Prescient nabs $3M to expand computer-assisted green building design

by Amina Elahi
November 27, 2013

Multi-unit buildings — think apartments, dorms and offices — historically required costly and risky construction procedures. Last September, John Vanker and Michael Lastowski set out to change that with a new company called Prescient, whose design and manufacturing software promises cheaper and greener construction solutions. This week, the company announced $3 million in financing that will go toward their current $10 million round.



While Prescient’s foundation is in Denver, the company’s funding came from outside — and its plans for the future stem from sources beyond the city’s borders as well. Singapore’s Kanusul Investment contributed $2 million of the current round, while the remaining funds came from other high worth individuals. Using this money, CEO Vanker and his team will double their Denver facility and set up their second production facility in Houston, Texas in 2014. Not only that, the round will be used to plus up software offerings, pursue patents and expand their network of certified installers.


“Since our coming out – completing our first two buildings, starting our third, and rolling out our software at the AIA convention in June - we have had tremendous response,” Vanker said. “Additional capital will help us build the infrastructure and platform to meet this demand.”


Prescient’s computer-aided design and manufacturing systems can be used for buildings up to 12 stories using a light-gauge steel structure said to be more economical and eco-friendly than wood or concrete. Using a standardized structure for all manner of multi-unit buildings, Prescient can design edifices that go up faster than their traditionally-designed counterparts, all of which the company says results in up to 35 percent in cost savings compared to concrete construction.


“By employing software to integrate the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) process, we provide significant benefits during the design phase of a project,” Vanker said. “We provide a platform for better project team collaboration which leads to increased efficiency, reduced waste, and reduced costs during the construction phase of a project.”


For the environment-conscious builder, Prescient’s emphasis on sustainable materials is also a major selling point. The steel they use is up to 95 percent recycled, and any cut-off waste is reused. Using only three components — columns, panels and trusses — the whole system is more streamlined and less wasteful than traditional construction methods.


Bolstered by recent growth, Vanker expects his company to continue along that trajectory for an impressive 2014. Already, he has “more than 9 million square feet of active projects in the sales

pipeline, 2.5 million square feet of which are in the advanced design and contract phase.” Continued conversations with major building companies, as well as access to the south central region thanks to the new Houston plant also signal growth opportunities.


By fusing software and advanced construction techniques, Prescient is proving that if you build it, they will come.

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