Envirotalks: An Interview with Poliark

As part of Beaumont Bailey’s mission to connect founders, innovators and key players that make up the fabric of our industry, our latest Technology Spotlight series highlights the successes of our incredible members and wider network. In this instalment, we speak with Eda Erol, Founder and CEO of Poliark where we discuss sustainable services, AI, and technology within the realms of real estate and the built environment.

Tell me about Poliark, its origin story and your role within that…

Our organisation specialises in developing 3D AI technology to streamline architectural design workflows, eliminating inefficiencies. Our primary goal is to free up professionals’ time from technical 3D modelling, allowing them to focus on crucial aspects such as environmental sustainability, cost-effectiveness, and energy efficiency.

Personally, my journey into this career path began with a bachelor’s in architecture. Through first-hand experience in the construction industry, I witnessed how design ideas were often compromised due to limitations in 3D modelling or time constraints. This led me to realise the pressing need for a solution that would enable architects and designers to prioritise environmental considerations and cost efficiency amidst tight deadlines and numerous stakeholders in construction projects.

Understanding that the built environment directly impacts people’s lives, I couldn’t shake off the idea that many structures lack environmental consciousness simply because there isn’t enough time to address it. This realisation became the driving force behind our organisation’s mission to revolutionise architectural design processes through innovative AI technology.

Delving into the technology in a little more detail, what problem does Poliark solve?

Our technology addresses several key problems in the architectural and construction industries, ultimately streamlining the design process and promoting sustainability. Traditional industries such as architecture, construction, and design often face significant challenges, including time-consuming design processes, complex compliance requirements, and a lack of environmental awareness. Our technology aims to tackle these issues head-on.

Kend, our AI tool, is prompt-based, allowing users to generate 3D models quickly and effortlessly. Poliark’s web application is powered by Kend. By simplifying the conceptual design process, Kend enables professionals to finalise designs within minutes, a task that typically takes weeks and involves multiple stakeholders. This not only saves time but also reduces the need for extensive consultations and iterations.

One of the main pain points in these industries is compliance with building codes, permits, and environmental regulations. Kend addresses this challenge by ensuring that the initial designs it generates are compliant with local construction zone regulations, building codes, and environmental standards. This includes considerations for net-zero carbon emissions and other environmental effects. By integrating compliance requirements into the design process from the outset, professionals can avoid costly delays and revisions down the line.

Furthermore, Kend promotes environmental awareness by automatically incorporating sustainability principles into the design phase. This helps professionals create environmentally conscious buildings without the need for additional time or expertise. By providing a one-stop solution for compliance and environmental considerations, Kend streamlines the entire design process and empowers professionals to focus on their core expertise.

In addition to conceptual design, our platform also offers carbon tracking capabilities. This feature allows users to monitor and reduce the carbon footprint of their projects from inception to completion. By tracking carbon emissions at every stage of the construction process, professionals can make informed decisions to minimise environmental impact and work towards sustainable development goals.

Overall, our technology revolutionises traditional design processes by leveraging AI to address industry challenges, streamline workflows, and promote sustainability.

How have you seen this industry change over the years and where do you predict it is heading?

Over the years, I’ve witnessed significant changes in the architecture and construction industry, and I foresee even more transformative shifts ahead. Sustainability has become a buzzword, but it’s not just a passing trend. It’s here to stay due to both environmental concerns and regulatory pressures. AI, like our product, is firmly entrenched in the industry’s future. It’s not merely about optimising processes or asking questions anymore; it’s about revolutionising workflows. We’re seeing AI solutions like ours overcoming traditional inefficiencies in design and construction processes.

Similarly, sustainability is evolving from a mere concept to a practical application in every construction project. It’s not just about creating green buildings; it’s about meeting stringent environmental standards and achieving tangible results in terms of energy efficiency and carbon footprint reduction. Moreover, 3D printing is poised to accelerate, revolutionising how we build structures. This technology offers unprecedented flexibility and efficiency, allowing for innovative designs and cost-effective construction methods.

In terms of regions or areas with higher demand for our product, it’s clear that areas with stringent environmental regulations and strong incentives for sustainability are at the forefront. Companies are increasingly open to adopting changes that align with these regulations and incentives, driving the demand for solutions like ours.

In summary, the future of the architecture and construction industry will be characterised by enhanced AI integration, a practical application of sustainability principles, and the accelerated adoption of 3D printing technology. These changes are not only inevitable but essential for meeting global goals and ensuring a more sustainable built environment.

Regarding sustainability, what growth plans are there for Poliark in the next few years?

Currently, our carbon calculation focuses on material usage and the carbon content within those materials, based on their composition. However, this is just the beginning. Our plan is to expand our sustainability offerings in several key areas over the next few years. Firstly, we aim to incorporate structural elements into our carbon calculation. This means considering the carbon footprint of the entire building structure, not just the materials used. By doing so, we can provide architects and engineers with a comprehensive view of the environmental impact of their designs.

Secondly, we intend to expand our focus to include energy efficiency. This involves analysing the energy consumption of buildings, including factors such as heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. By incorporating energy efficiency into our calculations, we can help professionals design buildings that minimise energy use and reduce carbon emissions.

Our ultimate goal is to make the process of creating environmentally sustainable structures as seamless as possible for architects, engineers, and decision-makers. By providing easy-to-use tools that integrate sustainability considerations into the design process, we aim to encourage widespread adoption of green building practices.

Furthermore, by making sustainability assessments a standard part of the design process, we hope to influence decision-makers within firms to prioritise environmental concerns. When sustainability becomes easier and more intuitive than the current process, managers and executives will be more inclined to embrace it, leading to a widespread shift towards more sustainable construction practices.

What do you find the most challenging about the talent market right now specific to your industry?

The most challenging aspect of the talent market for us right now is finding the right people with the skills and expertise specific to our industry. Currently, our headquarters is in New York, but the majority of our team is based in our R&D company in Turkey.

We have a current team of nine members, and we are looking to expand by adding additional engineers for the AI components. However, our plans for expansion will pause for the next eight months or so. But, following that period, we intend to further expand in both the architecture and engineering sectors. We are planning another investment round in the summer, which will allow us to accelerate our efforts.

In addition to expanding our team, we are also focused on commercialising our product. We aim to not only offer it as a web platform but also as an API and standalone AI. This will enable users who are familiar with existing tools like Kevin Visualforce to benefit from our technology either as an API or plugin. So, we will be expanding further in that area as well. Ultimately, while our team isn’t growing immediately, we foresee more hires in the future to support our expansion plans and product development.

If you would like to discuss any of the topics raised int his piece or if you need support with your leadership resourcing strategy, please get in touch with Emma Callahan on emma.callahan@beaumontbailey.com.