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Airbnb Wants to Build a House in Your Backyard

by Nena Perry-Brown

Airbnb's Yoshino Cedar House. Click to enlarge.

After building a network connecting people to short-term rentals around the world, Airbnb is planning its next venture.

As reported by Fast Company, Airbnb has announced the launch of Backyard, an initiative to create and build innovative housing prototypes of all kinds. This means that not only could the company begin constructing accessory dwelling buildings in people's backyards, but also single- and multi-family homes as well. 

The vision is to leverage existing and innovative technologies to build homes that are on the cutting edge of sustainability and environmental responsibility, whether through use of materials or construction methods. The dwelling units Backyard develops will also incorporate adaptability, a concept recently explored in the National Building Museum's "Making Room" exhibit and in technologies such as Ori (Fedor Novikov, Backyard's project lead, is a former robotic building researcher for NASA).

“Backyard investigates how buildings could utilize sophisticated manufacturing techniques, smart-home technologies, and gains vast insight from the Airbnb community to thoughtfully respond to changing owner or occupant needs over time,” Airbnb chief product officer and cofounder Joe Gebbia says. “Backyard isn’t a house, it’s an initiative to rethink the home.”

Airbnb isn't entirely unexperienced in this realm, having endeavored upon a community revitalization effort in Yoshino, Japan. The centerpiece of this community has become the Yoshino Cedar House community center/Airbnb co-living experiment, also the first "house" the company has built.

Expect to see the first wave of Backyard prototypes next year.

This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/airbnb-wants-to-bring-housing-to-your-backyard/14749

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