Buildings vs. The World

Buildings are the #1 culprits of rising global temperatures representing almost 70% of global carbon emissions. The entire real estate industry needs to disrupt business as usual—and fast.

October 31, 2022
New York, USA
If you’re just hearing about us—hello! 👋

I’m José, a pizza shop bus boy turned architect turned entrepreneur obsessed with the data trapped in the walls of our buildings.

I’m excited to share the company I founded it in 2018.

Meet Integrated Projects.

  • We build products and services that use advanced spatial modeling technologies to help real estate owners know what they own.
  • To date, we’ve bootstrapped our growth propelled by the global urgency to digitize and decarbonize buildings.
  • Our clients range from Fortune 500 tech companies to academic institutions, to design professionals like architects and engineers.
  • We’re a core team of 11 people—overseeing an industry-leading network of 80+ trained engineers, architects, BIM, data analysts, and reality capture specialists spread across 8 time zones.
  • As of Q4 2022, we’re digitizing about 6 buildings per day—a great vanity metric for a self-funded startup—but a drop in the bucket towards the global effort to upgrade our buildings.
Integrated Projects, New York, NY

Before diving in on what we do, let me share why we’re doing it.


There are more buildings in the world than websites. 1.6 billion buildings produce harmful carbon emissions more than 2X the rate of the next closest carbon emitting industry: transportation.


Buildings are public enemy #1—the culprits of rising global temperatures—representing almost 70% of all carbon emissions.

  • A global all-hands-on-deck requires those working in, on, and around buildings to dramatically reduce carbon emissions by 2030—and eliminate by 2050.
  • If we fail to eliminate CO2 in time, global temperatures will cross a “point of no return.” That is, an increase over 1.5 degrees Celsius compared to our pre-industrial levels.
  • This tipping point will result in increased patterns of catastrophic weather conditions.
  • Global social and economic unrest will be spurred by entire affected populations forced to leave their towns and cities en masse.


In the next 8 years, existing buildings will require an unprecedented speed and scale of upgrades.

  • To decarbonize existing buildings, it requires upgrades to their heating, cooling, electrical, and building systems—in efforts to reduce the building’s carbon footprint down to zero.
  • This is true of all building sizes: from small apartments to large towers.
  • And all building types: residential, commercial, institutional, and industrial.
  • For perspective: to decarbonize 1.6 billion buildings in 8 years is roughly:
  • ~200,000,000 buildings per year
  • ~547,000 buildings per day
  • That’s about (1) New York City every (2) days for the next (8) years.
  • Basic math says: we’re not even close.
  • Oct 2022 Update: 2030 is now just over 7 years away.

Integrated Projects, New York, NY

Everyone. But Building Owners have the most direct agency to eliminate carbon emissions from their buildings—but they can’t do it alone.

  • Building owners will depend on a cooperative network of:
  • government agencies,
  • lending providers,
  • design professionals,
  • energy consultants,
  • contractors,
  • product manufacturers,
  • and technology


To decarbonize ~547,000 buildings per day, the entire real estate industry needs to disrupt business as usual—and fast.

  • Today: less than 1,000 buildings per day are upgraded to comply.
  • At this rate, we’re accomplishing 0.2% of the required carbon emissions benchmarks: we’re miserably failing and no where near schedule.
  • In October 2022, New York City published updates to sweeping (but vague) legislation to enforce carbon caps on buildings—in efforts to reach the necessary emissions benchmarks by 2030 and 2050.
  • Major cities are quickly following suite—Boston, etc—by creating penalties and tax credit incentives to Building Owners in exchange for compliance.


Before a Building Owner can answer “what should be,” they need to first answer, “what is.” That is, the existing condition of their building.

  • The problem? 99.9% of the world’s 1.6 billion buildings have one thing in common: bad building information.
  • Building Owners don’t have an accurate picture of their building’s information (and worse: most owners and departments of buildings wouldn't admit it).
  • By “information,” we mean: the dimensional data (1’s and 0’s) and spatial data (3D and 2D file formats) that best describes a building and the stuff inside.
  • A bad “picture” of your building’s information means inaccurate, incomplete, or out-of-date data. It wastes money, time, and effort because Owners can’t easily visualize what they own—accurately.
  • 3 important examples of building information include:
  • Gross floor area: Gross floor area is a key metric for any building owner. And now, that metric is required by city agencies to dictate the allowable carbon footprint. And yet, our data has shown this key gross floor area metric is almost always wrong.
  • Building plans: Building plans are a prerequisite for an architect or engineer to determine what systems to upgrade and ultimately submit reports and permit drawings to the city. But our data has shown the landlord’s “Record Drawings” are almost always outdated or non-existent.
  • Equipment inventory: Equipment inventory for commercial and institutional buildings helps inform energy usage, tenant occupancy, and maintenance schedules. And yet, our data has shown that even the most sophisticated organizations in the world with a large real estate portfolio are tracking their equipment inventories in outdated and “not-to-be-trusted” spreadsheets 😳
  • An inside job: Unlike streets and building exteriors, the insides of buildings are, by definition, private and hard to survey due to a lack of access.
  • And yet, accurately surveying the interiors of buildings is the most critical piece to accurately solve for:
  • Gross floor areas
  • Floor Plans
  • Equipment inventories

Bottom line: Trying to decarbonize a building without first verifying and owning an accurate building “picture” is like walking in the dark.

Integrated Projects, New York, NY

  • Today, a Building Owner pays $1-$2 per square foot to each design professional that creates a survey of their building—and takes weeks or months.
  • Typically, a Building Owner contracts 2 to 3 independent consultants like:
  • Surveyors
  • Architects
  • Engineers
  • And pays them each $1.00 to $2.00 per square feet—simply for them to subcontract a portion of the work to a surveyor to document your building’s “existing conditions.”
  • For a 100,000 square foot office building, that’s about $100,000 to $200,000 simply to produce a survey.
  • The survey takes weeks or months to produce depending on the size and complexity of your building.
  • The coordination involved between the independent consultants results in uncoordinated, piecemeal, and a slow delivery of an Owner’s survey.
  • And yet, the costs of “not knowing” are far greater.

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