World’s first floating pod homes launched in Panama starting at $295,000

The luxury smart homes receive deliveries by drone and come with underwater marine detection cameras

Panama will be home to the world’s first community of floating SeaPods, with the inaugural pod now in the water at Linton Bay Marina in Colon.

Ocean Builders, a company specialising in innovative marine technology, has officially launched what it says are the first floating eco-restorative pod homes in the world.

Perched three metres above sea level on the Caribbean coast of Panama, the futuristic units are designed to accommodate two people and are on sale now, with prices ranging from $295,000 to $1.5 million.

Floating pod homes launched in Panama

By December, the first overnight guests will be able to bed down in the pods, and 100 fully-owned units will be ready for full-time residents by summer next year.

A second batch of more than 1,000 of the pods will go into production next year.

Designed by Dutch architect Koen Olthuis, the futuristic SeaPods are geared toward climate-conscious travellers who want to live on the water, but don’t want to give up the luxuries of modern living.

Continue reading… “World’s first floating pod homes launched in Panama starting at $295,000”

Why the rental housing market is so deeply broken

By Felix Salmon

Why it matters: The U.S. is in desperate need of more high-quality rental housing. Homeownership works for many — and doesn’t work at all for many others, who might not be ready to settle down or might not have the financial means.

The big picture: Venture capitalist Marc Andreessen has invested $350 million, his largest check ever, into Adam Neumann’s new company, Flow

  • Andreessen’s blog post lays out his investment thesis, that renting a home is “a soulless experience.” 
  • The details of how Flow will work are still vague, but they’re likely to include amenitization — bells and whistles for apartment renters — as well as some kind of financial upside.

What they’re saying: “Someone who is bought in to where he lives cares more about where he lives,” writes Andreessen. “Without this, apartments don’t generate any bond between person and place and without community, no bond between person to person.”

  • In New York, I’ve lived in both owned and rented apartments, and the community in my rental building was just as vibrant and tight-knit as anywhere I’ve owned.
  • Neighborhoods characterized by very low home-ownership rates — think Harlem, in New York, or Hialeah, in Miami — often boast deep and lasting communities stretching across generations and decades. 
Continue reading… “Why the rental housing market is so deeply broken”


Perth construction robotics company FBR has announced its has won a $500,000 contract for its first multi-home construction project as part of its Wall as a Service (WaaS) construction system.

The Hadrian X bricklaying robot will construct eight two-storey townhouses at a development site in St James, Perth, with the robot constructing the slab, footings, structural walls, second storey slab and roof trusses.

The $5 million project by Riculallo Pty Ltd will start as soon as approvals are achieved and be completed using normal manual construction systems.


Nearly half of Americans selling their homes don’t plan to buy another: Here’s what they’re doing instead

“It is not surprising sellers are opting to rent, due to the all-time high housing prices.”

By Shawn M. Carter

The housing market is red-hot and showing few signs of slowing down. Home prices were at a median $386,888 in June, according to Redfin, up 24% since last June. And demand is high: The average house lasted just 14 days on the market, a whopping 25 fewer than last year.

While that seems like welcome news to sellers looking to cash in, 45% of people told that even after a home sale, they don’t plan to buy another house right away.

Researchers polled 2,800 homeowners in June to see how the crisis changed their plans. Here’s why people are forgoing the purchase of another house and what they’re doing instead.

Continue reading… “Nearly half of Americans selling their homes don’t plan to buy another: Here’s what they’re doing instead”

3D printed house of the future to have AI meals and robots doing washing by 2035

The Future Smart Energy Consumer study looks at how technology and our quest to be more sustainable will change our home lives by 2035 as clever gadgets revolutionise mundane chores and help create a more environmentally friendly lifestyle

By Adrian Hearn

Families could eat meals designed by artificial intelligence and employ robots to do their washing and tidying around their 3D printed homes – in just 15 years, a new report claims.

The Future Smart Energy Consumer study looks at how technology and our quest to be more sustainable will change our home lives in 2035.

Artificial intelligence (AI) assistants could direct security drones around our fully automated properties – investigating issues such as intruders and devices using more power than they should be, indicating an issue.

Hydroponic gardens will be popular, using smart meter enabled settings to control heat and energy use to provide the perfect environment for growing herbs and plants.

And households won’t be caught out with broken down white goods, with energy data patterns from smart meters predicting when washing machines and fridge freezers will fail.

Continue reading… “3D printed house of the future to have AI meals and robots doing washing by 2035”

Sleeping Pods Installed in a German City to Protect Homeless People From Freezing Winter


The German city of Ulm is piloting individual windproof and waterproof sleeping pods to provide shelter for homeless people during the freezing winter months. The pods, dubbed “Ulmer Nests,” will prove life-saving for people in need.

The Ulmer Nests were launched on Jan. 8 and were placed in parks and other places where homeless people usually sleep in the city of Ulm, 75 miles (120 km) away from Munich according to a city spokesman, reported The Independent.

Continue reading… “Sleeping Pods Installed in a German City to Protect Homeless People From Freezing Winter”

Web Summit 2019: This is what the house of 2025 could look like


The way we sleep, eat and retreat from the world around us is poised for significant transformation, David Eun, Samsung’s Chief Innovation Officer, told this week at Web Summit.

Eun presented a sketch of Samsung’s vision for the house of the future. The aim is to foster experiences on a foundation of technology and innovation, he said, “the likes of which we have never seen before.”

With the advent of 5G, the percentage of connected devices in the home will continue to grow, “and in the near future, the question won’t be how many devices are connected. The question will actually be, how many devices are not connected.”

