Investors Take Note: Building Tomorrow's Homes Today With Tech-Driven Evolution Of Modular Housing


Modular factory-built housing is enjoying a transformation, from a boring industry producing bland utilitarian structures to a dynamic tech-fueled market. Artificial intelligence (AI) is a key driver of this change, as it can improve multiple aspects of modular home building from design and materials usage to site selection. 

AI can optimize modular construction at all stages of the process, from design and assembly to quality control. When integrated within Building Information Modeling (BIM) programs, AI will generate multiple improvements.

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A BIM is a digital model that oversees a building's lifecycle and shows both the physical dimensions of the building as well as various characteristics:

  1. Optimized designs as the AI learning tool can suggest modular components for structural strength, material efficiency and manufacturability. This can lead to lighter, stronger and more cost-effective components.
  2. AI can plan the prefabrication of the different components at optimal efficiency and cost. By reviewing process sequencing, understanding the availability of workers and equipment and gauging space in the factory, AI can spot roadblocks and opportunities that are not visible to humans. Builders can use these AI insights to streamline their labor costs and scheduling by using the right number and type of workers to fit a given demand or project. 
  3. AI tools can automate quality control checks on various modular components and assemblies. This allows builders to catch errors earlier in production and enables them to present higher-quality work that earns referrals and repeat business. 

AI can also help builders create different iterations of various designs based on a site's particular characteristics. Perhaps a site is fairly narrow and requires a longer yet narrower modular build, or the structure needs a stronger structure because of earthquake risks. No matter the circumstances, AI can assist by recommending design and structural changes based on various characteristics and can learn over time to fine-tune those recommendations. 

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Builders can also improve their logistics with AI. They can add AI capabilities to improve delivery forecasting, remove bottlenecks and delays, account for weather-related problems and improve driver and loader scheduling. AI can also map and optimize trucks, to streamline how prefab components fit on the truck so they are more protected and easier to load and unload. 

Another opportunity for AI comes with robotic affordable housing solutions. AI-powered robots can perform tasks such as bricklaying, plastering and painting with precision and speed, reducing the time and workforce required for these tasks. AI can also analyze material usage with special algorithms that can minimize waste and allow builders to operate more sustainably while saving money. AI-powered robots with 3D printing capabilities can further limit waste, as they construct precise components that do not require adjustments or trimming. AI robots can also improve safety by handling hazardous materials or identifying safety problems on job sites and then informing workers in real-time so they can make adjustments and work with caution. 

AI will also play a key role in the design and planning of affordable housing projects. An AI tool can analyze large data sets on population growth, trends affecting the urbanization of different areas, expected demand and other data points. It can then combine and analyze this data to help urban planners and government agencies spot areas that need more affordable housing projects. AI can also correlate the types of housing that will best fit the particular in-need communities. 

ZenniHome is a startup firm that offers the latest innovations in factory-made housing. The company crafts every home at its Arizona factory, which enables it to control quality, minimize waste, avoid weather-related delays, stay on schedule and provide clients with precision construction. It builds easily transported stackable living configurations filled with technology solutions for comfortable modern living. 

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