Inside Blueprint Robotics.
Robots are hard at work in the U.S. manufacturing modular components that will make it easier for humans to build housing.
Bloomberg reports that Blueprint Robotics in Baltimore is one of the first factories in the country where robots use an assembly line to construct pieces of houses. Humans pick up where the robots leave off, adding details to more-customized pieces and moving and packing the products to be shipped to development sites.
Humans are also programming the factory robots to ensure that everything is made to specifications. This off-site modular construction process is both more cost-efficient than traditional construction and allows the industry to circumvent a labor shortage that is stymieing construction of residential and commercial property.
“US homebuilders say the labor crunch is their biggest challenge, and that it’s pushing costs up as much as 5.2 percent on average over 12 months, according to National Association of Home Builders [(NAHB)]/Wells Fargo surveys last year,” reports Bloomberg. The current political climate is also looming large over the industry, which has long relied heavily on undocumented workers.
The concept of prefabricated housing is nothing new, having enjoyed previous heydays both over a century ago with the rise of Sears and Roebuck home kits and in the 1980s and ’90s with factory-built homes. However, pre-fabrication can now accommodate a wider array of housing, from mansions to multi-family buildings.
Companies like Champion Homes have seen their pipeline grow by 50 percent since 2014 as fast-growing cities like Nashville and Denver increasingly use modular construction for apartment buildings. Demand is also high in the Boston suburbs to construct houses as large as 10,000 square feet. On average, a single-family modular home could be delivered in 6-8 weeks.
This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/the_robots_streamlining_home_construction/12461
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