Element zero can increase or decrease the mass of a volume of space-time when subjected to an electrical current. With a positive current, mass is increased. With a negative current, mass is decreased. The stronger the current, the greater the magnitude of the dark energy mass effect.
In space, low-mass fields allow FTL travel and inexpensive surface-to-orbit transit. High-mass fields create artificial gravity and push space debris away from vessels. In manufacturing, low-mass fields permit the creation of evenly blended alloys, while high mass compaction creates dense, sturdy construction materials.
The Andromeda Initiative's technology relies heavily on mass effect fields, from reduced-mass supply drops for outposts to the impressive long-range drive cores on the arks.