Home building technology has been on fire in the last few years, as start-ups near and far rush to bring their ideas to the market. But the adoption of the technology has been sporadic at best, leaving some homeowners to wonder just how the future of construction will be affected. Learn more about the more prominent trends, and how they're influencing the larger market.
Before a construction company starts to build a new construction home, they have to pick a site first and then hire a dumpster rental company. That's where drones come in. Drones aren't technically a building technology, but drones can be used and applied to real estate to cut down on the number of hours a developer spends looking for the right location. Drones do more than just tell a developer the general dimensions of the land—they show them the condition of it as well. If the neighbors have started using the grounds as their own personal garbage dump, the developer can factor this into their final decision.
Sizing Up the Land
If a developer wants to move forward and possibly buy land, they can use a 3D scanner to understand more about the exact dimensions and the impediments on the land. So if there's a stockpile or overgrown trees and bushes, the scanner can accurately depict how wide and how tall these obstacles are. It's a further step that developers can use to find the most hospitable place to build their homes.
Constructing the Home
Construction is one of the more dangerous jobs an employee can choose. Between the machinery and tools, accidents are common. Virtual or augmented reality allows construction workers to learn more about the property they'll be working on prior to stepping onto the job. By confronting the hazards in a virtual environment, they can learn the tricks they need to avoid injuries or property damage.
A New Kind of Worker
Brick-laying robots are not only efficient, but they're also five times faster than an average employee. These robots have advanced a lot in the last few years, making them more capable in the face of obstacles. For example, a robot of the past may have stopped working if it encountered a small hole in the soil. Today, it can continue working with only minor adjustments. Robotics may be a controversial topic in today's economy, but they could also be the solution to the shortage of workers in the construction industry.
Simple homes consisting of the frame, windows, and wiring can be manufactured off-site before being shipped to the location of the home. This option accomplishes two key objectives:
- Speeds up the rate of production
- Decreases the total expense of the project
Those in need of low-cost housing may have more options as these homes become more available. This technology is also entirely customizable, allowing homeowners to select a home layout that works for them.
Memory Shape Polymers
Imagine a shirt that has a small rip along the side seam. If it had memory shape polymers, it could literally repair itself in front of the shirt owner's eyes. We may not have that kind of technology for shirts, but home foundations are another matter. Self-healing concrete can repair itself after the normal shifting of a home and minimize the total impact caused by larger natural disasters.
In the same vein of self-healing concrete, nanoparticle paint is an ultra-durable building material that can resist the more common threats. From water stains to scratches, this paint is designed to handle even the most boisterous group of teenagers. The future of residential construction aims to lessen the homeowner's need for constant maintenance. This will not only save homeowners over time but also preserve the home's resale value.
3D scanners aren't the only 3D technology making waves in residential construction. Start-ups are creating 3D printing machines that can construct homes from start to finish. These homes cost just a few thousand dollars to produce, making this technology a potential solution to the demand for low-cost housing.
3D printed Springbank new homes are theoretically entirely up to code and ready for move-in immediately after construction. Considering it takes just a couple days to erect, it's a huge step forward in construction technology. It will likely take some time before real estate catches up to these homes, but it's certainly something homeowners should take note of.
The future of home building is ultimately yet to be decided, so homeowners should stay on top of new technology. However, these trends have shaken up the market enough to make headlines and attract the developers and investors of Canada to the table.
Justin Havre is the top producing REALTOR® with RE/MAX First, Canada's very first RE/MAX brokerage. Calgary real estate is his passion; Justin specializes in Southwest & Northwest Calgary homes for sale. He can be reached at 403.217.0003 or contacted through this site.