On the road with … Housing Innovation Alliance 

With the holidays just around the corner, the travel season will soon be in high gear. Well, we couldn’t wait for the holidays to get on the road (clearly!) This fall, we met up with peers, openly discussed challenges, and took part in learning sessions. For us, it was all about the people – connecting with key players that will shape the future of housing while prioritizing opportunities for innovation. Our approach involves actively engaging, learning, and connecting with fellow innovators.

Don’t worry, we won’t drag out the slide machine and go through hundreds of blurry action shots. Instead, we’ve gathered the best, quick hits for you.

Here’s a recap:

Home Technology Ventures, Housing Innovation Event, Charlotte 

Co-hosted with Wray-Ward, this event explored new opportunities in how we build, buy, and live. Attending as a strategic partner, this was all about the personal connections we made and supporting the built environment start-up ecosystem. Through Home Technology Ventures we got a first-hand look at what’s incubating in Charlotte and the investments going into the Downtown Innovation District.

Blueprint Vegas, Las Vegas  

Who says Vegas is only for the International Builders Show?! (Of course we’ll be there in 2024.) We partnered with Blueprint Vegas 2023 as part of the Construction Technology Summit presented by Era Ventures. Our own Dennis Steigerwalt moderated an international panel—all of which was captured here. 

LinkedIn Live: The Picket Fence Concept Home, Online 

OK, not officially a “trip,” this event showcased The Picket Fence Concept Home— a three-story rental townhome + accessory dwelling unit being constructed in our own backyard, here in Pittsburgh. We’re the development partner for this project, more on that here, and we are thrilled. We gathered the team to walk through the guiding principles, and explain how it was built and designed. Watch the archived LinkedIn Live here. 

Modular Building Factory Tour at Structural Modular Innovations, Pittsburgh 

We didn’t have to travel far for this one with an event right in our own backyard (literally!). Teaming up with the Green Building Alliance and the Realtors Association of Metropolitan Pittsburgh, local attendees participated in a facility tour at SMI, located in Strattanville, where The Picket Fence Concept Home is being constructed, with presentations + conversations on how this innovative home can, no, will lead the way. Read about the inspiring day here. 

Salt Lake City Road Trip, Salt Lake City  

We jetted out west as part of this year’s Energy & Environmental Building Alliance (EEBA) High Performance Home Builder Summit and partnered with them by visiting innovative projects and companies throughout Salt Lake City in tandem with their annual sustainability focused event. High level takeaways from presenters? Make room to fail forward, keep it simple, and have a detailed plan (especially proving you can provide water in your new developments). Read the deep dive here. 

NAHB Building Systems Housing Summit, Washington, DC 

Our own Dennis Steigerwalt moderated  the session, Driving R&D for Operational Agility & Business Resiliency, with panelists Marissa Kasdan, KTGY; Christopher Fox, AIA, NCARB, CAPS, Van Metre Companies; and Brent Wadas, BotBuilt. 

High-level takeaways?

  • KTGY explored how leveraging volumetric modular, panelization, and components for adaptive re-use projects can help convert parking garages + office into housing.
  • Van Metre provided a long view on R&D commitments to test and develop new approaches to home delivery by leveraging a hybrid of offsite + onsite systems. 
  • BotBuilt talked costs + productivity savings derived from their software-enabled hardware to provide translation of 2D plans to 3D engineered designs.

microLife Innovative Housing Summit, Atlanta  

Dennis Steigerwalt moderated (there’s a trend here!) the Innovation Panel that primarily focused on attainable housing and how construction tech and new thinking can lead the way. Key takeaways included: 

  • Incremental change can be disruptive.
  • Look for the opportunity to innovate in the early stages, such as renewable infrastructure, site planning to optimize for systems built solutions, designs for livability, and connectivity.
  • It was agreed that we all need to continue to get creative on financing options to enable economic mobility (think ADUs and fractional ownership programs).

(And, yes, we highlighted The Picket Fence Concept Home as a strong example to prove out all these points!) 

Innovation Workshops + Builder Round Tables

Over the past few months, we’ve also participated in closed-door innovation workshops and facilitated builder round table discussions with some of the best talent in the industry. We can’t share the details, or name-drop, but we can assure you that our network will benefit from the insights and connections made in the long run.

And since we’re in a road trip mood, do you have plans in June? We’d love to see you at our Housing Innovation Summit, June 4-6, 2024. We’ll be back at the Cable Center and hosting Innovation in Action tours in and around Denver as well.

See you on the road in 2024.