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The New Technologies Working to Address Key Climate and Housing Challenges With Mateo Zimmermann, Chris Bone and Tim Davies.


 In the ninth episode of Season 11 of the Propcast, host Louisa Dickins is joined by Mateo Zimmermann,Investment Manager at CEMEX VenturesChris Bone, Co-Founder & CEO at Modulous and Tim Davies, CEO at HiiROC Ltd.

Episode Highlights:

  • The work that each of the businesses do and how they collaborate
  • The work HiiROC are doing to try and make hydrogen more affordable
  • The main issues currently facing the construction industry and the work being undertaken to try and find solutions
  • How these issues can impair innovation and make the industry quite risk averse
  • The work Modulous are doing on ESG
  • The challenge with bringing new talent into the industry who can help drive innovation and technology adoption
  • Why it can take longer to see the rollout of new technologies within the space
  • The different speed of innovation adoption across the industry and the frustrations this can cause      
  • The investments CEMEX are making in companies working on green construction
  • The issues with supply/ delivery of materials and the work CEMEX are doing to try and resolve this
  • The future they all see for construction




Key Takeaways:

  • CEMEX have been amazing for us through this process because they’re thought leaders in their space. They have great views on how the industry can be changed and that’s something that we’re very keen to help facilitate. Our vision is to help solve the housing crisis while protecting the planet. – Chris
  • We are rolling out the production of hydrogen, but we’re working with partners like CEMEX to say how do we use it in the right setting? So how do you use it to produce cement? How do you use it to produce steel or for transport? – Tim
  • We can only tackle the challenges our industry are facing, and I want to emphasise on that,  if we industry players collaborate to build a better future. – Mateo
  • We’re continually looking at both the physical product and the carbon content of that product. And until you understand the carbon content, it’s very difficult to drive change, to improve that, or to be able to track it and understand exactly what level of carbon is, in our instance being put in our buildings. – Chris
  • It’s a very tight margin business. Therefore, when you look at cement or steel and the like to suddenly introduce a much higher energy cost because you’re using hydrogen, not natural gas or whatever else is nigh on impossible. So we as technology providers have to provide the solution that makes it affordable. – Tim
  • I think the paces are also a little bit different. There’s obviously a lot of innovations in terms of materials that are happening, but not necessarily there is an adoption on the job site right on construction. – Mateo
  • It’s very inefficient and obviously materials are a large part of the construction budget. So from 40 to 60% depending on the country and it’s highly inefficient. It’s actually one of the biggest  reasons for delays in construction. – Mateo


About our guests

Mateo Zimmermann

Mateo Zimmermann is Investment Manager at CEMEX Ventures, responsible for the Corporate Venture Capital Investments in startups in the Construction technology space.

Before joining CEMEX Ventures, Mateo worked at The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) from 2013 to 2017 as a Management Consultant, where he promoted to Project Leader. He previously worked at StepOne as an Advisor for startups and corporates in their Digital Strategies. Before that he worked as an Investment Analyst in Private Equity and Corporate Debt at the Asset Management division of Arcano. He also worked for UBS and Electrolux Group. Mateo has a double degree in Engineering and Management. He graduated as MSc in Industrial Engineering and Management at Technische Universität Berlin (Germany) and obtained a Master in Management at ESCP Europe (Paris, France). He was born in Madrid (Spain) and has both the Spanish and German citizenship.


CEMEX Ventures

The global economy has endured a tough 2022. With decades-high inflation sapping post-lockdown spending and pushing central banks to hike borrowing costs at an unprecedented clip to bring it under control. Yet despite poor projections and an overall decline in VC funding, 2023 represents an optimistic year for startups in the ConTech sector. Predictions point to trailblazing new technologies and business models entering the industry to improve sustainability and reduce the global carbon footprint.

That’s why CEMEX Ventures, the corporate venture capital and open innovation unit of CEMEX, goes beyond simply investing. Since 2017, CEMEX Ventures develops relationships between entrepreneurs, investors, CEMEX, and other corporations in order to revolutionize the construction industry as we know it today.


Chris Bone

Chris is CEO and co-founder of Modulous, the construction technology company that was formed to address the global housing crisis while reducing the climate impact of real estate development. Chris has 25 years’ experience in the construction industry, having managed businesses across consulting, manufacturing, and construction. At Modulous he is responsible for all aspects of the company’s growth and development in the UK, Europe, and the USA.


Modulous was founded in 2018 by a team of construction, technology, and manufacturing specialists to create an asset-light model for the design and delivery of sustainable homes. Its integrated digital and physical product suite is designed to make the whole construction cycle – from feasibility right through to delivery on site – more efficient and effective.

Its software platform generates optimised schemes based on a Kit of Parts, which is manufactured within the supply chain, removing the need for dedicated factories. The Kit of Parts is a standardised set of assemblies providing a high-performance net-zero modular housing system, delivered in half the time of traditional housebuilding, with 70% less waste and 60% lower embodied carbon.

Modulous has offices in London and Seattle and is the first globally scalable technology solution to address both the worldwide housing crisis and escalating climate emergency.


Tim Davies

Tim has held Chief Executive & Board roles across a variety of sectors including green-tech, retail & service-providers working with both corporates and start-ups. He has a proven track record of identifying and delivering new business opportunities and considerable value creation including 20 years’ experience working for PE & VC-backed businesses. Now, as CEO of HiiROC, Tim and his team have developed a technology with a potentially transformational impact on Climate Change.  


A transformational new technology for affordable, clean hydrogen production using world leading proprietary plasma technology. HiiROC’s Thermal Plasma Electrolysis (TPE) uses renewable (or grid) electricity to split hydrocarbons (biomethane, flare gas, natural gas, propane, etc) into zero-emission Hydrogen and inert solid Carbon Black (i.e. without producing CO2).   

TPE works at a fraction of the cost of Water Electrolysis, without the CO2 emissions of Steam Methane Reforming and is scalable from micro onsite (saving transport & storage costs) to industrial scale. The highly versatile technology is being piloted globally in 2023 across the hydrogen sectors from industrial decarbonisation to transport to grid blending and power management whilst also being used for flare gas mitigation and CO2 reduction using biomethane. 


About Our Host

Louisa Dickins

Louisa is the co-founder of LMRE, which has rapidly become the market leading global PropTech recruitment platform and search consultancy with operations across North America, United Kingdom, Europe and Asia-Pacific.

To promote the industry she is so passionate about, Louisa set up the Global podcast ‘The Propcast’where she hosts and invites guests from the built environment space to join her in conversation about innovation.

About LMRE

LMRE is globally recognised for leading the way in Real Estate Tech & Innovation talent management.

From the outset our vision was to become a global provider of the very best strategic talent to the most innovative organisations in PropTech, ConTech, Smart Buildings, ESG, Sustainability and Strategic Consulting.

At LMRE we are fully committed at all times to exceed the expectations of our candidates and clients by providing the very best advice and by unlocking exclusive opportunities across our global network in the UK, Europe, North America and Asia-Pacific.



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