be renovated in further years. Because of this reason CAALA should be the norm for planning processes.
Pitfalls and challenges
1. How did the project come to life?
The basic idea for CAALA has been created during a doctorate. Dr. Alexander Hollberg, co-founder, has dealt with the question how the method of life cycle analysis could already be used in the early planning phase. Finally, an assessment of a design should take place at a time when the architect can make changes without any major effort and optimize the building. Based on this basic consideration, the method of parametric lifecycle analysis (PLCA) has been developed, which is now applied for the first time in the software CAALA. The first prototype which was developed in the dissertation has received a lot of attention from researchers, but also from architects and energy consultants, so that Philipp Hollberg has decided to implement the first prototype into a marketable software. Milen Ivanov, a software developer with many years of professional experience as co-founder, was acquired through the network of UnternehmerTUM.
2. Recipe of success?
Our strong team is the most important ingredient for success. Together we overcome ups and downs. Also important for us are our partners who have cooperated with us very early. Last but not least our mentors who help us and give us advice.
3. Any Successes?
Our software is very good! In the last few months, we got awards several times. As winner of the StartGreen Award 2016, we were able to draw a lot of attention to ourselves and acquired more partners. Because of the award as one of the 'Top 500 early stage science start-ups' by Hello Tomorrow, the DGNB Sustainability Award and the 3rd prize in the competition 'Auf-IT-Gebaut' further doors have opened.
4. What are the biggest challenges in regard of the foundation?
The effort and the duration from a first prototype to a marketable software is certainly underestimated. In addition, we have increased the complexity of our software with the expansion of life cycle cost analysis. Fortunately, we were able to expand the team with other experienced experts from the construction industry, software developers and we win the most relevant players in the German construction industry as partners. The industry is at the beginning of a change due to fact of the digitization and it is also very fragmented. Because of this we are faced with the challenge of finding the most efficient ways to convince our target group of the need for sustainable construction and the use of new digital tools.
5. Target Group
CAALA is relevant for all decision-makers of construction projects. In the first phase, we are addressing architects as users. Our aim is that CAALA will become a common tool for architects to evaluate and improve the energetic, financial and ecological building performance. Of course, CAALA is also interesting for housing cooperatives, energy consultants, facility managers and property portfolio managers. Therefore we want to adapt and expand CAALA for these customer segments.
6. Advices for prospective founders
1. You will spend countless hours on your plans. Be sure that you are working on something that is important to you, that fulfils you and reflects your personal values.
2. Look for the support you need. There are a lot of people who want to help you. Moreover they will be happy to realize your vision.
3. Be optimistic even if everything takes longer, becomes more complicated and costs more than expected. There are always positive moments which will motivate you.
Pictures by courtesy of CAALA.
81377 München, Germany