Just Announced: The Greentown Labs Climatetech Summit 2021

Healthy Buildings Challenge

With Greentown Labs and Saint-Gobain
Supported by the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center

Startups: here’s what this program offers you

  • A structured platform to explore potential partnerships with Saint-Gobain
  • Support from Saint-Gobain leaders who will be matched with your team
  • $25,000 in non-dilutive grant funding
  • Mentorship, networking opportunities, and partnership-focused programming
  • Exclusive access to the Greentown Labs, Saint-Gobain, and MassCEC networks
  • Desk space and membership within Greentown Labs for the duration of the program

Program scope

Building Materials, Coatings, and Envelope Systems

Building materials, coatings, and envelope systems are a critical factor in both building sustainability and occupant wellbeing. Effective materials, coatings, and envelope systems deliver optimal temperatures, maximum natural lighting potential, acoustic comfort, and superior indoor air quality. As mostly passive solutions, they minimize the need for energy-intensive mechanical systems to deliver wellbeing outcomes. Furthermore, innovative materials, coatings, and envelope systems can enhance a building’s total carbon impact, circularity profile, and/or environmental impact (by avoiding pollutants, etc).

Specific technologies of interest include:

  • Sustainable substitutes/alternatives to incumbent building materials, including carbon-sequestering materials
  • Materials, coatings, and envelope systems that enhance wellbeing for building occupants, including optimal temperatures, maximum natural lighting potential, acoustic comfort, and superior indoor air quality
  • Exterior high-performance building cladding materials with added carbon, human health, or other environmental benefits
    • Roofing/siding with integrated PV
    • Innovative glass solutions for windows, including active glazings and power-generating glazings

Digital Platforms, Monitoring, and Supplemental Technologies

Digital platforms, monitoring, and supplemental technologies allow for better day-to-day management of building sustainability and occupant wellbeing. Furthermore, they help building owners and operators plan for retrofits, capital investments, and other big decisions that can deliver step changes in these outcomes. Digital tools are equally relevant in new construction, during ongoing operation, and throughout building retrofits.

Specific technologies of interest include:

  • Building management and monitoring systems for lighting, air quality, airflow, acoustic protection, temperature, and daylight maximization
  • Lifecycle analysis software with a building materials or systems focus
  • Software and platforms that support building owners and operators in decarbonization transition planning, retrofit optimization, building envelope enhancement, and similar activities

About the program

Between their construction and operation, buildings in the United States account for almost half of the country’s energy usage. At the same time, a recent UC Berkeley study found that nearly half of office building occupants describe themselves as uncomfortable with their building’s temperature—to say nothing of its other characteristics. People spend an average of 90 percent of their time indoors, meaning that building characteristics such as lighting, temperature, air quality, and noise can have a significant impact on health. At a moment when awareness of both occupant wellbeing and climate impact are at an all-time high, we see a pressing need to advance a new generation of buildings that can be considered truly “healthy.”

A healthy building optimizes for both environmental impact and the wellbeing of its occupants. In order to meet ambitious climate goals and improve building occupant comfort, innovation will play a critical role. The U.S. Green Building Council states that “through sustainable design, construction and operations, green buildings are reducing carbon emissions, energy and waste; conserving water; prioritizing safer materials; and lowering our exposure to toxins.”

Saint-Gobain, MassCEC, and Greentown Labs recognize the significant role that healthy buildings will play in improving the sustainability of our built environment. The Healthy Buildings Challenge seeks startups with innovative technologies at the prototype stage and beyond that advance building sustainability and wellbeing for building occupants. Our world needs innovation that can optimize for the health of people and the health of the climate, together.

Greentown is committed to increasing diversity, maintaining an inclusive community culture, and creating a more sustainable planet for all. We welcome applications from founders and teams of all backgrounds, regardless of their ethnicity, race, gender, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or whether or not they have a disability.