• Peter Attwood

Disruptive Innovation and Housing

Updated: May 6, 2019


Since researching innovations in a range of industries, I am blown away by a number of housing innovations, which could well transform accommodation opportunities globally.

Cross laminated timber.

One exciting timber innovation is cross laminated timber, which is manufactured in Australia. It is versatile, stronger than concrete and 20% of its weight. Lendlease have used it in the Forte apartment tower in Melbourne? It has reduced carbon emissions by 1,400 tonnes in comparison to a concrete and steel construction.

Space Craft Systems.

Martin Luff of Wikihouse NZ has designed Space Craft Systems. The process begins with an open and free collection of plans on-line. You select your plan and take it to a local production facility. Here they cut the building out of structural materials, and you have a ‘flat pack’ house that can be assembled in a couple of days.

China’s 3D printed house!

However, the ‘piece de resistance’ is the Shanghai China’s 3D printed house! The company has been researching for 12 years. They recently created 10 houses in 24 hours. They are a simple one room construction made from construction waste mixed with cement and extruded into the shape required. They are both sound and practical, very cost effective and environmentally friendly.

The last two initiatives would have great application with natural disasters, displaced person’s housing, and third world accommodation, particularly with the population expansion of the next few decades.

Solar roof tiles.

Flexsol rooftop power solutions and Elon Musk’s solar roof tiles are another inspiring innovation in the housing industry. Musk unveiled his solar roof tiles in 2016 to eliminate the need for traditional panels and a longer lasting home battery which Tesla calls Powerwall. The glass solar roof tiles are manufactured in a range of styles and would cost less than roof tiles and solar panels together. The shingles are more durable and have better insulation qualities than conventional roofing. During the day, solar shingles generate electricity and recharge the battery. After sunset, the battery takes over, providing power independent of the traditional grid.

“This is the integrated future: electric cars, Powerwall and solar roofing. It’s pretty straight forward. This can solve the whole energy equation”

Elon Musk.

Bricklaying machines are now starting to replace bricklayers!

Innovation is a disruption that is impacting many industries. As we speak a revolution is underway. The question is who will be next, and will your business be ready?

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