Re-inventing the construction industry for a sustainable future, Ehab is a data management and process automation platform. Ehab uses DLT to create efficiency across the entire lifecycle of sustainable construction projects. 

 

Ehab, you are providing a platform which enables the total management of construction projects. What is the current problem in the construction industry that you are solving?

Over the course of a project there is a huge amount of data which is created, to do with managing people, finances, assets and so on. Currently this data is created by different companies using different solutions and doesn’t necessarily get seen by the right people at the right time. Our main goal is to create a unified source of this data. We believe that pulling this data together with increase transparency, which will increase trust, which will increase collaboration, which improves the quality of the build and results in reduced risks and costs for projects.

It’s a big task – are you focusing on one particular aspect of the construction industry first and then building up from there?

Our mission is to unify this data and our first module is focusing on the physical assets which come onto construction sites. We have chosen this as this part of the industry has a variety of problems that our solution can solve and it isn’t as crowded as the project management sector. Once we’ve proven our solution here we will expand the scope and move into different areas of the construction vertical.

Why does Ehab need DLT? Could you not just use an online database?

In our case DLT is used to enable a variety of organisations to more fluidly and transparently work with each other. It is the much greater flexibility in permissions, data access and transferability which makes DLT useful for what we are trying to do. It is also very relevant to construction in general as having exact traceability of when tasks happened or products delivered is crucial for optimising the completion of projects

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What is at the core of Ehab’s purpose?

Our vision is to help create a sustainable, affordable and liveable built environment. We don’t believe this can be achieved without a data enabled construction industry. Therefore we are setting out to bring as much data to the lifecycle of built assets as possible to create the foundation upon which even better and more innovative processes can be based.

Ehab’s tagline is ‘Re-inventing Construction for Sustainable Future’ – how is blockchain specifically enabling you to promote sustainability?

DLT is a key component of optimising construction processes and in order to make sustainable construction methods the norm they need to become more cost competitive. We see blockchain technology as just one tool amongst many that helps the industry realise the benefits of modern construction technologies.

You have mentioned that you will have your platform up and running by July this year. Do you think that having a deadline for your MVP is important in the early stages of running your own business?

Lots of the best tech companies in the world adopt OKR methods of management. Where teams set objectives and measure the results against these to constantly evaluate progress towards a goal. We aspire to be as revolutionary as many other technology companies in existence today therefore we set ourselves measurable targets for success to help drive us forward.  

So your product is helping improve efficiency in the construction industry. How does this then encourage the production of sustainable housing?

The reason always touted as why sustainable construction is not the norm is that it’s too expensive. This is no longer the case but the industry is still slow moving. We believe by creating an interconnected ecosystem built from the ground up to make producing sustainable built assets as easy and cheap as possible we can move the needle and accelerate the transition to a more sustainable built environment.

Where does the company’s heart for a sustainable future come from?

The founding principles of the company are to create as much positive social and environmental change as possible, to the original founders this is really the only important measure of success. It stems from both founders having studied environmental sciences in some form and recognising the urgency with which change must come in order to prevent the worst impacts of climate change.

How does Ehab make money?

In the short term it will work as a SaaS product, in the longer term it will receive commission from its marketplace.

How do you envisage the future of housing? You have previously mentioned 3D printing, can you explain a little bit about this and whether or not you think that this is the answer?

The most effective way to solve built environment challenges is to bring the cost of developing new built assets as close to zero as possible. In other words making new construction a zero marginal cost activity. The only way to feasibly achieve this is to use robotics and 3D printing. In this scenario it would be very easy for us to create self sustaining housing units and smart neighbourhoods. Land would no longer be an issue as older, dysfunctional built assets could be replaced with relative ease. If the future is robotics and 3D printing then it is very plausible to assume that there would need to be an operating system upon which these systems are run, and through which data is collected. Our ultimate goal is to be that operating system and enable zero marginal cost sustainable construction.

How did you all meet as co-founders?

Josh and Filipe met whilst rock climbing. They were both trying a bouldering problem and helped each other figure it out, then the next day they bumped into each other at a new co-working space and Filipe started advising Ehab in one of it’s previous iterations.

As a business, what is your superpower?

Making it as simple as possible to collect large amounts of mission critical project data and making sense of this for users, then using automations to improve workflows.

Has there been a particular architectural project which has inspired any one of you?

The work being done by Communities.epic.my or casaminha.co
The one that got me interested in sustainable housing in the first place is BedZed a south London project from 2001 which really was the first project which got any attention for the principles it was deploying.

What’s the biggest thing that you’ve each learnt since running your own business?

It’s super cliched, but focusing solely on customers, finding out their problems and iterating solutions quickly and cheaply. Everyone kind of knows this but it’s taken a while for us to actually follow through and run with it.

What does the next year hold for Ehab after leaving StateZero Labs?

We will be part of another accelerator called Allia impact which will help use reach a wider customer base in the impact space. We will be releasing a full product and raising more money to take everything to the next stage. We are currently building a network of partners who will get early access to the software, large discounts on price and the ability to help shape its future. We are looking for any construction company who wants to be the first in their part of the sector to help build and grow the future of construction. This will be an exclusive group able to work closely with our team and save your company money and make more money in the process.

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