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Google’s secret project to revolutionize AEC software industry

Google X spin-off promises to revolutionize the building industry


A report has come out of Israel that Google has secretly developed a dramatic new software technology for the building industry that will slash building design and delivery costs by as much as 50 percent.

Google X

According to the report from Globes: Israel’s Business Arena publication, Google’s secret projects division, Google X has developed a new revolutionary technology that can transform the AEC industry.

Google X engineers named the new secret construction technology Genie (after the genie in Aladdin in “1001 Nights”). The report says that Genie is a platform that “includes planning tools of expert architects and engineers and advanced analytics and simulation tools.”  The tools will not limit architects and their ability to be creative and generate infinite design possibilities. The tools are highly oriented to large building projects such as skyscrapers.

01 - Google's secret Google X project has been spun off into its own company...and is planning to revolutionize the building delivery industry.

01 – Google’s secret Google X project has been spun off into its own company…and is planning to revolutionize the building delivery industry.

The Genie development and management team estimated that Genie could save 30-50 percent in the prevailing construction costs and shorten time from the start of planning to market by 30-60 percent. The report further notes that Genie itself can possibly generate $120 billion a year for Google.

Vannevar — The Genie Spin-Off

Genie has since been spun off at Google X into a new company called Vannevar Technology, Inc.. The company is registered in Deleware. Top builders, architects and engineers have previewed the technology and are reported to be enthusiastic.

Vannevar’s three founders include Google computer engineer Astro (Eric) Teller, who started at Google responsible for developing new projects, senior Google hardware engineer Nicholas Chim, who was team leader for Genie, and Google software engineer Jennifer Carlile.

A Wasteful Industry

Those in the AEC industry may be stunned to learn that the construction industry itself accounts for just 10 percent of the global GDP (gross domestic product) but yet consumes half of the world’s global resources and raw materials, including 48 percent of the global energy supplies.

With global populations shifting dramatically to cities and urban centers over the next several decades, it is vital that the AEC industry become more efficient with both energy, materials and time. Vannevar’s technology may have the answer or part of the answer on how to help solve these challenges. With global construction worth an estimated $5 trillion per year, the pursuit of such a huge goal is an attractive proposition for a technology giant like Google.

To read the full report published by Globes visit here.

To see the new Google spin off’s website go here.

[Edit Note: This article has been edited down and modified, 21 Oct 2013.]