A Breakthrough Wall Design, Pre-fabrication, and Installation Platform Offers Measurable Gains In Lowering Carbon and Energy Impacts Even As it Lowers Cost and Improves Performance
In a pandemic-era world challenged to regain stable footing and find a new normal, two menacing crises challenge leaders in the construction business community to innovate or suffer consequences it would be hard to express or measure.
- Insufficient access to affordable, decent, safe, and healthy housing
- A dramatic need to decarbonize our built environment in the face of urgent climate stress and shock.
For experienced construction pros, fixes for these two profound challenges mutually conflict with one another. In traditional and current-practice construction finance, a trade-off – either affordability or sustainability, but not both – is the chosen path.
Not so for Dextall, a circular-economy construction technology company committed to empowering property owners, developers, communities, and their partners to transform America’s built space for a vibrant future.
Dextall’s innovative achievements – which could serve as a transformative solution to both housing’s acute affordability trajectory and the built environment’s pressing need for more sustainable, decarbonized shelter – are neither theoretical nor hypothetical. Dextall has demonstrated real-world use cases for both a profoundly streamlined pre-construction process that bends cost-curves lower, and material gains on the environmental sustainability front in affordable housing property retrofits in the New York and other northeastern U.S. market arenas.
Dextall’s breakthrough construction technology both lowers costs and achieves step-change savings in energy, reduced waste, and decarbonization of mid- to high-rise buildings that house Americans of all income levels.
Dextall’s innovative sustainability benefits roadmap occurs across the entire building lifecycle, lowering costs as it returns greater value in energy savings and decarbonization gains.
At Dextall, a world-class team of cross-disciplinary, field-tested experts in architectural design, engineering and integration, fabrication, code, software development, and systems thinking collaborated to pioneer a vertically-integrated software and unitized prefabricated exterior wall panel system, powered by a kit-of-parts platform that adapts to an enormous variety of mid-rise and high-rise projects, is being used in the mid-Atlantic in affordable housing neighborhood retrofit initiatives.
“Dextall is creating smarter internet-of-everything seamless pathways that join design at one end of the building lifecycle to fabrication at the other end as a single-source-of-truth platform,” says Aurimas Sabulis, founder and CEO of Dextall. “Our software optimizes the complexities of many unique sites and projects with algorithms, solving for local building code requirements, site specific installation challenges, and building aesthetics within seconds. The capability to remove complications and standardize our varied structural components sets off a daisy-chain of opportunity for us to capture embedded carbon, conserve energy, and elevate the total lifetime value and operating performance of the building. What’s more, we gain greater transparency and visibility in both our IT infrastructure and our SKU-level supply chain, which allows us to favorably bend the cost curve.”
From the captured-carbon in the factory-based fabrication and high-velocity installation process, to the durable high-performance of the building, Dextall’s proprietary, end-to-end platform drives building lifecycle impacts toward net carbon positive.
In the pre-construction planning, building information modeling, and design phases, Dextall’s proprietary software applications achieve near-zero waste. Its digital twin and modularized component formats merge piece-level data with component design, and closed-panel integration of insulation and windows, and simple dry-perimeter gasket site installation that virtually eliminates typical on-site waste of almost 30% of building materials. A full 100% of materials trucked in flat-packs to each job site deploy for the building’s designed purpose.
What’s more, thanks to precision-manufacturing, single-digit millimeter error margins, and “functional sandwich” integrated structure and systems components that go into each installation with 100% accuracy on the first assembly, Dextall’s weather-tight and noise-reducing building envelope solutions perform at levels 40% higher in energy efficiency than current code.
An unappreciated dimension of Dextall’s ability to impact residents’ access to affordable dwellings that meet their wants and needs – especially in a climate-risk-filled residential landscape — is in its essential building science product properties. Few of us look at a home’s exterior cladding and finishes and realize how much of the interior livability derives from what goes on thanks to the exterior walls of the building. For instance, room air comfort, interior flow, indoor-outdoor living, natural lighting, and, ultimately, a sense of peace-of-mind and well-being spring in large part from how durable, safe, and resilient the exterior materials serve functionally as well as in aesthetic form.
As a clear sign of its proven innovative capability in achieving both strides in sustainability and lowering construction costs, the New York State Energy Research and Development Agency recently designated Dextall an approved manufacturing partner in its $30 million Retrofit NY program, which can impact thousands of affordable housing development communities throughout the state.
According to NYSERDA, “retrofits incentivized under this program upgrade the building exterior through the use of off-site manufactured, panelized façade systems and other building efficiency upgrades to lower building energy use. RetrofitNY allows building owners to seek renovations that achieve high performance and low carbon solutions with the goal of reaching fully carbon neutral renovation solutions in the future.”
The goal of RetrofitNY is to spearhead the creation of standardized, scalable solutions and processes that will dramatically improve the energy performance of multifamily residential buildings while improving their aesthetics and comfort. At the same time, it’s NYSERDA’s intent to achieve these transformations with as little disruption to current residents’ home lives as possible, calling for Dextall’s innovative, high-velocity solution.
“New York has explored ways to retrofit its now-aging portfolio of affordable housing communities for both the comfort, health, and safety of residents and to change the calculus of energy use and the carbon footprint of these buildings,” says Sabulis. “Our wall panel system earned us designation as NYSERDA’s first qualified and approved exterior wall component provider, and we’re excited and energized by an opportunity to scale our services across the tens of thousands of affordable housing projects in New York State, and beyond.”
Sabulis notes that mid- to high-rise building stock – from five to 30 stories – make-up four-out of five vertically-developed residential buildings, more than half of which are in excess of 40-years old.
“Many of these buildings have deteriorated to become an eyesore and a drain on non-renewable energy resources, not to mention that their decline impacts residents’ health, safety, well-being, as well as that of the larger neighboring community morale and economic vibrancy,” says Sabulis. “At Dextall, we reimagine these buildings as beautiful, as comfortable places for neighborhood members to flourish, and as high-performing, durable, resilient, and energy-saving infrastructure. That’s our goal, to impact both sustainability and attainability with our work.”