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Eco-innovative building products for sustainable construction

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - RE_CREATE (Eco-innovative building products for sustainable construction)

Reporting period: 2019-06-01 to 2019-09-30

The circular economy is now an irreversible, global mega trend driven by EU and national initiatives. It represents a €4 trillion opportunity however, with a global economy that is only 9.1% circular, there is a massive circularity gap. Green building and the reduction of energy consumption in the built environment are key global priorities. Reduction of the emissions and energy consumed by various practices associated with the production of a building (embodied emissions/energy) is a major challenge and requires completely re-thinking the value chain, including the uptake of raw materials, the energy intensive manufacturing process and the end of life disposal. It is Criaterra’s goal to become a leader in developing cradle to cradle materials and production practices for the construction industry. Criaterra replaces the conventional firing processes and produces fully recyclable, high performance and practical construction materials. Our innovative production process uses only 5% of the energy used in conventional building material production processes, and creates less than 3% of the emissions of conventional methods. Our production process creates no waste and uses up to 70% upcycled natural content from quarry waste. To attain our goal of becoming a global leader in state-of-the-art green building materials and products, we plan to expand our product line from our interior wall tiles to wider product offering. In this project we have built a strategic plan including a feasible and realistic roadmap for the next 2 years to optimize our technology and to attain an industrial production scale. This required assessing the best go-to-market strategy in terms of investment required, geography, timing, breakeven and ROI, and to elaborate a detailed business plan for each target market and application. To assess these aspects, we completed a full feasibility study of our circular approach to developing construction products.
The project highlighted Criaterra technology’s substantial potential to create different building materials and satisfy market demand for deeply sustainable green building materials. Impactful growth strongly depends on applying the technology to create a wide range of products that fit a logical technology growth curve with increasing complexity. We developed a growth plan beyond dry wall interior decorative tiles. We will create decorative interior tiles for wet rooms and then decorative and functional exterior cladding. The financial feasibility review projects an accumulated revenue of €39.7 million by 2025, based on scaling our production. We expect to scale even more rapidly by 2030 by further licensing our technology. Our industrialization approach blends 3 approaches to scale. First, optimize our pre-industrial production line by developing and implementing small scale industrial solutions and enhancing management systems flow and layout. Next, undergo a technology transfer process and set up a higher scale production line in an existing production facility to create a new local production line which can be replicated. Working with local production partners means we can identify synergies including exploiting their waste streams (from their own quarries or their manufacturing process output) to create our products most efficiently. Forming joint ventures with large construction companies ensures we can exploit our partner’s sales channels. Finally, to scale production even further we will create production plants under joint ventures and enter licensing agreements. This tiered approach enables us to scale measurably. The commercial feasibility highlighted a large TAM and SAM and identified Europe as the ideal region for expansion beyond Israel. The region is the largest market for green construction, supported by favorable regulations pushing construction towards the use of green materials and a circular economy approach
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Our growth has wide potential impact in several ways: (1) Regenerative products: Our complete redesign of the production process and our circular economy approach to material use, together with our rich R&D experience, enable us to create products that meet the strictest green material criteria while adhering to and even exceeding building material standards. The result is 100% natural products with balanced functional properties that can be used to create a versatile and multi-functional product portfolio (from decorative tiles to a masonry block). (2) Energy efficient buildings: Criaterra excels in thermal insulation – a key defining characteristic that minimizes energy bills. Our ability to combine this important value proposition with compressive and bending strength, is what sets us apart from the competition, especially for outdoor cladding - our next product offering. (3) Local ecosystem: Our business model is based on local production for local use. This is possible by partnering with local manufacturers and using local supply chains. Our algorithm enables the adaption of the material composition according to the minerals and surplus minerals and fibers available in the proximity of the manufacturing site(s). This will drastically reduce transport costs and make the process and supply chain highly scalable globally, based on locally available raw and recycled materials. The commercialization of our green building materials will help towards the greening of the built environment, create jobs within the growing field of eco-construction and transform Criaterra from a promising start-up to a multi-million-euro company. Criaterra has identified Europe as its target market for expansion
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