bird s eye view of buildings under construction

Using the Power of AI to Change the Construction Industry

bird s eye view of buildings under construction
Photo by Juan Cruz Palacio Mir on

We had to opportunity to connect with René Morkos, whose many successes and accolades include founding a clean tech company that uses the power of AI to change the construction industry. They implement this technology to create construction schedules that reduce risk while cutting costs by 11% and build time by 17%. ALICE Technologies helps develop the ideal schedule during pre-construction, and they recover projects that are off schedule and over budget.

Tell us a little bit about you and your background:

I’m the founder of ALICE Technologies and an adjunct professor at Stanford University’s Ph.D program in construction engineering. I obtained my Ph.D. in artificial intelligence applications for construction as a Charles H. Leavell fellow at Stanford.

I’m a second-generation civil engineer with over 15 years of construction industry experience that is divided between industry and academia. My professional experience includes working as a project manager in Afghanistan, underwater pipeline construction, automation engineering on a $350 million gas refinery expansion project in Abu Dhabi, ERP system implementations, and various Virtual Design and Construction projects.

What is a fun fact about you?

I have a cat named Onyx who “adopted me” by leaping into my car in a parking lot.

Why do you think climate change and sustainability is such an important topic today?

We work in the construction industry, an industry in which there is significant waste and in which both the production of production materials and the operation of the machines required to build produce substantial amounts of carbon emissions. If our industry can find ways to reduce these emissions, we can make a big impact on the health of our planet.

What do you envision your industry looking like 10 years from now?

I believe that with the smart application of technology, the construction industry can become significantly greener than it is today. In 10 years, we will build using materials that are more energy-efficient, and we will produce them more efficiently as well. More construction machinery will be powered by electricity, rather than diesel engines. And companies like ALICE will help general contractors to optimize their project schedules to trim both costs and carbon emissions.

What can the average person do to make a difference?

When it comes to the built environment, the average person can insulate properties they already own, or if evaluating potential homes or commercial spaces, they can look for those that are well-insulated. They can also prioritize attributes like energy-efficient windows and doors, low-flow toilets, and water-efficient showers.

René Morkos

Green.Org is a television show, podcast, social media, and news platform, hosted by Dylan Welch, that highlights climate change scientists, renewable energy experts, and clean tech entrepreneurs by giving them a voice in the mainstream media. The Green podcast highlights leading experts in cleantech, sustainability, media, finance, and real estate. Tune in and subscribe to the podcast on Apple or Spotify to listen to interviews with leading cleantech and sustainable experts. If you are interested in being featured on Green, click HERE.

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Dylan Welch
Dylan Welch is the CEO and Host of Going Green, a podcast, website, and social media brand that highlights renewable energy, cleantech, and sustainable news.
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