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Levaraging AxM Software Technology to Empower Material Reuse and Embodied Carbon Reporting in the Built Environment

Award Information
Agency: Environmental Protection Agency
Branch: N/A
Contract: 68HERC22C0026
Agency Tracking Number: B214D-0014
Amount: $93,370.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: 4D
Solicitation Number: 68HERC21R0144
Solicitation Year: 2022
Award Year: 2022
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2021-12-01
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2022-05-31
Small Business Information
1850 N Damen Ave
Chicago, IL 60647-5550
United States
DUNS: 080394121
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 CeCe Smith
 Senior Solutions Engineer
 (202) 713-5793
Business Contact
 Garr Punnett
Title: Chief of Staff
Phone: (612) 961-3959
Research Institution

As the single largest consumer of materials and energy use worldwide, the construction sector remains a prime target for materials reuse reform. (Krausmann et al., 2009; De Ia Rue du Can & Price, 2008). Construction and ongoing operation of the built environment extracts a significant amount of resources -- and on an ongoing basis. According to the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), buildings account for approximately 40% of total energy use, 40% of raw materials use, 30% of waste output, 13.6% of total potable water consumption, 73% of total electricity consumption, and 38% of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (USGBC, 2015). Research, regulatory compliance and even voluntary efforts to lower the built environment’s GHG demand have consistently and aggressively focused on managing, measuring and reporting the energy efficiency lifecycle from design through post-occupancy performance. However, energy efficiency is responsible for only one portion of a building’s GHG emissions; its operational carbon impact. Embodied carbon -- the remaining carbon impact -- derives from the combined GHG emissions caused by extraction, manufacture, transportation, construction, maintenance, replacement, deconstruction, disposal, and end of life activities for the collective materials and systems that comprise a building. Annually, embodied carbon is responsible for 11% of global GHG emissions and 28% of global building sector emissions. Sustainable Materials Management demands a lifecycle approach to promoting environmentally responsible harvesting, management and usage of a quite complex and often-commingled supply chain of resources. In the built environment, this calls for a shift in “cradle to gate” design thinking to “cradle to cradle” design thinking. Rheaply’s Asset Exchange Manager (AxM)TM is a web-based asset management system that employs the bestin- class features on a modern-day online marketplace to increase asset visibility, utilization, and redeployment. On Rheaply’s AxM, construction stakeholders can request and exchange reclaimed building materials. This paper proposes to go beyond typical usage of surplus materials and invest in additional features that will enable AxM to empower decarbonization efforts by reporting on estimated embodied carbon savings related to each transaction of reclaimed materials.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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