Innovation transforms construction into production
Affordable housing is a cornerstone of healthy, diverse cities, and it’s necessary for citizens’ wellbeing and economic opportunity. But it’s becoming harder and harder for urban dwellers to find comfortable, affordable places to call home.
In most cities, homes and residential buildings are still constructed the way they were 80 years ago. Despite new technologies that allow more automation, workers still perform highly repetitive tasks and custom-fit construction materials together on site. When you begin to imagine construction in the context of modern manufacturing, you begin to see how construction can transform into production and subsequently, how the cost of building new homes begins to fall.
This idea is not as radical as it sounds. American department store Sears began selling prefabricated home kits in the early 1900s, and throughout the mid-century, various architects had their own little flings with prefab. The concept never truly caught on, but now, it’s beginning to get a closer look.