BLOG: The Disruption of the Developer is Happening

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January 2, 2019 - Invest in Texas Initiative works with foreign and domestic investors looking to invest in many different sectors. As such, we get a peek at the future in many different industries and the disruption that they are going through or will. One of which is the construction/development industry that will have many different ripple effects - sales, financing, insurance, etc. when implemented into the real world.

Natural evolutions in the construction world have been the advanced technology of energy and green improvements. Computer and VR analysis of construction and remodel to maximize energy efficiency that helps the consumer’s pocketbook and saving the planet.

Or the continued advancement of solar energy whether a panel for the single home or a small central energy collection source in the parking lot that can distribute and power individual units in an apartment complex. The tenant can have individuals buy into the plan to save their individual energy costs or build in the cost for the entire complex to their rent. No matter what, energy costs are reduced drastically or eliminated. Saving money and the planet.

Or an automated sun filter screen that can cover each window in a high rise for a fraction the cost and time of traditional installation. From the outside, you see a high-rise of a mirrored building. When looking out the window from the inside, you would never know there’s a veneer on the window. That technology can save a building’s electric costs hundreds of thousands each month saving money and, again, the planet.

But what about the disruptors? A small one could be a concrete block using recycled wood fibers as part of its construction. The blocks do not require mortar so quicker to build, cheaper to buy and eco-friendly. The result? An appearance of a wooden home whether a late 20th century southern plantation home or a modern 21st century home. The difference? It’s a special made concrete that can withstand fire, flood and wind damage. How would insurers factor that safety in their cost assessment?

Then there’s the 3D printer that can make build a 1000 square foot house in 24 hours for $10,000. The consumer still has to finish out remaining so the end cost for the home is anywhere from $20,000 - $35,000. The shape of the 3D house can be as organic as you want. “I would like a house in the shape of a question mark.” OK. It can do it.

What’s next with that concept? As the 3D construction machines become more advanced so does the product. A strip center finished in three days? How about a high-rise hotel? Finished in three weeks? And remember, these concepts aren’t part of science fiction scripts. They’re happening right now.

As one of the inventors of these technologies told me, developers are still stuck in the 1950s way of construction, development, infrastructure and design. They either need to understand and embrace the disruption that’s about to happen or get left behind without a job.