Cove.Tool co-founder and trained architect Sandeep Ahuja shares her entrepreneurial journey to address climate change by developing a cost and energy analysis tool.
This is part one in a short series covering the entrepreneurial journey of Sandeep Ahuja from architectural designer to tech company CEO. Part two will be posted in late November 2021.
I started Cove.Tool with my business and life partner Patrick Chopson, AIA, in 2017. After working at firms for a combined 14 years, we understood the impact of buildings on the environment. I didn’t want to provide what some clients called “Lamborghini sustainability”—strategies to reduce embodied and operational energy tacked onto the end of the design process. I wanted to integrate sustainability from start to finish.
Four years later, our company and product have helped architects and designers offset 28 million metric tons of carbon emissions (assuming a typical building life of 10 years). Most exciting? Nearly 80% of that total (22.3 million metric tons) was from this year alone, thanks to our growth in the number of users and projects.
To hit many of the targets laid out in the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, the design industry will need to reduce its carbon contribution exponentially. Through automation and data-driven design, our company has helped 15,000 architects and engineers conduct energy models, daylight analyses, and cost optimizations on more than 22,000 projects. But until every single project is optimized for carbon, our job is not done.
Moreover, we’re not the only designers with entrepreneurial ambitions. Many architects have ideas for startups churning in their minds. This is the story of how we became the founders of a tech company.