How New Home Building Technologies Will Shape the Future of Home Buying
Buying a home today is still very much about the standard features of the structure: square footage, number of bedrooms, and practical amenities. But in 20 years, home buyers may only want to buy a home that was constructed by a 3D printer or one that was built with a foundation of concrete that can heal itself from trauma or time. If this sounds like sci-fi, it might be time for home buyers to learn more about how new advancements and products are currently shaping the industry. Learn more about the technology behind home building, and how it's likely to affect future sales.
While certainly one of the more controversial technologies of tomorrow, brick-laying robots are able to work at a rate that a human simply can't sustain (3,000 bricks a day vs. 500.) At first, they could work with only the simplest of designs. If there was any potential hiccup that came along the robot wasn't prepared for, they would immediately malfunction. But today, they're far more adaptable to on-site complications. The robot is currently unable to work without human intervention (it still needs human hands to load the materials), but this may change in the future.
Shape Memory Polymers
Materials are starting to be made with the ability to heal itself, which ultimately means that homes will be more resilient to damage and degradation. The most famous material this has been applied to is currently concrete, with more and more people demanding that roads be repaved with this incredible technology (to save on taxes.)
But considering that it's just as likely for a foundation to crumble over time as a road is, it might not be long before this technology is in high demand for new home building as well. A homeowner who can keep the structural integrity of their home intact over the course of ownership (without having to do anything) will be an awfully attractive benefit to those who want to save both money and time.
3D Scanners / Drones
Both 3D scanners and drones give details about potential building sites to help construction leaders determine whether or not the property is worth utilizing. Much of the information that professionals work with is out of date. They may believe a property to be empty, only to find that a small forest has started growing or that vandals have ripped up part of the site.
A drone shows the grounds as a whole, and the 3D scanner supplies the additional details to provide even more insight. So if there's a row of hedges on the property, the drone will show it's existence, but the scanner will show how high and wide the hedge is so builders know what they're getting into. These devices are mainly helpful to investors or to clients who choose to construct their own El Segundo homes.
3D printing has made headlines around the world, including China, Russia, and the US. Start-ups have proven that they can 'print' homes using advanced machinery. Not only can these homes be completed for as little as $4,000, they're also fully up to code and finished in less than 24 hours. The benefits of these homes can mean anything from more affordable property values to new architectural feats that no human has even imagined as of yet.
Right now, the focus has been on humanitarian causes, but the technology may soon allow for more elaborate homes to be built. 3D printers can also make inexpensive models of homes, which means that clients and investors have more insight into the building process.
The Shape of Tomorrow
No one knows how this new construction technology will impact us or even if it will become mainstream. A 3D printer might be able to create a home for pennies, but the cost of creating the actual printer is prohibitive to most people. We're still learning more about how shape-memory polymers work in the real world. But there continues to be a general progression to solve these very basic problems. For example, engineers continue to tinker with the robots so they can handle the many stresses on an actual construction site. With fewer people entering the building trades and more people retiring, this may be just what the industry needs to keep it afloat while simultaneously speeding up the construction process.
No matter what kind of relationship a home buyer has with technology, it's helpful to learn more about what's on the horizon in preparation for the future. These techniques may make the dream of homeownership a reality for people who once believed themselves to be locked out of the market.