Is It Realistic To Expect Moore's Law In Housing?

in LeoFinance2 months ago

By now most are familiar with Moore's Law. This simple observation made by Gordon Moore more than 60 years ago has been the basis for the boom in computation and digitization. While some are questioning whether it is coming to an end, it certainly pushed humanity forward.

When we think about how different life is compared to what it was in the early 1960s, the two worlds are not even comparable. Our life is vastly different than what it was 30 years ago, let alone the same period prior to that.

There is no doubt digitization is affecting many areas of our lives. For example, a big portion of the retail sales world shifted to online. This is, of course, digitized. This naturally helped push costs down since warehouse space is a lot cheaper than store front.

Over the last few months, I followed some of the progress in the arena of 3-D printing. This is potentially going to have a big impact in the housing market. Construction is so vitally important to the global economy yet is very expensive. There is not a great deal of technological progress being used since the industry is basically the same as a number of decades ago.


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One of the biggest advantages to technology is that it sends costs plummeting. The idea of the zero, or near-zero, marginal cost society follows this idea. As technology advances, the margins on products are squeezed. They effectively become commodities which help to reduce the cost across the board. Those companies that try to hold margins up end up losing market share for competitors who provide lower costs but equal quality.

Since so many industries are just now starting to see technological innovation entering, it will be a while before things really take hold. The construction industry is one example of this.

However, it is not too early to ask if it is realistic for us to expect a trend similar to Moore's Law? After all, we know what happened over time with computers, televisions, smartphones, and a host of other products with chips in them.

Not all followed what happened with chips. Nevertheless, it is obvious how the cost of computers, as an example, dropped significantly over the last 20 years while the products themselves improved greatly.

Could this happen in something like housing?

Many believe it is possible. A technology such as 3-D printing enables a great deal more creativity, flexibility in materials, reduction of waste, and scalability of size. Also, the printers themselves fall under the Laws of Information Technology.

This means there could be radical advancements as more companies start to innovate with this technology.

Of course, that is not the only area where things are changing. The materials sciences is also seeing a profound evolution. Computing is helping in this arena where researchers are finding they are now powered by more powerful devices that can reduce the time to create new materials.

The boom in 3-D printing actually pushed the material sciences forward.

Many will think the idea of housing dropping significantly as something that is impossible. This is not surprising since most cannot envision something that is radically different from what they know.

Nevertheless, there is a great deal happening today that was not possible in the past. In fact, much of our daily lives would be considered "magic" to someone from 100 years ago.

Expectations have a great deal to do with what actually materializes. Since we know technology can drive down costs, perhaps it is time we expect companies in industries that are "old fashioned" to advance at a much faster pace.

Within the next few years, we will have enough examples of 3-D printed homes to start putting pressure on builders. My guess is those that do not embrace the technology will end up getting left behind. It was not too long ago that retailers did not fully embrace online shopping and look at what happened there.

ultimately, those that get a start on this will find themselves leading the way. Since we are dealing with technology, it is likely we do see rapid advancement in the capabilities. This should help to drive down costs. As more companies get involved and innovate, we will likely see the snowball effect occurring.

This could eventually have an effect on prices.

Do you think it is unrealistic to expect a trend along the lines of Moore's Law in housing?


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Do you think it is unrealistic to expect a trend along the lines of Moore's Law in housing?

No. If 3D printing goes the way I think it will. Then anybody would be able to create a house and all the troublesome parts can be processed with a tool rather than human labor. So what is left of costs would essentially be energy and material costs. In this case, the cost would drop by a lot.

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That is all true. If they remove/reduce the labor involved, that will have a huge impact.

Plus the time to construct is also a factor that changes everything. If they can put these up in days instead of months, that will be a huge difference.

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In 2010 how many would have thought there would be a company capable of building a house using 3D printing techniques, or that they would develop now improved building materials. I would think by 2030 3D built houses will be less expensive than traditional built houses. A simple google search for 3D printed houses will amaze some people I think.

I would think by 2030 3D built houses will be less expensive than traditional built houses.

They already are in 2021.

The issue is scaling. But I agree with you, the technology is going to advance a great deal throughout this decade.

Few would have thought it would be possible a decade ago yet here we are.

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I think this can be totally viable with the caveat that they will need to find a better way to create the materials. If you are expending fossil fuels to make the plastic that is use to create these materials then what is the actual advantage over cutting down trees. I realize that is more from a environmental standpoint, but I think it expands beyond that. At some point the Law of Conservation of Mass has to apply and by creating these materials we might be digging ourselves out of one hole and into a bigger one.

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We could be. Life is really the Law of Unintended Consequences. It is hard to know what is going to be harmful down the road. Like you said, we step forward, believing it to be of benefit yet end up creating as big, if not bigger mess, going forward.

I guess it is how we learn.

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Yeah, for sure. I think that is why some people have such a hard time making decisions sometimes.

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even if we could make the structure super easy, it's the stuff inside a house that's more expensive even today, anybody who has build a house can confirm that

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this is the technology, in the future will be advantage again and again newbie here

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I think it has to happen where 3-D printing pushes the development of new materials. I wouldn't want to live in a plastic house so give me something that is similar to what I have now or better at least. Technology will change how things are done and how we live in the future and yes the costs have to start to come down.

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Driving down costs of building hones substantially is fantastic, if you don’t own a house yet that is. Say the technology gets it done and house prices drop by a large amount, what is a large amount? 20% cheaper? 30? Now imagine all the people who have bought houses in the last ten years before the technology is released. They’d be pissed! And so would the banks.
If someone figured out a way to drastically reduce the price of a house they would undercut the competition as little as possible but enough to be highly noticeable and the savings on material and labour would go into the pocket of one person further widening the gap between rich and poor. This will keep happening anyways it would just be faster. Construction workers out of work due to automation. The price of land would go up too because they want a piece of the savings, don’t forget the small handful of land developers that own half of North America.
I could go on and on on this subject (I’ve been building houses for 25 years) but I’m already starting to ramble.

Houses being made WAY more cost effective is not going to be passed on to the consumer, they’ll act like they’re passing it on but in reality they’re just gonna make home building for the builder WAY more profitable by offering a better price than the conventional builder.

The planet is not infinite and we are already over budget in terms of water, energy, transportation, deforestation, fishing, and the exploitation of other resources. So yeah, it could grow exponentially in theory and it is by means of mass destruction.

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