The housing landscape is at a crossroads, with environmental challenges, technological advancements, and societal shifts forcing it to evolve.
I recently sat down with Amit Haller, CEO of Veev, to untangle these complex threads and discuss the future of housing.
Veev is disrupting the home building process. Using innovative technologies like their Closed Wall system or the Veev operating system, they deliver high-quality, single-family homes faster and cheaper than the alternatives.
1. Changing Dynamics in Housing
Amit drew attention to the increasing unpredictability of weather and its impact on housing. We're not just talking about homes that can withstand storms. Homes need to adapt to dynamic environmental factors. Innovative solutions in construction and design are required to ensure resiliency and sustainability.
2. Tackling the Housing Crisis
The housing crisis in America isn't just about scarcity. It's about a cocktail of historical deficits, surging interest rates, and challenges faced by existing homeowners. To tackle this, Amit suggests a multi-faceted approach that combines increased construction with financial stability measures, along with tailored solutions for homeowners grappling with rising costs.
3. The Environmental Equation
Construction, especially housing, accounts for a staggering 40% of embodied carbon and landfill waste. Amit calls for disruptive solutions in this age-old sector. That means rethinking construction practices and materials, particularly concrete and wood, to minimize environmental damage.
4. Productizing Homes
The traditional perception of homes as purely personal spaces is shifting. Amit advocates treating homes like customizable products, blending personalization with the efficiencies of mass production. It's about striking the balance between individual taste and streamlined construction, requiring us to reimagine home design from the ground up.
5. Digital Fabrication
According to Amit, digital technology isn't just an add-on – it's integral to modern construction. Describing their manufacturing facility as a "digital fab," he highlights the role of virtual design in ensuring precision, simulating potential issues, and offering a seamless transition from virtual to physical construction.
6. Elevating User Experience
User experience extends beyond digital interfaces. Veev also introduced innovative materials like high-performance surfaces that offer durability, easy maintenance, and antibacterial properties. The focus is on quality, enabled by the use of recycled and fully recyclable materials like steel.
7. Homes of the Future
Amit envisions homes as self-sustained habitats, generating their own energy and even potentially supporting small-scale hydroponic gardens. The ultimate goal is homes that actively contribute to an efficient and self-sufficient lifestyle.
8. A Shift in Size Perception
Gone are the days when bigger was better. Amit emphasized the downsides of large properties, like maintenance burdens, and how Veev is creating designs that prioritize functionality over sheer size.
9. Functionality First
Amit urged us to rethink home spaces for optimal functionality. Using the example of kitchen cabinets, he suggests shifting from large shelves to more drawers, providing better access to items and reducing wasted space.
10. Post-COVID Trends
The pandemic has led to a reassessment of home value, propelling people to invest in home improvements like backyard renovations and pool installations. Amit pointed out the increasing popularity of auxiliary dwelling units as a versatile solution for multi-generational living or rental income.
11. Environmental Real Estate
Sustainability isn't just a buzzword – it's a selling point in real estate. Amit mentioned companies like Alveol, which focus on urban beekeeping, to illustrate the growing integration of environmental considerations in housing.
12. Rethinking Sewage Systems
The current sewage infrastructure paradoxically encourages water wastage. Amit calls for innovation in this arena, emphasizing the need for systems aligned with water conservation goals.
13. Community Building through Permaculture
Amit foresees the adoption of permaculture systems that blend traditional and modern approaches, potentially serving as a luxury for those who can afford it. It’s a holistic vision for a more environmentally conscious community.
14. Veev's Commitment
Veev is already walking the talk in California and Texas, building homes that consume 50% less embodied carbon compared to traditional construction. Amit revealed plans for expanding their eco-conscious footprint to other states.
From the urgent need for innovative construction materials to the promising future of digital fabrication, the world of housing is teeming with opportunities for positive disruption.