7 Cutting-Edge Innovations Developers Are Loving
As tech continues to transform real estate, developers are looking for what's next. From the latest in green building to Millennial-friendly amenities and even how to build a skyscraper in a matter of weeks, here are 7 new innovations developers are loving this year.
1. Mini Sky City
Company: Broad Sustainable Building
Innovation: Modular construction
Why developers will love it: It allows incredibly fast building, with this skyscraper being built in just 19 days.
Because over 2,700 modules were prepared in a factory four months before site work began, BSB construction workers were able to build at a pace of three stories per day. It was like putting together a 57-story-sized jigsaw puzzle. SVP Juliet Jiang says the benefits of this construction process is that it's more cost effective and environmentally friendly, and it causes less disruption in cities.
2. Nebia's Shower System
Innovation: Software typically reserved for studying jet engines provides ulta-precise water pressure adjustability.
Why developers will love it: Hotel and condo developers will want to install this luxurious showerhead that can save up to 70% of water compared to a regular showerhead.
You know the Nebia shower system is onto something since it raised $3M from Kickstarter and is even backed by Apple CEO Tim Cook. This Tesla-for-showerheads atomizes and surrounds users in a thick mist to conserve water, without sacrificing luxury. At $349, we would hope not.
3. Topmx Permeable
Innovation: This porous concrete absorbs up to 880 gallons of water per minute.
Why developers love it: Roads and parking lots can divert water from heavy flooding and rainfall.
Using a coarse, pebble-like material called no-fines concrete, water is able to pass through about 120 times as fast as normal concrete. Although only installed in a golf course and car park in the UK so far, this concrete could do major things for a city's infrastructure.
4. Cornell Tech's Futuristic NYC Campus
Company: Cornell University
Innovation: Passive construction in this high-rise building saves 882 tons of CO2 a year.
Why developers will love it: Thermal insulation reduces energy generation and electricity costs.
Handel Architects is designing this $115M, 250-foot-tall dorm, which is thermally insulated thanks to a metal panel wrapping, on Roosevelt Island. The dorm is expected to be finished in 2017, and will house 520 people.
Innovation: This carbon-fiber plane can bring Internet to isolated regions.
Why developers will love it: WiFi will become a more accessible amenity.
Facebook's engineering team is working on two projects: a solar-powered aircraft that can run for 90 days straight, as well as a laser that can transmit the data from that aircraft. The plane is named Aquila and has the wingspan of a Boeing 737 yet weighs about one-third as much as an electric car. Test flights for the aircraft will begin later this year, hopefully sending Internet to underserved areas, which can spur development and new technology there.
6. Better Shelter
Company: Ikea and the UN
Innovation: Solar-powered modular refugee shelters.
Why developers will love it: Modular housing's ease and efficiency can be used for worldwide good.
Ikea is collaborating with the UN to build a series of 188 SF flat-packed shelters that can accomdate up to five people and take only four hours to build. Communities in need can even link them together to create larger structures. These strucutures are already being used in places like Iraq and Ethiopia, and last up to four years.
7. Going cable and cord-free
Company: SlingTV, HBO, Hulu, etc.
Innovation: New streaming services go straight to users' phones, computer and TVs.
Why developers will love it: Student housing and new condo developments will want to go cord-free to attract Millennials.
This year had the biggest shift from television cable subscriptions, as more sites like Netflix, Hulu and even Amazon.com offer video streaming options.