🇮🇸 39 construction start-ups get sustainability grants

By Elías Thorsson - February 23, 2023
The winners’ semi-circle (📸: Government of Iceland)

By Elías Thorsson

REYKJAVÍK — THIRTY-NINE Icelandic start-up and research projects have received a total of 95 million króna (€600,000) in grants from that country’s construction fund.

Founded in 2021, the fund, Askur, aims to support innovation in construction and related industries. The recipients were announced yesterday at a ceremony hosted by the ministers of infrastructure and of higher education, science and innovation.

Grants were awarded in five different categories: construction material, quality, energy efficiency and emissions, construction renovation and technological innovation.

“The fund plays an important role in supporting Icelandic innovation and research in the field of infrastructure and construction,” the infrastructure minister, Sigurður Ingi Jóhannsson, said. “Such projects will help us decrease emissions and improve living standards and our society.”

The focus this year was on environmentalism, with the fund writing that the construction industry was responsible for 40% of carbon pollution globally. According to higher education, science and innovation, Áslaug Arna Sigurbjörnsdóttir, making industries of all kinds more sustainable is vital.

“The challenges brought forth by climate change touch on all aspects of society. Such challenges demand innovation and new solutions,” she said. “We need to empower the construction industry to take steps towards sustainability.”

The fund received a total of 49 applications this year.

Grant recipients by category

Construction material

Grantee                                 Project                                                           Amount in króna
Kristján Friðrik Alexandersson / Gerosion ehf. AlSiment green concrete-free adhesive anchor 4,000,000  
University of Reykjavík Environmental research on wood glue 1,500,000  
University of Reykjavík Environmentally friendly concrete 4,000,000
Eyþór Rafn Þórhallsson/ University of Reykjavík Bláþráður — environmentally friendly improvement of concrete 4,000,000
Margrét Ormslev Ásgeirsdóttir /Rockpore ehf. Production of tens of thousands of green construction material in the Jarðefnagarðinum industrial park 4,500,000
Neuza Isabel Da Silva Valadas / University of Iceland Climate-sustainable cities: construction using carbon negative materials and regenerative methods 2,500,000
Gerosion ehf. New Icelandic cement development 4,000,000
Guðni Jónsson / EFLA Comprehensive guide to concrete factory monitoring. 1,500,000
Gústaf Adolf Hermannsson Guide to the risks of wood glue 2,000,000
Ólafur Haralds Wallevik / Háskólinn í Reykjavík Mineral utiliisation to decrease the carbon footprint of normal and environmentally friendly concrete 4,000,000
Anna Kristín Karlsdóttir / Biobuilding ehf. Construction of Iceland’s first hempcrete building and the future of hempcrete. 3,000,000
Björt Ólafsdóttir / Iða ehf. Resource circulation and decreased carbon footprint of Icelandic buildings 1,000,000
Alexandra Kjeld / Efla ehf. The lifecycle of construction material in Iceland 1,000,000
Rósa Dögg Þorsteinsdóttir Vistbók – database of sustainable construction material in Iceland 1,000,000
Total   38,000,000




Jónas Þór Snæbjörnsson / University of Reykjavík Wind load concerns for building design 5,000,000
Johanna Raudsepp / University of Iceland Where do all the happy people live? 2,000,000
Anna María Bogadóttir / Úrbanistan ehf. Híbýlaauður 3,000,000
Anna Sigríður Jóhannsdóttir Daylight quality in Icelandic apartments 2,000,000
Auður Hreiðarsdóttir / Esja Architecture Hospitals in Iceland’s four farthings 2,000,000
Hannes Frímann Sigurðsson / University of Reykjavík Analysis of low productivity in the Icelandic construction industry 2,000,000
Karl Kvaran The role of green spaces in residential areas 1,000,000
Total   17,000,000

Energy efficiency and emissions 

Jónas Þór Snæbjörnsson / University of Reykjavík The energy consumption of buildings: optimisation and measurements 4,000,000
Eiríkur Ástvald Magnússon / Ventum ehf. The construction of communication infrastructure in cold areas and its impact on energy usage 2,000,000
Hallgrímur Örn Arngrímsson / Verkís Sustainable transportation of minerals in the capital region 3,500,000
Áróra Árnadóttir / Grænni byggð The definition of carbon neutral construction in Iceland 2,000,000
Ásgeir Valur Einarsson / Iðan fræðslusetur Building insulation testing  2,500,000
Matthías Ásgeirsson / VSÓ ráðgjöf The benefits of improved energy consumption of older buildings 1,000,000
Valdimar Jónsson / Bjarkarlækur ehf. Hringrásarhús — A guide to the future 1,000,000
Total   16,000,000


Construction deficiencies, humidity and mould

Veðurvaktin ehf. Humidity damages and drenching rain in the capital region 5,000,000
Dóróthea Höeg Sigurðardóttir / University of Iceland Moisture damage in buildings in cold climates: A literature review 2,500,000
Sylgja Dögg Sigurjónsdóttir / Efla hf. Survey of the state of humidity in buildings and analysis of the dangers of mould 3,000,000
Sylgja Dögg Sigurjónsdóttir / SDS ráðgjöf Air quality and air venting in elementary schools 1,000,000
Ármann Halldórsson / Mannvirkjastofa ehf. The measuring of microbes in attic dust 1,500,000
Total   13,000,000


Technological innovation

Ásta Ósk Hlöðversdóttir / VSB Verkfræðistofa Guide to the design of solutions to sustainable surface water challenges 3,500,000
Ásta Ósk Hlöðversdóttir / VSB Verkfræðistofa The design and application of rainwater ditches 2,000,000
Vala Smáradóttir / Lauf Green solutions for the construction industry 2,500,000
Jóhannes Loftsson / Breather Ventilation The development and testing of a new ventilation system 1,000,000
Gautur Þorsteinsson / Cubit Building Company Cubit Building Company. A new construction method 1,000,000
Auður Ástráðsdóttir How Lean BIM cal lean to green BIM in Iceland 1,000,000
Total   11,000,000


This article has been fact-checked by Arctic Business Journal and Polar Research and Policy Initiative, with the support of the EMIF managed by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation.

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