Mathematical software from OMRT will take over the architects’ work

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About OMRT

  • Founders: Andreja Andrejevic and Jasper Spiegeler
  • Founded in: May 2018
  • Employees: 45
  • Money collected: 7 million
  • Ultimate goal: to get the construction industry across Europe working with our software

The goal of the Dutch government is to build one million additional homes within ten years. A big ambition, which the newly started OMRT believes has the solution. According to co-founder Andreja Andrejević, we should not build more, but make better building designs. While studying construction technology at TU Delft, he learned how to develop complex software that can change the work of the classical architect. He tells more about this in this episode of Dagens Opstart.

What does OMRT do?

“We develop building designs for project developers on our platform. The designs are created using technologies: a combination of self-written mathematical software, artificial intelligence and physical and economic analysis. We don’t believe that you can just press three buttons and thousands of designs will come out. We give you half a year of training to be able to operate the software, because designing a building is complex. The technologies make it possible to automatically generate and analyze a building design.”

How exactly does it work?

“You specify preferences for a design in the system. You can think about all sorts of things such as how the wind blows, how much daylight comes in, but also how much energy the building consumes. We also look at the design: where are the bathrooms, where should a solar panel be placed and where should the shafts be. The system will then independently print the design on the computer. All possible results have been thoroughly assessed by experts such as energy consultants, building physics engineers, architects, project developers and constructors. Thousands of proposals are created from which the architect and project developer can choose the most suitable solution based on filters. So you no longer need an architect to determine the design, but you have to realize the designs. Of course, there are still limits to our software. For example, it cannot now assume very complex forms.”

What do you want to achieve?

“We will shorten the submission of building permits from a year and a half to six weeks. Most people think that the slowness in the housing industry lies in the construction, but it is precisely in the design phase. The construction itself goes quite quickly: on average it takes two and a half years. But developing a building concept takes an average of seven years.”

How did it happen?

“An architect now works on a design for a few weeks, then he goes to a consultant who gives advice. If the consultant says the windows should be bigger, he will adjust the design. When he goes to see an energy consultant the following week, he may again say that the windows must be smaller. That’s how you keep going. A project also stops on average for a year if one person drops out. If you work with technology, you are less likely to have these problems.”

How did OMRT come about?

In the beginning, we worked partly on our company from an accelerator program and partly on an engineering company. Frustration arose from that agency because we came into contact with the problems we solve ourselves. We met a first investor and realized our product. We knew we had something that delivered a lot of value, but also that the market wouldn’t be prepared for it. Because we wanted the market to find us, we put ourselves on the market at a low price. Then we started looking for a new investor, and we raised one and a half million euros just before the corona pandemic. Just before this summer, we raised another five million from an external private party.”

What is your biggest challenge?

“In the beginning we were nice and naive: don’t we have a technology that works well? But we now put a lot of energy into persuading people. People don’t trust a computer to do the job right, especially not in just six weeks. Among other things, we have set up workshops to involve people in our vision. Since we started it two years ago, our way of working has grown enormously.”

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