Orobo: Designing a Circular Built Environment Ecosystem with Blockchain

Connecting Off-take Recovery with Manufacturing to Enable a Zero-waste Economy






Strategy & Research

Experience and Service Design

How businesses choose to operate in the coming decades will be a pivotal domino effect on the survival of our planet.
Alongside Kryha, our Blockchain partner, we've developed an innovative approach for businesses to transform business ecosystems for circularity.


The built environment takes up approximately half of the world's raw materials, with Construction generating roughly a third of global waste and 40% of CO2 emissions. To help businesses in the built environment practice responsibility for their carbon footprint and alleviate their environmental impact, Chemistry, Kryha (our blockchain partners), and SoNow (our circular expert) came together to develop OROBO's minimum viable product. 

OROBO's vision is to be a neutral platform that tracks the flow and use of materials in a value chain. They seek to achieve traceability while preserving privacy and maintaining circular compliance, giving stakeholders the peace of mind and accountability of operating in an environmentally responsible value chain. 

What We Did: 

In this R&D project, we identified the immediate challenges for such an undertaking:

  • The traditional built environment still operates in a linear take-make-waste model that drastically impacts the environment.
  • Despite increasing demand for sustainable materials,  increasing resource unavailability and supply chain instability have led to a volatile market.
  • Singapore's Green Plan 2030 and the Alliance for Actions provide the parameters for our solutions to align with Singapore's trajectory to be a Green Role model.
  • In contrast with the ideological and financial promises a circular economy holds, particular challenges continue to stall the adoption of circularity.

With these considerations in mind, we pinpointed our focus on two areas — developing a circular business model for the built environment and assessing the digital technologies that would enable our solution. Through a user-centric iterative design approach, we sought to explore the question: How might we leverage blockchain technology to stimulate the adoption of more circular business practices while proving circularity as a viable business model,  thereby addressing the challenges of our current production model and consumption?

The Result: 

This project established a partnership between Singapore and Netherlands companies to develop the Orobo platform. We ultimately designed an initial MVP that demonstrated the creation and transfer of digital twins for physical assets, validated blockchain technology as a viable means to enable value chain collaboration to accelerate, and advocate for material circularity. With this MVP, We were able to onboard key stakeholders onto the platform with an expressed commitment to being premier users, marking the project as a successful use case for a circular economy and zero-waste management for the built environment. 

Not sure where to start?

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