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This housing startup designed homes that grow with their owners


Think of it like the Helix sleep of starter homes. But the real selling point is that the modules ... Gaudio, who spent time volunteering in Biloxi, Mississippi, on post-Katrina housing, also won a Fulbright Scholarship, which allowed hime to travel ...


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Home Tech Affordable Housing This housing startup designed homes that grow with their owners Module’s adjustable housing system offers a right-size solution for urban infill By Patrick Sisson Dec 14, 2017, 5:05pm EST tweet share pin A Module demo unit, built in partnership with Comcast-Xfinity Home, which added smart home tech to the expandable housing system All images courtesy Module When architect Brian Gaudio talks about Module, the Pittsburgh-based housing startup he cofounded in early 2016, he speaks the language of an excited techieModule, an “operating system” for your home, creates spaces customized for every familyWhile it aims to provide new, more affordable, and more adjustable homes, the company doesn’t build, it offers a design and technology platformA sense of optimism and possibility—perhaps cultivated during his time designing rides for Disney theme parks—is palpable But ask Gaudio about the nuts and bolts of how Module homes get built, and he begins sounding like a realist, one that may be able do what the dozens of startups that have tried to make a real business out of building, affordable, high-tech modular or prefab homes have failed to accomplish “We thought about how to work within the existing methods used by builders,” says Gaudio“When we developed our wall system, we asked, ‘how does a general contractor, with relatively unskilled labor, build this house?’ We’re not here to bring NASA engineers on board to redesign the idea of homeThis is about incremental innovation, and making a system that helps existing builders build better homes.” How the Module system allows a home to grow with its owner“We’re not trying to disrupt the system of buildingWe’re trying to disrupt ideas of adaptability, design, and cost.” Module Module’s doesn’t want to be manufacturer, but rather design a system that informs future homebuilders, an easy-to-build, easy-to-expand housing product aimed at young adultsInformed by a housing personality quiz, buyers pick from one of three starter modules, which are built, in part, by an off-site partner, then assembled on site by a general contractorThink of it like the Helix sleep of starter homes But the real selling point is that the modules, assembled with a patent-pending wall and roof systems, easily connect to additional Module-designed rooms and add-ons, which help owners expand their homes like a set of Lego bricks as their needs, and families, growWorking from home? Invest in a small studio additionWant to make more money? Attach a module designed to be a rental unit Gaudio and his co-founder Hallie Dumont were inspired by a passion for public interest designGaudio, who spent time volunteering in Biloxi, Mississippi, on post-Katrina housing, also won a Fulbright Scholarship, which allowed hime to travel and research cities and housing in Latin AmericaHis work, which informed a documentary he made about housing, included an examination of the public housing designed by Pritzker-winning architect Alejandro AravenaThe Chilean architect’s design for incremental, affordable housing, which allows owners to built onto basic frames, influenced the Module concept The Module system is the co-founders answers to their country’s housing challenges, including affordability, blight, and the labor shortage among homebuilders that’s driving up the cost of constructionMost of the big-name suburban builders are putting out product that’s too large and doesn’t cater to today’s young homebuyers, says GaudioThe market needs a dynamic system that offers the “right amount of space for today” and an adaptable and affordable solution primed for urban infill The system begins with one of three main modules: a 640 square-foot unit with 1 bed and 1 bath called the Flat Top; The Tom and Jerry, a 1,280 square-foot unit with 2 beds and 2 baths fashioned for coliving; or the family-sized Moonlighter, another 2-bed, 2-bath option with two stories and more than 2,000 feet, depending on the floor planModule hasn’t released potential pricing plans yet: they’re expected to in early 2018. Large enough to qualify as a freestanding home on a typical lot in Pittsburgh—thus avoiding the permitting issues that sometimes come with smaller structures—all of these structures have roofs that can pop off, allowing additional stories to be added, and walls with a panel that can be opened to connect with another Module structureStarting small, the theory goes, makes homeownership more achievableEventually, the supplemental rooms and additions will be joined by other available upgrades, such as a new furniture package or a suite of smart home technology For Gaudio, perhaps the most important aspect of the Module system isn’t the design, but the constructionThe basis of the system is panelized wood construction assembled on site, though it could also be stick-built in a manner consistent with how most general contractors and builders work In a model akin to Tesla’s reservation system, potential buyers can register on Module’s site and put down a refundable deposit to hold their place in lineThey’ll then take the housing personality quiz, asking about relationships, income, and living situations, and when their turn is up, Module will create a customized plan, and then a general contractor will start working on their future home While the Module crew has built a test unit in Pittsburgh, the company will truly launch next yearThey already have one buyer interested in a custom design, which will be constructed early next year Once a few models take shape, the company can start looking for larger projects, possibly pairing with a builder to create 10- or 20-unit developments Gaudio sees markers like Philadelphia and Detroit as great next steps for expansion, secondary housing markets with available land and higher rates of millennial homeownershipIn today’s housing market, perhaps the biggest disruption would be an affordable starter home “We’re not trying to disrupt the system of building,” says Gaudio“We’re trying to disrupt ideas of adaptability, design, and cost.” Next Up In Home Tech from Curbed SF Wallace Cunningham-designed Carmel home asks $11.4 million Ikea and Sonos are teaming up, launching products in 2019 New Sonos smart speaker comes with Alexa voice control Amazon Cyber Monday 2017: the best deals on the Echo, Kindle, and more Sonos’s new London store has tiny houses and a bit of Memphis Google Home, Amazon Echo, Apple HomePod: Everything you need to know Presented by /* FIXME: Putting the whole thing after a 0.5s delay is a hack workaround for an issue * causing logo clickthrough to stop working, pending a better fix: * https://github.com/voxmedia/revenue-platforms/issues/264#issuecomment-349084104 */ ChorusAds.cmd.push(function() { setTimeout(function () { ChorusAds.registerSlot({ id: 'dfp-campaign-component-ad-1513488512_1053_19447', name: 'dfp-16743-primary', sizes: [[1, 1]], context: { browser_width: {min: 0, max: 0}, device_type: null }, targeting: [[ 'chorus_trk', 'dfp-16743-primary' ]], prebidEligible: false, refreshEligible: false, watcherEligible: false }); }, 500); }); (function(DOM_ID) { (function(){ var isHub = document.location.pathname.length > 1; var STBs = document.querySelectorAll('.c-entry-sponsorship'); // skipping the first once, since this might be the top sponsored group one. if(isHub && STBs.length > 1){ for(var i = 1; i Trending Here's how the tax bill will impact housing Architect Paolo Soleri’s daughter Daniela recounts childhood abuse in open letter "To create a society where women are not abused, everyone needs to speak up" 23 dreamy A-frame cabins we love We’ve rounded up 23 gorgeous photos of A-frames, from lakeside stunners to snowbound charmers. 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