Envelope’s core IP grew from a longtime collaboration between SHoP–one of the world’s most innovative architecture firms–and Sarah Williams, a GIS expert, professor, and the Director of MIT’s Civic Data Design Lab. Between 2008-2015, they undertook the herculean task of modeling the wildly complex 4,300-page New York City zoning resolution into 3D software.
Since 2015, Envelope’s team of software engineers, applied mathematicians and zoning experts have continued their work, augmenting and refining the zoning rules, expanding geographically, and making the technology easily scalable to new cities.
Read our origin story
Today, Envelope is a leading provider of technology-enabled professional zoning services, merging our cutting-edge technology with deep zoning expertise. We offer legal-quality analysis and architecture-quality visualization at a fraction of the time and cost. Our clients are developers, cities, not-for-profits, community boards, brokers, appraisers, zoning attorneys, and more.
We realized early on that our more-accurate data and massing capability created a unique opportunity for us to identify acquisition targets that take advantage of our mastery of complexity, citywide. So we built a Search tool to be able to query our own massing results, and a suite of predictive analysis that guide the optimal timing, location, and pricing for acquisitions. We profit from this capability via exclusive JVs with the world’s largest real estate developers in the most complex cities.
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