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brillow t1_j8emw4d wrote

Price of housing has little to do with construction prices I'm afraid, though this is still an important tech.


villagewinery t1_j8jfm1g wrote

There was just a piece in The Economist (I think) about how productivity has not improved in construction in the last 30 years.

Basically labor saving devices and technologies have been more than offset by more paperwork, permitting, safety standards, environmental constraints, not to mention limited land supply, local zoning, NIMBYism, and many many other factors.

So yeah, one or two or 10 "cheap building techniques" aren't going to offset all the other factors.

So the answer to the headline is "No."


RedCascadian t1_j8lcvdx wrote

First thing that needs to change is zoning in cities, particularly west coast cities like I'm Washington and California.

I live in WA and hope the state zoning bill and Seattle housing bill both get passed.


not-on-a-boat t1_j8pox3a wrote

I think productivity has improved. Those gains might not be reflected in housing costs, but that's not the same. I saw two guys put up a whole house of windows in one day a couple years ago. When my parents built a house in the 90s, that took a week. Concrete pours are faster, electrical is faster and cheaper, roofing is more efficient. There are lots of efficiency gains.


CrashSlow t1_j8w66tg wrote

Kitchens come flat packed and are hung on the wall. Massive improvement on how it was done before. Laser measuring, CAD software, precision cutting tables.


kerbalsdownunder t1_j8if1c0 wrote

If they can start pumping out houses quicker, supply would finally reach demand and prices will decrease.


leyline t1_j8iidhh wrote

Yeah, that's not how it works...In the housing industry.

They aren't selling houses... they are selling the dream of sucking you for 30 years on a mortgage.


Squeakygear t1_j8ij9wb wrote

What you wrote has nothing to do with economics. If supply increases, prices will decrease. Homes are not an inelastic commodity.


leyline t1_j8invcg wrote

Like others have said, they've being putting out these "3d printed homes" things for years and years. We've had pre fabricated materials and whole pre-fab homes. Many pre-fab homes are amazing and better than what I live in now.

Prices have not been coming down.

There are thousands of abandoned / empty houses.

When it comes to the price of homes / housing, the problems are not supply, it's financing; and in places where there is bountiful supply of housing, crime, and employment often deter people.

The op Article was about housing, and not about "basic economics"


SeaExisting2304 t1_j8v8mak wrote

housing is a human right that shouldn’t be controlled by economy


LoveArguingPolitics t1_j8j4ilj wrote

I mean if that were true there'd be double wides on every empty lot in America but there's not..

This offers little improvement over existing prefab tech like SIPS


brillow t1_j8jsc8u wrote

There are more empty houses than homeless people.


DynamicHunter t1_j8krjbv wrote

Orrrr if we built dense urban housing instead of cookie-cutter suburban sprawl that literally doubles the size of metros over a few decades and comes with a litany of other issues.


ideabath t1_j8gt3qn wrote

No it fucking won't.


ADhomin_em t1_j8h4fj1 wrote

Housing currently sitting empty and people sleeping on the street. Our housing crisis is not about housing


heyItsDubbleA t1_j8hwqyu wrote

We have a housing investment crisis not a housing crisis


RatzMand0 t1_j8i43j0 wrote

No one wants to build affordable housing that can be sold and used instead the profitability and bragging rights of making luxury housing that sits empty except when it is rented by air bnb is the future..... and it is killing this country.


hath0r t1_j8icfxa wrote

the problem lies in the R-1 zoning


Scizmz t1_j8ji5b0 wrote

That's too simplistic. As long as housing is a commodity, you'll always have an artificial shortage. 2 things need to be revisited to fix it. Zoning, and ownership rights. Prevent ownership of single family homes from companies and trusts and your housing shortage will get fixed real fast.


hath0r t1_j8kbnmo wrote

the problem lies in the massive R-1 zoning where you can't build small apartments , business/apartments. we have too many single family homes and not enough medium density housing, technically anyone can build up to a quadplex with a standard mortgage.

the biggest problem is that you can ONLY build single family homes


Scizmz t1_j8kqt4e wrote

That still won't fix the underlying issues of commoditization. That just improves population density. You've watched some videos talking about suburban sprawl problems. Now get to the ones that talk about price-fixing for apartments and investment firms buying up entire developments en-masse.


hath0r t1_j8lbnx9 wrote

the banks own this country, the corporations own this country. aint shit we gonna be able to do about them buying up the housing


doogiejonez t1_j9fddqg wrote

No one is building affordable starter homes that a mortgage would be the same cost as rent if not cheaper.

