The world needs two billion new homes in the next 80 years, the World Economic Forum said in 2018. The United States needs 3.8 million additional new homes just to meet existing consumer demand, Realtor.com estimated in 2020. According to innovative housing startup Mighty Buildings CTO Dmitry Starodubtsev, the answer is to reinvent construction with a mix of pre-fabrication, 3D printing, automation, plus a heft dose of ZNE, or Zero Net Energy: homes that generate all the power they need to consume. Currently, Starodubtsev says Mighty Buildings homes, which he defines as “Semi-premium,” are about 20% less expensive than comparable traditionally-built homes. The B2C market in which anyone can go to the company’s website, order up a home, design it, pay for it, and set up shipping to their building lot is still coming, he says. The company is currently working with a developer to build exactly that kind of community right now in Southern California: a 20-home hilltop development with 1,200 square-foot homes. According to Crunchbase, there are currently 984 construction startups that have raised a collective $10.5 billion to reinvent how we build homes and other structures.
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