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Preoptima wins Innovate UK Grant

Read Time 4 mins | Written by: Preoptima Communication Team

London, 15th of November 2023 

Planning Application Carbon Evaluation and Reduction (PACER)


Preoptima has been awarded a £300,000 grant from Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), to develop the Planning Application Carbon Evaluation and Reduction (PACER) platform for local authorities.

The 12-month project aims to create a cloud-based tool that validates whole life carbon assessments of planning application designs to lower the whole life carbon (WLC) in the built environment.

The grant is part of the Net Zero Living Digital Accelerator round 1, which is investing up to £1.5 million in innovation projects to support ambitious, early-stage digital-focused businesses in developing and delivering Net Zero solutions. The competition seeks to accelerate the development of high-growth businesses that will drive digitalisation across the UK and globally in Net Zero sectors.

PACER will be developed in collaboration with Westminster City Council, the leading London local authority in carbon reduction, drawing input from council representatives from other boroughs. The platform will provide a quick, reliable, and accurate tool to validate WLC assessments of designs in a standardised manner, allowing for traceability and transparency. This will result in a lower WLC footprint of approved building designs that in turn adhere to and exceed standards and regulations.

The development of PACER is crucial for local authorities, as they govern which construction work gets planning permission and are the gatekeepers to lower WLC in the built environment. Local authorities have been given a shrinking carbon emissions budget to be allocated across their jurisdiction, yet they have no tool to quantify carbon accurately and consistently across the hundreds of pages of unfiltered long-form documents that pass their desks.

PACER will address this bottleneck and allow local authorities to leverage the enormous potential carbon savings in the built environment, radically improving the pathway for the UK's national Net Zero commitments, starting by addressing the UK built environment’s 40% stake in annual emissions. In addition, on completion, the Preoptima solution will scale beyond the UK to other global governments and jurisdictions.

Preoptima's PACER platform, alongside their current product offering Preoptima BUILDING, will transform building design and WLC management for building stakeholders and local authorities. Preoptima BUILDING allows building stakeholders to shine a light on the carbon impact of every individual design choice that they make, enabling them to make informed carbon-based decisions and easily produce accurate WLC reports for planning application approval. In turn, the PACER platform will allow local authorities to validate the WLC assessments of these designs at the click of a button, resulting in the approval of lower WLC buildings and the decarbonisation of the built environment.

At Preoptima, we are thrilled to be part of the Net Zero Living Digital Accelerator and to contribute to the development and delivery of Net Zero solutions. We are committed to creating a sustainable future and are grateful for the support from Innovate UK to help us achieve this goal.


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