Article: Prefab homes from Cover are designed by computer algorithms

06 Apr 2017

Specializing in backyard studios

If you’re in the market for a prefab dwelling—either as a full-time home or backyard unitoptions are aplenty. What L.A.-based startup Cover wants to add to the equation is a tech-driven efficiency that makes the whole design and building process a total breeze for the customer.

As detailed in a new profile on the company over on Co.Design, Cover sees itself as more of a tech company than a prefab builder. Indeed, whereas a typical prefab buying process would begin with choosing one of a few model plans and maybe then consulting with architects to tweak the design for specific needs, Cover turns the whole design process over to computer algorithms. Co.Design explains:

Once customers begin the design process, Cover sends them a survey of about 50 to 100 questions to inform the design. It asks about lifestyle–how many people typically cook a meal and what appliances are must-haves?–and structural needs, like should they optimize one view and block another one?

The company also use computer modeling to optimize window placement, cross-ventilation, and natural light, making use of zoning, sun-path, and geospatial data. All of these parameters are then sent to a proprietary computer program that spits out hundreds of designs that satisfy the requirements supplied.

Here are a couple of key things to know about Cover’s prefabs:

  • The company is specializing in the accessory dwelling unit, which is a secondary structure on a property with an existing single-family house. They can serve as guesthouses, in-law units, offices, yoga studios, and potentially a source of rental income.
  • While the computer will churn out a whole bunch of designs, Cover dwellings generally have a minimal modern look with an insulated steel structure, glass walls, and built-in storage.
  • When you order with Cover, the company takes care of the whole process, from coming up with a design, as described above (which takes three business days and $250), to acquiring necessary permits (two to five months, $20,000), to building and installation (12 weeks, final price contingent on the specific design). Some sample costs offered on the website are as follows: $70,000 for a guest room, $130,000 for a studio with a kitchenette, $160,000 for a one-bedroom unit, and $250,000 for a two-bedroom unit.

Via: Co.Design

Tags: #mscedc

April 06, 2017 at 11:40PM

 

5 thoughts on “Article: Prefab homes from Cover are designed by computer algorithms”

  1. So even ‘creative’ aspects of living are being automated and eroded by alogarithims, contradictory to what was said by early AI pioneers.

    With other forms of AI already responsible for producing classical artwork (Brand New Rembrandt – http://www.pcworld.com/article/3053520/analytics/ai-just-3d-printed-a-brand-new-Rembrandt-and-its-shockingly-good.html), a movie trailer (http://www.adweek.com/creativity/ibms-watson-made-trailer-horror-movie-first-ai-173234/) who knows whats next?

    Will humans eventually be outclassed by more creative ideas that we could never hope to better? A scary though indeed considering that it may be the only thing we have left when alogarithoms have broken down every single conceivable task and taken them over..

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