Creating a New Pattern for eCommerce
Cities worldwide are changing in the face of challenges for sustainability and healthy living. As our built environment evolves, some organizations are making it their mission to rethink and reorganize the places where we work and gather.
One such company is Canoa, founded in 2020. It offers a cloud-based design, construction, and inventory management platform for fast, adaptive, low-carbon, reconfigurable retrofits of office, retail, and other commercial spaces.
Canoa provides ready-made design templates and planning specifications, and it manages its customers’ desks, chairs, equipment, appliances, and other inventory after construction or retrofitting is complete. The platform runs in a web browser, so there’s no software to install, equipment to buy, or files to track.
“Our mission is to use technology to build and manage interior spaces in more sustainable ways,” says Lance Amato, Head of Compliance at Canoa. “Sustainable” is not just a buzzword at Canoa. It’s a calling. The founders are serious enough about reducing carbon and waste in the spaces they design and manage that they published a manifesto on their website.
Bringing these kinds of spaces to life is a complex, multistage process, and Canoa has a network of trusted installation partners across the United States. “People told us that starting a business like this during COVID was either courageous or stupid,” Amato says, “but we were able to secure enough funding, and we quickly started to grow.”
Smart, Efficient, and Sustainable Management and Design
One of the first steps in any retrofit process is surveying and documenting the as-built conditions, traditionally a laborious and error-prone process. But with Matterport, Canoa can capture a space and convert it into a digital twin, a virtual replica that includes accurate spatial data and 3D imagery in 4k resolution.
“The old surveying tools weren’t reliable enough, and we rarely got all the data we needed the first time we used them,” says Amato. “Once we started using Matterport, we captured and measured everything correctly the first time, and we can do it in one session.”
Using Matterpaks, Canoa generates accurate floor plans. The floor plans help Canoa redesign spaces and allocate assets for clients with ease and accuracy. After importing floor plans into their proprietary design platform, Amato and the team are able to reimagine the space and assets utilizing existing inventory and supporting design requirements with sustainable products. Canoa then re-evaluates the physical conditions of the space bi-annually utilizing Matterport reality capture and updates their floor plans accordingly.
Helping customers design their spaces is only the first phase of Canoa’s service. Many of its customers have preexisting spaces or are moving into spaces with a preexisting inventory. Tracking and managing the inventory and including it in a construction or retrofit plan is a time-consuming, manual process that creates friction every step of the way, not only when it’s time to move in, but months and years down the road.
“It’s surprising how few organizations keep track of their inventory well enough that they even know what they have,” Amato says. “Even fewer of them have any idea what their inventory’s carbon footprint is or how many hundreds of years it will take an office chair to break down after it’s tossed into a landfill because one of its wheels broke. We can’t ensure that our clients are using sustainable products in an environmentally conscious way without accounting for everything first.”
Canoa uses Matterport to tally and track all of it. Every desk, chair, appliance, and piece of equipment is tagged with a physical sticker with an RFID tag that is captured on Canoa’s digital platform technology, using Matterport two-dimensional floor plans. Furniture and other items naturally move around over time as employees come and go or as spaces are reimagined and reconfigured, so every three months, the space can be scanned again using Matterport to ensure the inventory tracking is up to date.
In addition, Canoa helps its customers repair and maintain equipment inventory. If, for example, the refrigerator in the break room stops working, a customer’s employee or facility coordinator can scan the tag with a cell phone and trigger a service call ticket for Canoa or the designated facilities manager. With the digital twin for reference, the service ticket recipient immediately gains an understanding of the location of the item that needs attention and access the Mattertag for asset details.
Capturing Spaces is Easier and Less Expensive Than Ever
Canoa is a relatively new company, but Matterport isn’t new for its founders. They used it for years before starting the company, some at architecture firms, others as managers of coworking spaces. What is new for Canoa is that capturing spaces is easier and less expensive than ever. Thanks to Matterport Capture Services On-Demand, customers can place an order for an experienced Matterport Technician to scan a space and deliver a ready-to-use digital twin within 72 hours.
“We rely on Matterport Pro2 and Leica BLK3 3D cameras for the detailed planning and design stages. Matterport Capture Services On-Demand is cheaper and easier than purchasing cameras and capturing spaces ourselves,” Amato says. “Scheduling only took two minutes the first time we did it, and we received a finished digital twin the next day. The technicians are extremely professional. They only needed 45 minutes to scan 1200 square feet, and it cost much less than doing it ourselves. I would have used this service a long time ago if it had existed.”
For Amato, quickly receiving high-quality digital twins is only one of the benefits of using Matterport Capture Services On-Demand. He also notes the considerable savings in time and money for Canoa.
Using Matterport Capture Services On-Demand costs 30 percent less than if we send someone who lives in the same city to do it,” he says, “and it costs 70 percent less than sending someone long distance. At the end of the day, it makes sense to delegate this to people who capture spaces for a living so we can focus on what we do best—designing and managing spaces and inventory so our customers can thrive.”
While a Matterport Pro2 or Leica BLK360 camera is needed to capture a space in exacting detail prior to construction, quarterly inventory scans don’t require as much data, so a simple cell phone camera can do the job. “A quick walk-through with a cell phone captures all the imagery and data we need to show the layout, floorplan, and inventory—and it requires no expertise,” Amato says. “It’s so easy that our customers can do it themselves without investing in special technology.”
Canoa helps tenants and building owners design, plan, build, and manage office, retail, and other commercial spaces. It specializes in sustainable, low-carbon, reconfigurable retrofits.
Brooklyn, New York
Commercial Real Estate
Use technology to sustainably design and manage commercial spaces
Matterport for Mobile
Matterport Capture Services On-Demand
Canoa uses Matterport digital twins to capture all visual and spatial data and measurements. This saves time and money during the design and planning stages and for ongoing inventory management.
- Site survey costs reduced by up to 70 percent
- Faster, more accurate measurements of as-built conditions
- Efficient, automated, and sustainable inventory management