Continue reading… “Web Summit 2019: This is what the house of 2025 could look like”

Construction tech startups are poised to shake up a $1.3-trillion-dollar industry

 Rebar Construction

Rebar is laid before poring a cement slab for an apartment in San Francisco CA.

In the wake of COVID-19 this spring, construction sites across the nation emptied out alongside neighboring restaurants, retail stores, offices and other commercial establishments. Debates ensued over whether the construction industry’s seven million employees should be considered “essential,” while regulations continued to shift on the operation of job sites. Meanwhile, project demand steadily shrank.

Amidst the chaos, construction firms faced an existential question: How will they survive? This question is as relevant today as it was in April. As one of the least-digitized sectors of our economy, construction is ripe for technology disruption.

Construction is a massive, $1.3 trillion industry in the United States — a complex ecosystem of lenders, owners, developers, architects, general contractors, subcontractors and more. While each construction project has a combination of these key roles, the construction process itself is highly variable depending on the asset type. Roughly 41% of domestic construction value is in residential property, 25% in commercial property and 34% in industrial projects. Because each asset type, and even subassets within these classes, tends to involve a different set of stakeholders and processes, most construction firms specialize in one or a few asset groups.

Continue reading… “Construction tech startups are poised to shake up a $1.3-trillion-dollar industry”

AI plastering robot developed for construction sites


Amid the ever-increasing use of artificial intelligence (AI) robots at construction sites, a new robot that can perform concrete plastering work on its own has been developed.

 Hyundai Engineering Co., a plant engineering affiliate of Hyundai Motor Group, announced on Wednesday that it had developed the nation’s first AI plastering robot that can flatten concrete floors by itself, adding that it has applied for related patents.

The AI plastering robot, which was developed in collaboration with Robo Block Systems, is a device that rotates two motors with four micro blades to flatten a floor infilled with concrete.

Compared to existing floor plastering machines, the newly-developed AI robot features a lighter design and a greater usability. By making use of an electric motor, the AI robot generates less noise compared to existing machines that use gasoline motors.

The patented ‘AI plastering robot floor flattening technology’ precisely measures the concrete-infilled floor space with a 3D scanner.

Continue reading… “AI plastering robot developed for construction sites”

3D printing for residential in market-ready: Germany’s first building is under construction


The first 3D printed residential building in Germany, built by PERI GmbH, and designed by MENSE-KORTE ingenieure+architekten is undergoing construction in Beckum, North Rhine-Westphalia. The two-story printed detached house with approx. 80 sqm of living space per floor is using a system put into practice in Germany for the first time. In fact, the construction technique has come through all of the regulatory approval processes over the last few weeks and months.

3D printing technology for residential construction is now market-ready. Part of North Rhine-Westphalia’s “Innovatives Bauen” or innovative construction development scheme, the first residential 3D printed building is under construction in Germany. In collaboration with Schießl Gehlen Sodeikat, the Technical University of Munich, and MENSE-KORTE ingenieure+architekten, the two-story house is being built for the client Hous3Druck GmbH. A milestone for 3D construction printing technology, the construction of the 3D-printed residential building in Beckum, has engendered other residential printing projects to be drawn up in Germany, according to Thomas Imbacher, Innovation & Marketing Director at PERI GmbH.

Continue reading… “3D printing for residential in market-ready: Germany’s first building is under construction”

‘Zoom towns’ are exploding in the West


And many cities aren’t ready for the onslaught.

First, there were boomtowns. Now, there are Zoom towns.

The coronavirus pandemic is leading to a new phenomenon: a migration to “gateway communities,” or small towns near major public lands and ski resorts as people’s jobs increasingly become remote-friendly. This is straining the towns’ resources and putting pressure on them to adapt.

A new paper published in the Journal of the American Planning Association shows that populations in these communities were already growing before COVID-19 hit, leading to some problems traditionally thought of as urban issues, like lack of affordable housing, availability of public transit, congestion, and income inequality. And while COVID-19 has accelerated the friction, the study suggests that urban planners can help places adjust.

There has been a drastic increase in remote work since March, when the pandemic hit the U.S. Nearly 60% of employees are now working remotely full or part time, according to a recent Gallup poll. Nearly two-thirds of employees who have been working remotely would like to continue to do so, according to that same poll. That would seemingly give workers a lot more flexibility when it comes to where they call home.

Continue reading… “‘Zoom towns’ are exploding in the West”

COVID-19 has changed the housing market forever. Here’s where Americans are moving (and why)


 Amid all the uncertainty brought on by COVID-19 over the past six months, one thing is assured: the pandemic has re-ordered real estate markets across the board on an unprecedented scale.

Some of this may be irreversible. Real estate’s re-sorting this time isn’t just based on markets crashing (the Great Recession), political turmoil (the 1979 oil embargo), or financial speculation (the first and second busts)—after which there’s generally confidence that overall consumer demand and buyer preferences will sooner or later snap back to normal.

Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, more deep-seated, tectonic-sized questions beyond markets and interest rates are being asked this time around that no one really has the answers to yet—like will people feel safer living in the south and southwest where they can spend all year social distancing outside? What if companies let workers work remotely for the rest of their lives? Why go back to retail shopping when I’m already ordering everything online? What’s the point of living “downtown” if half of the restaurants, bars, and museums never open back up?

How these questions get answered will fundamentally re-order how Americans live in the “new” pandemic normal, and as a result will play a huge X-factor in which cities and states will experience growth, demand, and price appreciation over the next 3-5 years, and which ones will stagnate and lose out. More broadly for large metropolises like Washington, D.C., New York City, and Philadelphia, the answers risk slowing or even reversing a wave of gentrification and wildly profitable downtown revitalization that’s been accelerating since before the Great Recession.

Continue reading… “COVID-19 has changed the housing market forever. Here’s where Americans are moving (and why)”

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