Innovations in Residential Home Construction

Written by  //  November 4, 2020  //  Construction Materials  //  Comments Off on Innovations in Residential Home Construction

home construction

The trend toward smart homes and appliances that participate in the internet of things is becoming more widespread. Yet, innovations in residential home construction continue to appear. Here are a few recent developments.

Prefab Accessory Dwelling Units

Also known as granny flats or guest cottages, prefabricated small homes that fit into a backyard are coming to areas where housing is expensive and in short supply. These prefabricated homes can be partially customized with different finishes and colors.

These small but comfortable living spaces make it possible for families to make room for one or two more without creating a morning rush for the bathroom. Catching on in California, where the city of San Jose has adopted a fast-track permitting program to allow construction, these backyard dwellings can be installed in a matter of weeks.

Artificial Intelligence, Robots, and 3D Printing

While these innovations are mostly still in development or used in large commercial construction, the day is coming when a human project manager may work alongside a robotic bricklayer. Robots also could help with the manufacture of prefabricated or modular homes.

At Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands, a giant 3D printer can print with concrete. Researchers are trying to figure out how to automatically add reinforcement, so rebar or netting can be printed along with the concrete instead of being inserted manually.

Artificial intelligence, machine learning, and Building Information Modeling improve scheduling and monitoring construction projects, providing data on subcontractor performance, risk management, and cost calculations.

Augmented Reality and Cloud Collaboration

Different than virtual reality, augmented reality will allow homebuyers to “see” what the basic model will look like with upgraded features and materials, superimposing different finishes on model homes. AR can also help homeowners visualize what a remodel will look like, and even select colors, flooring, and fixtures by seeking what they’ll look like when installed.

More project management will exist in the cloud, allowing construction teams at different locations to communicate with and update each other about progress, materials, and contingencies.

While cloud-based software and augmented reality are available now, 3D printing and robotic construction workers are a long way off. Homebuilders and remodeling contractors must still offer responsive customer service, and customized solutions for homeowners doing their research about choosing a builder.

Many of the newest innovations are currently too expensive to be practical for small contracting companies. But high-end home buyers and those looking for custom construction will display increased interest in green building and energy efficiency. Developing knowledge and skill with modular and prefab home construction is one way to stay current with innovations in residential construction.

image credit: Pixabay

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