A mortgage on a home is supposed to work great as long has you have affordable, modest homes to build up equity as the average home as a equity rate of +$7,000 per year. Money that is basically thrown away if renting.

Also, housing prices are inflated and wages are under inflated from corporate greed.


roundearthervaxxer t1_j8hxwbm wrote

If it significantly lowers the cost of manufacture, which it has the potential to do dramatically, it puts more people in homes. It doesn’t solve anything, but it has potential to ease the pressure and improve accessibility to ownership.


Scizmz t1_j8jic4o wrote

>which it has the potential to do dramatically, it puts more people in homes.

Except it doesn't. Because any reduction in costs gets offset by an increase in fees.


roundearthervaxxer t1_j8kmz4y wrote



Scizmz t1_j8krg4l wrote

The amount that you can reduce costs on modern builds is limited. Mostly by the combination of what materials and methods are approved for building by municipal codes, but also based on several other factors. Realistically you wind up with a lot more fees for inspections and permits, mello-roos or the local equivalent, and lots of other cost structures municipalities throw up. New building is a huge revenue generator for municipalities. So they do their damnedest to make sure that the property taxes are as high as they can get them on new construction.


roundearthervaxxer t1_j8lelai wrote

I can imagine that finishing, plumbing, electrical is a bulk of the cost. What percentage is pouring foundation m, framing and exterior?

Ultimately plumbing and electrical could be printed too, perhaps interiors as well.


Scizmz t1_j8ljpkh wrote

That's the thing, the foundation's cost is digging, reinforcement and framing for it. The actual concrete is a small fraction of the cost.

The bigger issue is that you'll never get materials approved to build out as things stand with current materials technology. Concrete is great for compression, so stacking things on top of it, it's great for holding them up. But when it comes to sheer stress, it will crack and shatter like crazy. 3d printed homes just wouldn't stand up to weather and conditions that they'd need to in order to be cost effective and meet building codes. Then there's the reinforcement and need to run all kids of stuff through the walls.

After you get over all of those hurdles, you still have to deal with the fact that in various places weather can be very sporadic. And as such the drying and curing of a house would not be even or consistent.

You're better off building a house modularly or even building panels in a factory, then shipping them to site. You get the materials that are optimized for the climate, the conduits and piping needed, and it can be built to the point of exterior weather proofing before a 3d printed house can cure.


roundearthervaxxer t1_j8lluw1 wrote

Awesome. Thx for the detailed explanation. High-end prefab houses always seemed like a good idea to me. My grandparents had a Sears house that was shipped via rail.

It seems like things could have gone more in that direction. With modern tech could you ship perfectly interlocking wall units? If so, why isn’t that standard.

With cad it seems like you create some really cool designs.


TheQuarantinian t1_j8p2q1q wrote

If you can build a house for $80,000 and sell it fot $100,000 you will be happy.

If you can build the same house for $40,000 and still sell it for $100,000 you are not going to lower the price.


roundearthervaxxer t1_j8pi28s wrote

No but the competition will. Farther down in this thread someone who is knowledgable explained this to me. Finishing costs, plumbing, electrical, these things are a large portion of the cost. It is better to prefab wall units and transport them onsite


TheQuarantinian t1_j8pmrwp wrote

The competition still won't. They'd be dumb not to.

