Monumental (formerly known as Terraform) is reversing construction’s decades-long productivity collapse by making construction software-defined and autonomous.
We're working towards a future where beautiful, bespoke buildings are built within a single day with minimal labor and maximum safety. Today, we’re excited to unveil our new name and share the progress we’ve made.
“We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us” – Winston Churchill, bricklayer
Two years ago, we set out to transform the construction industry. We did so with a clear mission, an audacious vision, and a barely working prototype robotic crane. What drove us then, as it does now, was the belief that the productivity collapse in construction is one of humanity’s biggest and most underrated problems. While technology has revolutionized nearly every aspect of modern life, it left construction behind. Since the 1960s, construction has worsened on nearly every dimension: it is slower, more expensive, less durable, and less beautiful. Ninety-two years ago, New York City’s Empire State Building rose in just 410 days, remaking its skyline. Today, to assemble a building of such significance, at such speed, is unthinkable.
It’s hard to overstate just how much this decline matters. Construction is literally the making of our built world. It develops the homes we live in, the offices where we head to work, the depots and silos that store our goods, and the restaurants, museums, and movie theaters we use for recreation. It is an embodiment of our culture and a powerful economic engine, representing 13% of global GDP.
Others have tried to address this problem, at least in part. Modular buildings and pre-fabricated materials have all been touted as solutions to construction’s woes and while they help plug some gaps, we believe that construction needs a bigger, more ambitious approach, that also meets the reality of the market.
Fast forward to today and our initial thesis is becoming real. In the past two years, we have built working autonomous ground vehicles that can traverse a construction site and move around construction material. We’ve also built robots designed to build traditional masonry walls, our initial product offering.
Behind these robots is a sophisticated machine vision stack that allows them to accurately localize on a construction site, and state-of-the-art software stack that models both the site and the robots themselves. We built all of this hardware, machine vision, and software ourselves, in house, with a team of just fifteen people. We’re successfully deployed on construction sites for our customers today, working alongside other (human) subcontractors on industrial and residential projects with many more to come.
Monumental is at a massive inflection point. We’ve de-risked the technology that has killed many attempts in this space before, figured out a business model that works and have strong customer demand. It’s not every day that a hard tech startup reaches this juncture.
We built a small but exceptional team, driven by a love for innovation, a desire for better, and the ambition to make a dent in a civilization-scale problem.