Innovation That Matters

| Photo source AUAR

Micro-factories build eco-friendly, economical homes

Architecture & Design

This automated system makes construction cheaper and more efficient

Spotted: The Executive Director of UN-Habitat recently said that global housing policy has been a “collective failure over the past decades,” leaving around 2.8 billion people facing housing issues, from homelessness to substandard or unaffordable homes.

Now, two University College London (UCL) Bartlett School of Architecture lecturers, Mollie Claypool and Gilles Retsin, have created Automated Architecture (AUAR) as one way to help tackle the crisis. Using robotic manufacturing and algorithmic design, AUAR licenses its micro-factories to homebuilders for faster, more economical housing development. These micro-factories make a timber core and shell for a house, while the software streamlines the rest of the build process. 

The algorithmic design system allows teams to produce a range of iterations for every location, helping to reduce costs for architects, builders, and homeowners. The modular construction also reduces the time it takes to build a home, and construction teams are less hindered by delays due to weather. AUAR’s technology further makes it easy to track costs throughout the entire process, eliminating surprises and bringing down overall expenses for developers and buyers.

By partnering with contractors and homebuilders for the use of its technology and micro-factories, AUAR makes it possible to bring construction nearer to the building site. Such distributed networks contribute to further carbon emission reductions throughout the homebuilding process.

Having recently raised £2.6 million in seed funding, AUAR co-founder and CTO/Chief Architect Gilles Retsin told Springwise, “Our tech has been designed from the beginning to be able to scale into multiple regions and work with vastly different supply chains to support the growth of our network.” AUAR currently works in Belgium, the UK, and the US and invites interested organisations to get in touch to discuss future partnership opportunities. According to Retsin, the company aims to have 50-70 licensed partners by 2030, with the capability to produce more than 75,000 homes per year.

Written By: Keely Khoury



Download PDF