Added to our portfolio in 2017, UpCodes, a San Francisco based startup founded in 2016 by Garrett Reynolds and Scott Reynolds that provides online tools for AEC (Architecture, Engineering and Construction) industry to search & manage building-codes and stay compliant has raised $3.36M in Pre-Series A funding.
The funding round was led by Berlin based VC, Point Nine Capital in participation with Liquid 2 Ventures, Flex Capital, Capital X Fund, Bragiel Brothers and PlanGrid’s co-founders: Kenny Stone, Ralph Gootee, Ryan Sutton-Gee and Tracy Young.
UpCodes now has about 500,000 monthly active users. The company’s paid customers include construction firms like Stantec and ARCO National Construction, architecture firms SOM and Ennead, and Airbnb, Cornell University and the State University of New York. It is also used by rental tenants, landlords, homeowners, general contractors, plumbers and electricians — basically anyone with a question about building-code compliance.
UpCodes’ first product was a searchable database of building codes with collaboration tools. Then in 2018 it launched UpCodes AI, a tool that scans 3D models created with building information modeling (BIM) data and alerts architects about potential issues.
The company’s newest feature, its code calculator, is designed for people who have compliance questions, but might not know how to navigate building codes, which differ between municipalities, contain multiple sections and often have amendments attached.
In response to questions like “how much square footage is allowed per floor,” “how many exits does this floor need” or “what is the maximum corridor length allowed,” the code calculator generates a list of requirements, with links to the relevant building-code sections. The feature is currently available for more than 40 states as part of UpCodes’ paid plan.
“Our end goal is that no matter who you are or what level of sophistication you have with building codes, you can go into a friendly interface and answer your code question,” said Scott, who worked as an architect before launching UpCodes. He notes that even at architecture, engineering and construction firms, which often work with code consultants as part of their compliance process, employees have differing levels of familiarity with referencing building codes.
“We’ve heard from users that they’ll be looking at one particular section of the code, and they’ll make the building compliant to that, but not realize there’s a more stringent piece of code somewhere else, like say the fire code compared to the building code,” he added. “It causes huge downstream issues because they don’t have the full picture of it, so that’s what we’re trying to solve.”
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