SusCrete Infrastructure Consulting

SusCrete Infrastructure Consulting

South AfricaNigeria
Year Founded:
2015
Organization type: 
for profit
Project Stage:
Idea
Budget: 
$50,000 - $100,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

SusCrete focuses on sustainable solutions. The use of concrete in massive quantities has significant effects on the environment (contributing 7% of global CO2 emission). The concrete industry is now faced with meeting the needs for development while preserving the environment for future generations.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if Africa lead the sustainability charge in the responsible use of resources?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

The issue of sustainability in the construction sector in most African countries is still slow-paced with the exception of South Africa with an advanced concrete materials research and implementation driven by the private and public sector. The drive to start this company was largely fueled by the inherent lack of presence and expertise of consulting companies that can facilitate sustainable engineering construction models in most of Africa.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Our strategy involves designing structures that are affordable, last longer, have low maintenance requirements and incorporate waste-products from local industrial processes. In addition, assisting government to create policies that ensures the implementation of sustainable methods of cement production with increased energy efficiency and reduced carbon footprint. Suscrete will also focus on developing indigenous African design codes. Because currently, most Affican countries still revert to European and US codes although the prevailing climatic conditions differ (my area of expertise). Finally, Suscrete will promote the ideology of recycling and reuse of concrete materials either from demolished structures or unused concrete.

Awards

Falling Walls Lab award, Social Consciousness Challenge for Innovative Solutions Award, Nomination for paper & poster presentation at UN CFCC.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

A quote by John Prebble (a brilliant Journalist) in 1956 - “Architects and engineers are among the fortunate of men, since they build their own monuments with PUBLIC CONSENT, PUBLIC APPROVAL & often PUBLIC MONEY”. This means that for civil engineers sustainability in the infrastructure is cardinal. This objective ties into the global initiative which are the SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS (SDGs) ratified by over 100 countries in September 2015. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development contains 17 actionable goals that offer a blueprint for success. SusCrete’s initiative focuses on 4, industry, innovation and infrastructure, reduced inequalities, sustainable cities and responsible consumption and production of resource.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

Concrete's consumption is currently estimated at 25 billion tons which is only 2nd to water with no expected change in the near future. In addition, the production of 1 ton of cement discharges 0.6 ton of carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere, this amounts at about 5-7 % of the annual global CO2 emission. This trend is not expected to change soon with the world growing in population from 1.5 billion in 1950 to about 7 billion today. Africa’s population is infact expected to double by 2040 reaching about 1 billion. As of 2014, Africa & Asia alone accounted for 85% of the world’s cement production. Even though concrete is assumed to be an inherently durable material, if not designed properly it is susceptible to failure. SusCrete current impact has been to raise awareness on the possibilities of greening the construction industry through scientific publications and presentations.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

SusCrete is just past its conceptualization phase. As a result, our objectives are to achieve a developed programme schedule for 2016 (and next 5 years), formulate project planning and delivery methods, service provision costing and generating awareness to potential clients. We want to be able to support our clients with technical solutions . Four (4) identified strategies to spreading:  Identify specific market (Sub-Saharan Africa)  Research the market to tailor specific solutions  Develop strategic solutions  Networking to create awareness
Sustainability

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

Currently, no direct capital investments/ expenditure have been made into this venture as at the period of application. We intend to look for collaborators and seek funding either through grants/crowd-sourcing. With the new shift in focus towards climate change, it is foreseeable that we can derive income once the ideology of greening the concrete sector in Africa is assimilated both by the private and public sectors,

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

We have identified the following companies: Exponent, BASF Green Consulting Services, MWH Global, Mace, Tritec, SGS, AECOM in the concrete sustainability sector. The companies mentioned privy are all into the sustainable construction sector but these companies are also diversified into service provision in several other sectors. We can argue that the environmental sustainability aspect of their construction sector is not wholly addressed as a solution. Therefore, our main focus is to satisfy the need as a indigenous solutions provider in sustainable use of concrete only in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Team

Founding Story

The founders met 3 years ago as they all carried out their Master's research under the Concrete Materials and Structural Integrity Research Unit at the University of Cape Town. They had very resourceful interactions and decided to co-develop the idea of this startup. Over the period, the focus of their researchs considered materials engineering, management systems and computational modeling.

Team

Two of the founding members are currently working for internationally recognized civil engineering companies – Royal Haskoning DHV and Officine Maccaferri SpA. Mr Alao is currently on an exposure program with Officine Maccaferri SpA in Europe and has over 4 years combined experience as a civil/ structural engineer. Mr Amesu is conducting research in South Africa and is an experienced civil forensic engineer with over 5 years’ experience. Ms Mbanjwa has recently moved to China also on an exposure program. She has about 3 years’ experience in civil engineering including infrastructure asset management. Ms Mbanjwa recently received the Yenching Scholarship, a fully funded 1 year Masters scholarship from the Yenching Academy of Peking University to study a Masters in which I will major in Economics and Management. The program is designed to prepare an elite class of future leaders who will meet the challenges of global landscape of the 21st century. All the founding members have completed a Master’s degree in Civil Engineering. Mr Olukayode Alao has also completed several professional courses such as an Introductory Course on Climate Change in June 2014 organized by the United Nations Institute on Training and Research(UNITAR), Geodesign by Penn State University and is a Certified Project Manager. In addition, Olukayode and Thuthukile both completed an online introductory course on Management organised by the University of California, Irvine in September 2014.
Background
Please confirm how you heard about the Unilever Awards:

Terra Viva Grants

Please confirm your role in the initiative (eg Founder/co-Founder) and your organisational title:

Founder

Which of the 8 UN Global Goals (Sustainable Development Goals) pre-selected for this competition does your solution relate most closely to? [select all that apply]

Responsible Consumption and Production, Climate Action.

Leadership and the Unilever Awards
Please provide examples of any previous entrepreneurial initiatives you have pioneered.

As an entrepreneur, Olukayode ran an IT project in his undergraduate varsity days proffering hardware and software solutions to students. He also volunteers for TEDx CapeTown as the contents manager of its simulcast website. TED is a global brand and therefore there is no need to describe its activities. I facilitated several meetings to interact and discuss partnership opportunities with several companies. Overall, I was able to deliver partners for the main event on the 15-16th August 2015 and also procure an animation for the simulcast team. The economic value for the video would have cost about 150 000 ZAR (One hundred and fifty thousand South African Rands) which is equivalent to 11000 Euros. Link to animation (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vSMpDXQPRFc)

Beyond your existing team, who else are you working with to achieve your objectives, eg partners, advisors, mentors?

I specifically have mentors in academia for guidance and future collaborations and entrepreneurship, namely:

1. Dr Rachel Muigai (Senior Lecturer - University of Johannesburg)
2. Dr Mike Otieno (Senior Lecturer - University of the Witwatersrand)
3. Ms Teri Kruger - (Founder/CEO - Synergetics Sustainable Solutions - Management Consultancy)
4. Prof Mark Alexander (Senior Professor - University of Cape Town)

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