Five Technologies that will change the future of homebuilding
Parker Associates is always looking at the cutting edge of the industry and, in a recent meeting with the developer of the largest developments in Florida, we were asked what the future homebuilder will look like. Where is the industry going and what will the homebuilder become? These are excellent questions and, though we can’t say exactly what the homebuilder will look like, we can look at some of the influences that will change the industry.
Some technologies that continue to develop are going to be significantly affecting the homebuilding industry. With increasing costs of building materials and workers booked solid with the hot market we are in, the homebuilder will be looking at innovations to cut costs as much as possible. Here are some of the technologies pointed to by John Ellis, in a Q&A from BUILDER Magazine, and we concur will be helping to change the industry.
The top five technologies for builders below might seem a strange list since some of these technologies are not specifically related to home building. That said, they are important for builders to follow and understand. Here’s why:
- 3D Printing. This technology has made significant leaps and bounds in the last few years. The first 3D commercially viable 3D printed car was debuted in 2015 and is now available for purchase. In 2016, the Oak Ridge National Laboratories showcased the first viable, fully 3D printed home suitable for every-day living. 3D printing will continue to improve and soon it will be possible for anyone to print just about anything. In the not too distant future, it is likely that every house will have a 3D printing room which will be used to print everyday objects like plates, cups, towels etc.
- Wireless Power. Imagine a world without cords or outlets. Where devices of all shapes and sizes are able to operate continuously, and as needed, have their batteries charged. This is the future of wireless power. And the future is much closer than people realize. One company promises commercial viable product before 2020. If that happens, this will have a profound impact on how homes of the future are built.
- Nano-particle Paint. This new technology is poised to revolutionize the world. Exceptionally hardened surfaces, self-cleaning surfaces, and dynamic-color changing surfaces are just a few examples of what is possible with nano-particle paint. We can imagine future homes that are never dirty, resistance to mold, mildew and other such destructive forces and can change colors at the whim of the owner.
- Autonomous cars. While not directly related to the materials for home builders, autonomous cars are set to change the home building experience forever. As autonomous cars permeate the market, people will become more accustomed to the vehicle as a utility rather than a thing to own. Over time, the idea of personal ownership will be replaced with on-demand services. When that happens, there will be no need for garages, driveways and maybe even streets. A future home in a world that is fully autonomous will be dramatically different than today’s homes. The Millennials are already embracing this idea as they drive less and use services such as Uber more.
- Drones. Yet another technology that is not directly related to home building but will have profound impact on the home of the future. We are moving quickly to a place where individual ownership of drones will be commonplace. Imagine sending your drone to the local Target or Costco to be loaded with goods that you purchased from an online website and the drone returning to your home. The future home likely will have a drone-pad similar to a helipad today.
None of these technologies is that far into the future. They are all viable today and can be incorporated immediately. It’s a matter of builders breaking from the binds that keep them from innovation. They often just follow the same old processes they were taught or that other builders are doing.
Builders of the future will likely find niches while retaining a smaller staff with more efficiencies. They will look to new technologies that allow for innovations and unique selling propositions. In a hot market, most builders are doing well. But, in a down market, they will have to look to cost effective and more efficient methods of constructing homes.
WiFi will bring all the Internet of Things (IoT) devices together and will connect the home in its entirety to the Internet. WiFi has already transformed households by removing the need for RJ45 cables from the construction. These other technologies will continue to alter the homebuilding industry
Home building in 2025 will likely include a lot more “technicians” focused on tuning the wireless power, or calibrating the nano-particle paint. In terms of tools, there will definitely be 3D printers used to create parts in real-time. We also can envision there will be a lot of computer equipment likely in a trailer that is used to manage the building, configure the different instruments, sensors and products and to functionally test and verify the house is doing what it supposed to do.
Parker Associates works extensively on understanding your market, your consumer, and your goals. We don’t just make it up, we take the time and commit the resources to researching the market and the consumer make sure we get it right. We are YOUR advocate by being the Consumer advocate.
Spend time looking at what you are trying to acquire, develop, or sell to learn how you can improve the success of what you are offering. Parker Associates helps understand the consumer by answering WHO will buy, WHAT they will buy, and HOW they will buy it. When the research is completed and the analysis is done, having the answers to these questions will reveal what will provide the best success for your project. Keep asking WHO, WHAT, and HOW and keep developing to fit the need.
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David WB Parker is a principal of Parker Associates of Jacksonville, Florida, marketing consultants to the real estate industry; President of PTC Computer Solutions, IT Specialist, and an active real estate sales professional with PARFAM REALTY based in Jacksonville, FL. He can be reached at 904-607-8763 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org.