How can the construction industry help tackle the urban housing crisis?

In 2014 we were commissioned to conduct in-depth research into the state of the construction industry in North America. (insert link to ‘Concept Home’ Fidelity research here)

One of the goals of the project was to improve and modernize the housing industry and develop a modular housing prototype that would be of high quality, desirable contemporary suburban homes and increase construction efficiencies.

We undertook analysis of parallel trades, such as aviation, technology, and automobile industries uncovered transferable lessons that can be applied to architecture. 

Construction Industry Progress.jpg

The construction industry is a paradox. The annual global growth rate is more than 3%, but the sector is in crisis: prices are soaring, jobs remain unfilled, and demand far outstrips supply. The crisis can be attributed to one broad shortcoming: unlike almost every other industry, construction has been reluctant to modernize and thereby boost its productivity. The car factory of 2019 looks nothing like the car factory of 1919, whereas the construction site has hardly changed during that time.”

 - Boston Consulting Group,

“The Offsite Revolution in Construction”, 2019

Key lessons from other industries which we have applied to our system:

  1. An integrated team of designers, engineers, shop fabricators, site fabricators, supply chain managers, etc. 

  2. Reduced number of parts and suppliers (via the optimization of materials, design, processes, and subassemblies).

  3. Hyper management of supply chain. 

  4. Radical reduction of labor via computation, robotization, and material innovation

  5. Kaizen - review, critique, improve; review, critique, improve; repeat

Given the desperate shortage of good quality, affordable homes, we need to invest in well-designed solutions that can be built with speed and economic efficiency. Off-site construction and fabrication of housing, particularly with cross-laminated timber, can directly address this issue.

 

Add summary of Harrison Ave or the Bozeman projects here.

CLT Supply Chain.jpg

Key lessons from other industries which we have applied to our system:

  1. An integrated team of designers, engineers, shop fabricators, site fabricators, supply chain managers, etc. 

  2. Reduced number of parts and suppliers (via the optimization of materials, design, processes, and subassemblies).

  3. Hyper management of supply chain. 

  4. Radical reduction of labor via computation, robotization, and material innovation

  5. Kaizen - review, critique, improve; review, critique, improve; repeat

Given the desperate shortage of good quality, affordable homes, we need to invest in well-designed solutions that can be built with speed and economic efficiency. Off-site construction and fabrication of housing, particularly with cross-laminated timber, can directly address this issue.

 

Add summary of Harrison Ave or the Bozeman projects here.

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Currently, we are invested in applying these principles to urban environments through affordable housing solutions and multi-family housing developments. By considering supply chain logistics, fabrication, transportation and assembly, we have developed a flexible kit-of-parts system that can respond to site, program and local building codes.

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