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  • (upbeat music)

  • - The home of the future.

  • It's been a dream for decades but can we build one

  • right here in Austin, Texas.

  • The Verge and Curbed have partnered to bring this dream

  • of the home of the future to life.

  • I'm Grant Imahara and our goal is to construct

  • a house that combines cutting edge technology

  • with innovative design.

  • We wanna see if some of the latest smart home systems

  • and high-efficiency design can create

  • a more secure and convenient environment.

  • and actually improve our daily living.

  • How do we build this Home Of The Future?

  • Well, it all begins in the factory.

  • (eeeeing of grinder)

  • In east Texas construction company, evolution,

  • builds roughly 85% of its houses inside this

  • 265,000 square foot warehouse.

  • Each year they complete about 50 homes.

  • These fully constructed modular units can be finished

  • in 1/3 of the time it takes to build a house onsite.

  • (crackling of welder) (eeeeing of grinder)

  • (baarrring of drill)

  • The power of prefabs or prefabricated homes

  • is that they can be mass produced

  • without compromising quality of design

  • and structural stability.

  • The assembly line construction begins

  • with pouring the concrete floor

  • and once the slab's been laid down cranes and hoists

  • pick them up and take them to the line.

  • But the scale of this assembly line

  • is bigger than most.

  • Instead of cars, it's houses.

  • How long's it take from when a slab comes in

  • to the finish line?

  • - We have 17 stations.

  • If we were doing one box a day you could have

  • a complete box in anywhere from five to six days.

  • - [Grant] (chuckling) wow.

  • The house is assembled as it rolls

  • down the line on a track.

  • The walls are installed on top

  • then wiring and plumbing.

  • It goes from station-to-station,

  • to sheet rock, the top is placed on,

  • until there you have it, a complete unit.

  • Technically Luna House is a prefabricated home.

  • For me at least when I first heard about

  • prefabricated homes I have this idea

  • that they are cheap or low quality.

  • Where do you think that that comes from?

  • - I think a lot of it comes from certainly

  • post-World War II era and the association as well

  • with prefab with modular housing

  • which we also associate with the mobile home.

  • So you have that kind of connection in many peoples minds

  • even in so far as a lot of prefab construction

  • is actually quite high-end.

  • - [Grant] This is Michelle Addington,

  • the Dean, of The University of Texas

  • at Austin School of Architecture.

  • - The opportunity to have much more precise control

  • over manufacturing in particular is what enables

  • the greater quality.

  • And so by going factory-built you have

  • an opportunity not only for higher quality control

  • but the opportunity to use much higher-end materials

  • because they can be protected in the factory

  • in a way that they're not gonna be

  • as protected on a home building site.

  • - [Grant] The downside is that you can't deviate

  • from the design once you begin.

  • So, you better be sure this is what you want.

  • Our Luna House has three bedrooms and is 60 feet long,

  • and, that's not changing.

  • And because the factory is a giant assembly line

  • a problem with one house can delay

  • all the other projects behind it.

  • In fact, our original house was delayed so long

  • that we needed to switch to a house further along the line.

  • But even with delays like these the total amount of time

  • from blueprint approval to completion

  • is around six months on average

  • where as a typical on-site construction

  • could've taken up to a year.

  • - Architects have actually been trying

  • to accomplish some level of factory-built housing

  • for a hundred years and so it's gained some traction

  • and some popularity in the last decade

  • with the increasing popularity of design.

  • I think in a general level that happens with Apple,

  • it happens in the

  • popular press-- - In everyday life.

  • - In everyday life and so I think that that's

  • kind of transmitted over to architecture as well.

  • - [Grant] Architect, Chris Krager, is the founder

  • of Ma Modular and is the designer

  • of the house we're building.

  • We're here at his home.

  • - [Chris] Our business was founded with a primary goal

  • of making modern, that kind of architecture,

  • financially accessible.

  • - [Grant] The design we're building is called,

  • The Luna House floor plan made of three modular pieces.

  • Modular design means these units can be configured

  • in multiple arrangements.

  • They can even be stacked to create multiple floors.

  • You can think of them like big Lego blocks

  • that an architect can use to create

  • the best design for the needs of the homeowner.

  • Our house is composed of three main pieces.

  • One large module that includes one bedroom,

  • kitchen and living room and a smaller module

  • that has two bedrooms connected by a bathroom

  • and a third module for the entryway

  • that acts as a connection for the other two.

  • - [Chris] We're working with a framework

  • that I think is amenable to open-floor plans,

  • lots of windows and so I think it is very modern-friendly.

  • You also get to choose all your fixtures

  • and finishes, flooring.

  • There's definitely adequate room for customization

  • with the finish in the house.

  • - I gotta say, I knew that it was modular construction

  • but it really didn't feel like it.

  • - That is our goal with the design for it to feel,

  • not just like not a modular house,

  • but to feel like an architect-designed house.

  • - If you were to drive on this block you'd say,

  • well I think an architect designed that

  • so it automatically ups its cache.

  • - [Grant] But there's still a lot of hurdles

  • before you can really think of this kind of construction

  • as being, the future of home building.

  • - When you deal with something that's premanufactured

  • there's a tremendous amount of upfront cost

  • in setting up that type of manufacturing

  • particularly if you wanna get the economies of scale

  • of building large.

  • If we think about single family homes

  • there is very little upfront investment.

  • You can basically build in real-time

  • in terms of procurement of materials.

  • So the costs are incremental from that standpoint.

  • - [Grant] While we wait to see

  • what the future will hold for factory-built homes

  • our home has already been placed on the ground.

  • Right now though, it's still just a shell.

  • Over the next few months we'll work to finish off

  • everything inside of the home, create our own

  • power generation and storage and fill it

  • with the latest connected technology

  • for comfort and convenience.

  • It'll be hard work, but in the end

  • we'll get a glimpse into what it means

  • to actually live inside the home of the future.

  • Thank you so much for watching.

  • Now I'm sitting here in our home of the future

  • but I'm curious to know what you think you need

  • in your home of the future?

  • Let us know in the comments below

  • and we'll see ya next week with a new episode.

(upbeat music)

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B1 US modular grant design home construction factory

We built the Home of the Future with Grant Imahara

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    Henry 楊 posted on 2020/06/07
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