You receive two job offers, both paying 100,000/yr. You like both equally, benefits are the same, everything is identical except one requires you to spend $10,000/yr on transportation and parking and the other $1,000. Do I need to ask if you will accept the one with lower costs and tell them your labor is worth $9,000/year less?

Unless the motivation and goal is to sell cheaper houses the developer won't. And there isn't really any competition - it isn't like a restaurant or a shirt,there is one lot for sale just as there is only one year of your time for sale.

If the builder can sell the house for a million he will sell it for a million if he has to pay a plumber or not. And why wouldn't he?

Now if there are two identical units side by side and one needed a number and the other not and only one buyer then that's different. But when there is only one developer building every house in a 50 acre subdivision or condo highrise then they will minimize expense but maximize sale value wherever possible.


roundearthervaxxer t1_j8qji03 wrote

Developers never undercut each other?


TheQuarantinian t1_j8r4tvn wrote

Not like airlines or gas stations - you generally don't see price wars for a couple of reasons:

  1. You can't make more. You have only one shot to sell that specific lot
  2. Real estate opportunities are drying up: you'll probably never get another chance to build another sub in that division again unless you can do a lot of demolition
  3. If demand falls you just stop building and wait. Land doesn't expire or go out of style
  4. If you sell a unit for 100,000 then sell the one next door for 80,000 you affect the value of the first one and establish a trend that affects the value of the third one as fewer people want to buy in a neighborhood where prices are falling. Again, the best option is to just stop building rather than cutting prices. There are some exceptions here, mainly multi unit buildings where you have to pay for ongoing maintenance if the unit is occupied or not, but the are a bunch of other differences there.

not-on-a-boat t1_j8ppfku wrote

The problem with housing access isn't buildings. It's land.


roundearthervaxxer t1_j8qje77 wrote

Isn’t it both?


not-on-a-boat t1_j8qlb0u wrote

No, it's mostly land.

You can't put more people into San Francisco. It's not because SF can't get building materials or construction costs are too much. It's because there's no land where you can build more housing, so people live further and further from the city center to find affordable housing.

You can make land more efficient by increasing the number of housing units built on the land. That's a great solution. But it has nothing to do with the labor cost of home construction.


doogiejonez t1_j9fer15 wrote

As the need to commute to work on a daily basis falls and universal basic income becomes a thing I think less and less people will want to live in the bigger cities.

High speed rails will help this tremendously.


not-on-a-boat t1_j9fmp70 wrote

The economics of high speed rail rely on density, though.


TwentyLegs t1_j8eyzal wrote

I think I’ve seen posts like this every year for the past 15 years


AdrianValistar t1_j8f2nic wrote

They didnt have that type of technology in the 80s. Wait...what do you mean 15 years ago isnt 1983. I was born in 94 which is like 20 years ago now. No way I'm about to be 30.


Grunblau t1_j8fycp3 wrote

I’ve seen some photos from the 50’s of ‘printed’ houses based on extruding concrete on simple arcs using a center pole as a pivot.


Barabbas- t1_j8hjvob wrote

Most of those "houses" are glorified emergency shelters.

Ignoring the fact that concrete is one of the worst materials you can build with in terms of environmental impact, 3D printing doesn't solve the problem of building systems...

Electrical, plumbing, and sometimes even HVAC assemblies are typically housed in wall cavities. Building your walls out of a solid, homogeneous material leaves no space for these critical building systems, and even if they did, they would be impossible to maintain once the walls are closed up.

Additive manufacturing has its place in the AEC industry, but anyone claiming 3D printers will essentially replace traditional construction is selling you a lie.


leyline t1_j8iihz8 wrote

You are further from the year 2000 than you were in 1980.



vuxanov t1_j8hos52 wrote

Im still waiting for my nano technology carbon tubes 3D printed with Ai web3 house in metaverse. I paid top crypto for it.


