DENVER, Aug. 5, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Simple Homes was recently selected for a $1 million U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Building Technologies Office (BTO) award focused on reducing the cost barriers associated with building DOE-certified Zero Energy Ready Homes (ZERH). The company was one of 29 organizations selected through a competitive process to identify innovations that can advance the goals of the BTO's Advanced Building Construction with Energy-Efficient Technologies and Practices Funding Opportunity.
As a part of the research, Simple Homes is developing innovative new robotic off-site production technology to help facilitate the cost-effective delivery of energy-efficient homes. The technology is focused on bridging the digital divide between common commercially available CAD/BIM platforms and off-the-shelf-industrial robotics, like those found in car factories and other manufacturing operations today. In parallel, the company will also be designing a new line of ZERH-certified cottage-style homes (1,100 – 1,500sf) that are optimized to be built using automated off-site construction technologies and are 40-50% more energy efficient than similar code-built homes at the same first cost.
The DOE's ZERH home program is a proven way for builders to reach unparalleled levels of performance and quality. However, despite these proven benefits adoption remains low – according to the Rocky Mountain Institute, less than 1% of homes built today meet the standard. By developing a building system to produce ZERH certified homes at the same first cost as today's code-built homes, Simple Homes seeks to eliminate one of the primary barriers to widespread adoption – cost. If successful, the project also has the potential to address the U.S. homebuilding industry's ever-growing labor productivity challenges and, in the process, improve the industry's global competitiveness.
"We're incredibly honored to have been selected by the BTO for this award," said Simple Homes co-founder and CEO Jeff Hopfenbeck. "Homebuilding is currently one of the least digitized industries in the world. We believe that the development and adoption of innovative new digital manufacturing technologies will prove essential to reducing the cost-barriers associated with building ZERH-certified homes."
The research will leverage Simple Homes' existing and European-inspired panelized construction system and digital manufacturing platform. As a part of the effort, Simple Homes has also engaged a number of industry-leading partners, including DuPont Performance Building Solutions, Home Innovation Research Labs, McStain Neighborhoods, and Bygghouse LLC.
About Simple Homes: Simple Homes is a Colorado-based startup that is focused on increasing access to high-quality housing by using technology-enabled design and Swedish-inspired off-site construction. The company designs, manufactures, and assembles homes using a unique panelized construction system. The company is based in Denver, where it operates a 20,000sf digitally enabled manufacturing facility in a historic railroad maintenance building.
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SOURCE Simple Homes