We all know about the blue, yellow and green bins... 😜...but there's a lot more behind recycling. ♻️ Especially on a big scale like construction and manufacturing. We had a chat with Veselin Mihaylov from One Click LCA. He's a Database Expert in the company, that just striked a €40M investment. Scroll down to get to know more about the concept of reusing building materials, what might be the job of the future and what's the role of sheep in buildings. Baa-aa-aa. 🐑🐑🐑

Tell us a bit more about the story of One Click LCA and your role in it:

One Click LCA 🔗 is a decarbonization platform for construction and manufacturing. 🏗️ We are developing a software assessment instrument to measure, report, and reduce the carbon footprint ⬇️ ⚫ 👣 of buildings, infrastructure, and products.

In other words, if a building company wants to cover a Green Building Certificate 📄 , it would be great for them to use our tool because it covers all the viable GB certification schemas - software-wise and database-wise. We’re a full-blown in-house operation, covering everything - software development, business development, customer support, the whole cycle. 🔄😜

The team consists of more than 170 people and it keeps growing. When I entered the company, I was amongst the first 10. 💪 The HQ is based in Helsinki, Finland. 🇫🇮However, you can’t source for talent and expertise in your hood only, so we are pretty international. We have colleagues on all liveable continents. 🌏

I myself am a Database Expert on building materials and their environmental footprint. What I do is an environmental impact assessment of the types of building materials, followed by compiling the data in databases and integrating them into our software.

What's the achievement that made you the proudest so far?

There is no specific achievement - I consider each of the things that our company does to be of equal importance.❗But as an overall reflection - the biggest names in the construction industry all work with us. 🤝 We support global customers in 150+ countries, including blue-chip enterprises such as Skanska, AECOM, and WSP. 🔗

In November '23 we signed a strategic partnership with PSG Equity 🔗 and InfraVia Capital. 🔗 A growth investment in the amount of €40M. 💰 We look at it as a hugely strategic partnership benefiting all parties: us as a software company in the construction-sustainability business, PSG as a mature investor in software, and InfraVia as heavy experts in infrastructure and technology investment. This partnership is well described with: "And this is where it all fits into place". 🧩

[Editor’s Note: Read more @ €40M strategic growth investment in One Click LCA from PSG and InfraVia 🔗 ]

Do you believe that the big bright future might be based on taking out the most of the past?

Oh, you did shoot me here! 🎯 Let's see. 👀 Humankind will only continue to increase the number of buildings. 🌆 But all the materials inside them have a finite amount in the relatively easy-to-acquire places - mines, etc. If we accept that recycling = taking out most of the past ♻️, then yes - it will be more and more relevant and the future is bright there. ☀️ As long as it's done with the right level of study and thought. 🧠

For example, it’s a pop culture myth that all natural materials are ecological. I did a study on sheep wool 🐑 and its usage for building isolation. The end numbers showed that it might not be the most ecological option, although it's 100% natural.  But if we take bricks 🧱 as a material - they’re ecological in the long run. You can use and reuse a brick for 300 years, as long as the buildings, thus - the materials in them, are disassembled the right way.

At the same time, when I say that recycling is the bright future, I certainly don't mean recycling everything at all costs. In my study years in Linköping, Sweden, I got to know that the city has an entire thermal power station 🔋 that runs on municipal solid waste - our house trash. 🗑️ Waste is even imported internationally for the sake of that power station's functioning. Why imported? Because there is not enough local garbage to burn as local people are convinced that everything must be recycled at all costs. So, we again had a study at the University which found that in this particular location, this might be a not-so-optimal solution. The streets are heated up even in the summer as a result of this entire process.

To sum up - every single activity has an ecological footprint, the important thing is to look at its impact in perspective. That's exactly why our industry is super important. It's not just another number on the label.

Would you advise people to start working in your field or not? Why?

I'd definitely recommend them to do it as soon as they can if they're looking for the type of job that creates an impact. It's an industry of the future. I'm participating as a mentor in Mentor The Young's 🔗 program precisely with the idea of promoting our field in Bulgaria and putting the spotlight on what professions exist within that industry.

I also gave a lecture at the University of Architecture, Civil Engineering, and Geodesy, here in Sofia, to explain to the students how to, roughly speaking, make money 💸 in this field. Nowadays there are entire departments in large construction companies that deal exclusively with sustainability in construction. At One Click LCA, we have a free online academy that is suitable for anyone, even for beginners. [Editor’s Note: Click Here 🔗 ]

How did you find Puzl and why did you decide to join the Community?

It was an ecological decision of course! 😁 I live across the park, so it's convenient for me to travel with my bike. 🚲 As they say, you need to practice what you preach. Speaking of it - it’s a funny fact that when we renovated our HQ, only 10 kgs of trash came out of it. For scale, the office is around 350 sq.m. and it was a full-on renovation.

Back to the question, I first joined at the very start of Puzl. 🧩 Had a “short” pause while living in Finland but then it was a no-brainer to rejoin when I came back. I like how the coworking is made, in terms of architecture and design. 🛋️ And I truly appreciate the contacts I'm making here and the people I meet. 👋

What's your favorite joke, saying, or just advice that you'd like to share with everyone?

Temperance is good when it’s temperate. [Editor’s Note: the original Bulgarian saying is “Прекален светец и Богу не е драг.”] 

Take it easy and distribute your energy evenly. ✌️ Value your personality and develop it in the parts that make you - You. Independent of work, environment, and other external factors. Start with your inner comfort before focusing on the outer one. ☮️

Something else I’d like to share with all readers is the concept of Mass Timber Buildings. 🪵 🏢 These are buildings of eight stories or higher, constructed entirely from wood. It’s turning into a movement worldwide. You can find some splendid examples here, here, and here. 🔗

Got you interested? Check https://www.oneclicklca.com/ 🔗
Wanna know more? You can add Veselin Mihaylov on
Linkedin or find him on the Factory 2.0 floor for a chat. 🗣️