With homelessness and housing insecurity on the irse, the Seattle-based company makes homebuilding sustainable and efficient.
According to Singularity Hub, house prices have soared during the last year and a half, and the implications aren’t great (unless you’re a homeowner looking just to sell and not buy). Homelessness and housing insecurity have risen dramatically over the course of the pandemic, with millions of people unable to afford to live where they want to, and many unable to afford to live anywhere at all. A supply shortage is just one among many factors contributing to these problems, but it’s a big one; houses take a long time to build, require all sorts of permissions and inspections and approvals, and are, of course, expensive.
A Seattle-based company wants to be part of changing this, and they’ve just joined forces with a partner to make home building more sustainable and efficient while driving down its costs. Last week, construction tech company NODE, which got its start at Y Combinator, announced a merger with Green Canopy, a vertically-integrated developer, designer, general contractor, and fund manager. The new company’s goal is to offer accessible, green housing options at scale.
“The construction industry is ripe for disruption and evolution,” said NODE co-founder Bec Chapin. “It’s a giant industry that has been losing productivity over decades and is not meeting our most crucial demands for housing.”
NODE’s approach is similar to that of Las Vegas-based Boxabl, which ships pre-fabricated “foldable” houses to its customers in a 20-foot-wide load that can be up and running in as little as a day. In a 2018 GeekWire interview, Chapin said the company was “developing a component technology in which the walls, floors and ceilings are in separate pieces, as well as all of the things needed to make it a complete house: kitchens, baths, heating systems, etc. These houses can be packed more efficiently, then easily assembled on site.”