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

BY LOUISE BEVAN

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.

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

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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.”

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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.

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AI plastering robot developed for construction sites

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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.

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

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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.

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‘Zoom towns’ are exploding in the West

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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.

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

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 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 dot.com 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.

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More Korean women live alone

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More than 3.09 million Korean women live alone, with growing numbers engaged in economic activities, government statistics showed.

 

According to Statistics Korea, one-woman households accounted for 50.3 percent of the total 6.14 million single-person households this year.

The statistics agency expects the number to continue to rise to reach 3.23 million by 2025 and 3.65 million by 2035.

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A new startup is recruiting gig workers to help landlords evict people from their homes, calling it the fastest-growing moneymaking gig because of COVID-19

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A new startup is recruiting gig workers to help landlords evict people who can’t afford to pay rent during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Civvl, which Motherboard described as “Uber, but for evicting people,” has posted job listings across the US that encourage gig workers to join the app and work as eviction crew members.

Civvl notes that landlords are looking to hire workers to evict tenants who can’t afford to pay rent, advertising the gig as the “FASTEST GROWING MONEY MAKING GIG DUE TO COVID-19.”

The CDC is imposing a moratorium on all evictions across the US, but Civvl’s terms appear to pass on responsibility to landlords to ensure that evictions carried out through the startup are legal.

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Getting old needs a new look

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The pandemic has exacerbated issues like social isolation in U.S. nursing homes and assisted-living facilities. But problems with the living situations of older Americans long predate the coronavirus.

Covid-19 has exposed the lethal vulnerabilities of nursing homes and assisted-living facilities. Can better design make aging safer?

In at least one way, the United States’s tragic response to the coronavirus hasn’t been an outlier: Just like in the rest of the world, the consequences of the pandemic were amplified inside living facilities for older adults.

As of August 13, at least 68,000 residents and workers in long-term care facilities in the U.S. have died from the coronavirus, according to New York Times research, a number that comprises more than 40% of the nation’s total. That percentage that’s been matched or exceeded by other countries across the globe. In Europe, half of all Covid-19 deaths happened in nursing homes and long-term care facilities, according to the World Health Organization. In Canada, which has been far more effective at containing the disease, 82 percent of the country’s deaths have been concentrated among these facilities.

The vulnerability of nursing homes was clear from the earliest stage of outbreak in the U.S., when the disease swept through the Life Care Center of Kirkland, Washington in February, claiming dozens of deaths. At Holyoke Soldiers’ Home in Massachusetts, at least 74 residents — a third of the facility’s population — died of Covid-19 in April. The summer resurgence of infections has found its way into care facilities in Texas, Florida, and Arizona, bringing the number of cases in nursing homes nationwide above its previous peak in May.

For the entire multibillion-dollar ecosystem of senior living in the U.S. — including the more than 15,000 nursing homes, nearly 29,000 residential care communities, and about the same number of assisted-living facilities — the pandemic is exposing a deadly dilemma at a challenging time. “We weren’t prepared for Covid,” says Dr. Robyn Stone, co-director of LeadingAge LTSS Center at University of Massachusetts Boston. “Nobody was, including the nursing homes.”

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U.S. home sales spike an unprecedented 24.7% in July

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Sales exploded in every region in the country, led by the Northeast and West

The coronavirus pandemic helped shape the housing market by influencing everything from the direction of mortgage rates to the inventory of homes on the market to the types of homes in demand and the desired locations.

SILVER SPRING, Md. — U.S. home sales rose an unprecedented 24.7% in July as extraordinarily low mortgage rates, and a desire for more space in the pandemic, fuel demand.

A June rebound has stretched to July after the coronavirus pandemic all but froze the housing market in the spring, usually a time when house hunters are most active.

National Association of Realtors said Friday that sales of existing homes jumped last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.86 million. With consecutive months of record-breaking gains, purchases are up 8.7% from a year ago. Home sales rose 20.7% in June, a record that lasted one month.

The housing market has been one of the more resilient sectors of the economy during the pandemic, but market activity continues to hinge on supply, which was limited even before the coronavirus outbreak.

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World’s tallest prefab skyscrapers will rise in Singapore — but they’re being built in Malaysia

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A pair of skyscrapers are set to become the tallest prefabricated buildings in the world.

And while the two 192-meter-tall (630 feet) towers will rise in densely populated Singapore, large parts of the structures are being built over the border in Malaysia.

The residential project, named Avenue South Residences, will see 988 apartments formed from almost 3,000 vertically stacked “modules.” The firm behind the project, ADDP Architects, says the building method, known as Prefabricated Prefinished Volumetric Construction (PPVC), is less labor-intensive and can help reduce waste and noise pollution.

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