Housing produces nearly a quarter of all global carbon emissions: Aro Homes aims to impact this problem. Its modular homes plan to do this by producing more energy than they consume, halving water consumption and also reducing construction time. And that is it. The cuccagna.
"We quickly realized that residential construction was very inefficient and outdated in terms of sustainability," he says Carl Gish, co-CEO of Aro Homes and former employee of Amazon and Dyson. "There has been some progress in commercial property and even in multi-family homes, but not much has changed in the single-family home market in recent years."
A net-zero future
The company, which today announced $ 21,1 million in funding raised, is the first to be incubated by Innovation Endeavors, the venture capital firm co-founded by Eric Schmidt. Former Google CEO (not new to amazing feats like Rise) was plumbing construction technologies and had not found truly transformative businesses. And so he decided to support a startup that had a proposal to solve the problem.
What does Aro Homes do?
Essentially, Aro starts by using software to identify properties that can be built in. Among the factors considered, the orientation of the land with respect to sunlight, the presence of trees that provide shade and other factors that can affect energy consumption and production. At that point he buys land, old and dilapidated houses, demolishes them and replaces them with modular houses capable of producing more energy.
How much? A lot. Electric heat pumps and electric fireplaces will keep them warm; insulation, efficient windows and low voltage LED lights will save energy. Solar panels and batteries will collect, store, provide more energy than homes use. Modular homes are also designed to recycle water used in toilets.
The only flaw: for now the modular houses are all standard and not customizable. Does anyone care?
Modular homes and energy
Aro Homes' modular homes will be partially built in a manufacturing facility, then completed on site, starting with a 280-square-meter (3.000-square-foot) 4-bedroom project. Modular building can reduce material waste in the construction process as well, and reduce the building process of a house from 18 months to 3 months.
A market that will transform construction: this is why Aro is not the only company in the modular home sector. Plant Prefab, supported by Amazon, does the same thing. Mighty Buildings uses 3D printing in its factories to make zero-emission modular homes.
Aro, however, looks ahead of the others: he has just started operating in his first factory in Sacramento, California, and will finish his first modular homes in the Silicon Valle area in early 2023. But how much will they cost?
“At first it will be difficult to get affordable prices. But we believe that once this platform is built we will be able to build modular homes faster and more cost-effectively than ever. "