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22nd Century Housing Repairs ~ Transportation and Scheduling

- a personal view by Chris Potter Director UNICLASS, ROCC

What will the social housing repairs service look like in the future. This article is a personnel series of blogs looking at what a 22nd Century repairs service would look like and covering different aspects such as; the housing stock, transportation and scheduling, the housing environment and the operative of the future. In my previous blog we looked at what the housing stock may look like 85 years from now.

In this blog we examine transportation and scheduling.

Transportation & scheduling

22nd_century_repairs__transport1.jpgTravel and scheduling will be provided by self drive cars which will be pre-programmed to get to each location in the most efficient way. They will automatically provide tracking, communication with the tenant and operative safety

The smart car ferries operatives from one place to another without any user interaction. The car is summoned by a smartphone for pick up at the operatives start location with the destination set. There is no steering wheel or manual control, simply a start button and a big red emergency stop button. In front of the passengers there is a small screen showing the weather, the current speed and a small countdown animation to launch.

Once the journey is done, the small screen displays a message to remind the operative of the job and any risk assessment as well as contacting the tenant to establish identity and credentials

Each vehicle will be equipped with a 3-D printer. A range of materials will be produced directly on-site using the vehicle as a mobile manufacturing unit

Additive manufacturing, or 3D printing is the process of fabricating solid objects from digital models and has been around for three decades. Talk of how this technology could transform both the construction industry and the way we conceive of and build cities has long circulated, too. In the developing world, low-income housing could be erected en masse, while speedily printed structures would provide disaster relief or temporary homes for refugees.

But until recently such talk was largely theoretical. Then in March 2014, the little-known Chinese company Winsun announced it had 3D-printed 10 x £3,200 concrete houses in a day. This raised the question of whether the technology was about to become commercially viable.

22nd_century_repairs__transport2.jpgIn Winsun’s showroom, a video on a giant LED screen shows a printer head moving horizontally along a massive gantry frame. Winsun’s 3D printer is 6.6 metres tall, 10m wide and 150m long,

A filmed close-up of the nozzle reveals what looks like a giant icing bag extruding a grainy batter in a careful pattern. This “ink” is made from recycled rubble, fibreglass, steel, cement and binder, and takes 24 hours to dry. The ribbed-finish printed walls are hollow inside apart from a corrugated filler, a design that saves on materials without sacrificing strength.

It took eight people one month to finish a £105,000 villa, explains Zheng Jian, general manager of Winsun’s Suzhou operations. If traditional construction methods were used it would take 30 people three months. Costs are halved.

In the next blog we will look at the social housing environment.

© Chris Potter, 2015

About Chris

meet_the_team_chris_potter_on.jpgChris has worked in the Software and Housing market for over 30 years.

Posted Thursday, June 25th, 2015 by Chris Potter

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