See5harp t1_j8fj9vy wrote

Isn't making existing homes and apartments affordable easier than 3d printing new homes?


z0mbiemechanic t1_j8gpsrt wrote

Not to mention banks letting houses sit until they are so expensive to repair, the only people buying them are investors who fix them then jack the price up so high that no one can afford them. House goes into foreclosure and there's still 100k owed, by the time anything happens the house sells for 15k. How does that make any sense? There's house all aroubd my small town like this. It's even worse in the bigger towns/cities near me. It's a fucking shit show.


See5harp t1_j8gqdql wrote

I def get like the idea you can make houses cheaper to build and maybe make it more affordable for the ones already in the market but like I feel like in many cities there is def places to buy or rent. The issue isn’t inventory of houses it’s affordable houses. Just seems like this is just going to increase profit margins for potential buyers.


IGoByDeluxe t1_j8gwg4z wrote

"a new apple store opened up 5 blocks down, time to jack up the rent and do some evictions!"


esotericloop t1_j8hjgdt wrote

Depends on what country you're in but not really, unfortunately.


jawshoeaw t1_j8h85r6 wrote

No it cannot quit posting this bs. Someday machines might do it better but “3D printing” ain’t it . At best it does the cheapest easiest part of home construction, the walls. Homes are expensive because they are now incredibly complicated and need to last for 100+‘years.


IveKnownItAll t1_j8hxuvw wrote

Yet they won't and aren't built to last that long. New builds are mostly garbage construction and won't last 30 years


thearchenemy t1_j8gsfd2 wrote

They want us to believe that there’s a housing shortage and not a deliberate effort to consolidate property in a small number of hands, forcing most Americans to be permanent renters.


Neo_Techni t1_j8hcqba wrote

You can't 3d print the land


Scizmz t1_j8jie5y wrote

The land isn't even the issue at this point.


TheTelekinetic t1_j8hlk4c wrote

How? Are we 3D printing a way to stop banks and corporations from buying up all of the real estate and artificially inflating the housing market?


What_Is_The_Meaning t1_j8gkcyy wrote

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Limp_Distribution t1_j8fvev7 wrote

Unfreezing new federal housing would be a good place to start.


MarcoVinicius t1_j8hv3m4 wrote

That article was so frustrating to read. The writer had no idea about what they were writing about and wrote no details about how the 3D houses work and which part of construction it would make cheaper. It was empty, devoid of details and critical thought. Truly a waste of time for the reader.

Are all articles for the New Yorker really this dumb?


thisisdumb08 t1_j8i6vcr wrote

yes all media for public consumption is not useful for understanding the state of the world, it is only useful for swaying hearts and minds to agendas, often in opposition to the state of the world so that the hearts and minds can be taken advantage of.


IveKnownItAll t1_j8hxyk6 wrote

No, because construction costs isn't the issue. It's investment companies buying the houses before anyone else can and raising the prices beyond what's affordable. There's a major crash coming and the government can NOT bail these people out.


spoilingattack t1_j8h2u68 wrote

It’s not the getting. It’s the keeping. Ever heard of Cabrini-Green in Chicago?


dozerdaze t1_j8i3u15 wrote

It’s an affordable housing crisis not a housing crisis. Most cities and the outskirts along with tourist towns have plenty of empty homes. People just can’t afford them.


Picolete t1_j8i88zo wrote

Remove zoning laws and problem solved


tom-8-to t1_j8iayko wrote

Nope 3d printers requires a lot of power, still requires a lot of construction by hand doors windows plumbing electric, insulation, sewers etc and each location has its own soil conditions that need to be analyzed for each new development.

Also 3D printer is not cheap, it requires one of a kind machines, transport assembly and calibration by specialized technicians and to have concrete preparation scheduled to the minute so it can flow to the machine.

You just simply can’t have one type of housing plan, because people still care for aesthetics, and don’t want cookie cutter homes. And honestly, there is no guarantee that just because you can build cheaper that’s gonna sell cheaper to the public, that’s the most naive misconception about 3d housing.

You can build a Tesla and use anywhere in the world, but you can’t just buy a 3d house and just drop it in every single market. It’s a tremendous labor consuming effort.


ATribeOfAfricans t1_j8ihgtc wrote

No, not in the US at least where building materials are cheap AF.

Problem is entities buying up housing and enjoying a captured market to continue raising prices.

If there were laws preventing monopolization/oligopolization of housing, it would be quite affordable. Something like adding an additional tax each time you acquire another house, I think Ireland does similar?


Eokokok t1_j8hjgr0 wrote

No, it can't. Unless you are taking about very specific ground floor only projects. Modern construction materials like AAC are insanely fast, whole walls for a single floor can be done within 2 days, 3rd for preparing the reinforcement for ceiling, 4th day you are done...

Also - walls and ceiling in my house is less than 12% of 'developer' state, meaning all construction and installations done before finishing work can start (floors, furniture, lights and so on). Walls are cheap.


Born-Ad4452 t1_j8hltjg wrote

Housing policy, laws and taxation are what matter


MoirasPurpleOrb t1_j8hq5ye wrote

No, it won’t.

If anything you could automate the building process similar to how the auto industry is automated.


roundearthervaxxer t1_j8hxmnh wrote

It seems if all houses were 3D printed in clay, it would solve a lot of problems


YakumoYamato t1_j8i38k9 wrote

"How many times do we have to teach you this lesson, tech boi!" -Pretty much everyone, everytime article like this appear


thisisdumb08 t1_j8i6bre wrote

3d printing addresses the structure of the house . . .which is only a small portion of the cost of a house.


PBlove t1_j8id8gr wrote

This isn't the solution.

Something like ICFs will be. (Though not current ICFs themselves.)

The REAL advance will be in cheaper easier more customized concrete form technology, or replacement of the concrete with some other pourable material.


OrcOfDoom t1_j8ie1qa wrote

Even if it did, landlords and capitalism generally will drive prices to the pain point again.


turdballer69 t1_j8ij0y5 wrote

These won’t get DRB approval in most places. If they do, a bunch of unnecessary finishes will be required and the cost will be only slightly cheaper. Also how do you expand/remodel/update these?


Chudsaviet t1_j8ijk1p wrote

No. Raising walls is the simplest stage of construction.


AhRedditAhHumanity t1_j8iq55k wrote

Yes, let’s all live inside some junky hybrid of a cave and a computer chip inside a new version of the projects. This is solutionism at its worst.


LoveArguingPolitics t1_j8j4b14 wrote

No. Not really. We already have prefab's and prefab panels, barely anybody uses them.

The big problem seems to be getting loans on the stuff and then finding a builder who will do the work.

As cool as it might be the scale it needs to be rolled out at is astonishingly large if you want but to have any impact at all.

Otherwise you'll have handfuls of these houses dotting the US and eventually the printing business will go out of business


phuktup3 t1_j8jk4b8 wrote

sees a shitload of empty houses

Housing crisis?


Millennial_Man t1_j8jnl1x wrote

Why are so many people constantly acting like manufacturing costs are the problem? All cheaper house would do is increase profit margins for landlords.


dudoan t1_j8licyn wrote

Those homes start at $400k...


jeffroddit t1_j8ltoix wrote

The housing crisis is caused by corporate land lords, wealth inequality, robotic AI house investors, speculative capitalism, codes and zoning that penalizes affordable housing and stagnant wages. It has absolutely nothing to do with the speed of construction or how gadgety it is.


Farmer808 t1_j8mbxnm wrote

Undoing decades of single family zoning restrictions would do more (in the US). But that is much less click-baity


amigammon t1_j8ooz18 wrote

They will just be priced by sq. footage like all other housing more profits!


-Nok t1_j8p1evn wrote

I'm not sure about slow. There was a farm across the street, 2 months later.. It's 30 houses now


SeaExisting2304 t1_j8v8feo wrote

we actually don’t need to reinvent to wheel or anything like that, we just need government to run public housing like the did the first time!


marvelouswonder8 t1_j8h7vaj wrote

There’s a better way. Get rid of landlords. Boom. Problem solved.