And why smart is better.
Let‘s begin this blog post where the Vector Homes‘ journey would start, at our flawless ordering process.
Once we‘re all set, the customers will be able to design their dream Vector Homes in an intuitive online configurator. Within this configurator our customers will be able to add and remove parts and technologies simply by drag and drop. When adding components every step will immediately show the effect on the buildings size, costs, delivery time and carbon footprint. The fully designed houses will then be accessible as virtual 3D models as well as renders for a VR experience. Like this our customers can fully immerse themselves in their future homes and get a feeling of whether they need to do some additional adjustments to their designs and order their houses once they feel ready with just a couple of clicks. But this is not where it ends, the customer will at any point of time be able to see the current status of their build, what percentage it‘s complete, what the next steps will be and how long the remaining estimated delivery time is. Afterall, a home is one of the biggest financial investments we make and so Vector Homes will make the delivery process as transparent as possible and empower the future homeowner to have control over process.
The basis for our smart manufacturing process will be a state of the art manufacturing facility with which we‘ll be able to deliver to highest quality standards and to run on maximum efficiency and close to zero waste. While automation obviously will be very important, we all know that a manufacturing facility as well as the highest quality standards won’t work without safe, highly trained and, most of all, happy employees. This is why our employees are at the heart of everything we do and why we offer not only very competitive salaries but great benefits and training, far above industry standards.
The information and material flow will be entirely automated. In our facilities no one will have to copy data from one excel sheet to another. To scale up to our goal output of 5000 houses a year in our giga facility will be designed around for mass customisation optimised robotics.
Quality control will happen at every step in our manufacturing process, not only at the final step. Our employees will be highly trained to prevent and discover even the tiniest flaws.
Smart use of materials and nano-material enhancements
The materials we use are close to 100% recycled. Sustainability and durability were at the heart of our thoughts when we created our material formulations.
Concrete, or similar environmentally destructive materials find no use in Vector Homes houses. Not only will we use recycled steel and polymers, but we’ll also enhance those with nano-materials to increase strength, durability, machinability, thermal and acoustic performance.
In contrast to most modular housing manufacturers, we consciously made a decision against a volumetric delivery of our components. This will increase the time spent on the housing plot slightly but gives us superior benefits when it comes to transporting our components in standard trucks. We’ll be able to transport up to two houses with one lorry.
Vector Node and smart controls
To make a house really smart, we need to give it a brain, the ability to gather information of its surroundings and the knowledge of what is best for its homeowners and the environment. The Vector Node will be able to gather information from hundreds of sensors across our customers’ houses and assume environmental control of the house if permitted by the owner. This might mean that the house will decide to move down the roller blinds in summer to keep your living room cool. On the other hand, in winter, it will automatically open the vents in the bathroom to let all the humidity out. How often have we left the window open and then return to a cold house? The Vector Node will measure the humidity in every room and open or close the vents accordingly or activate the internal air flows most efficiently heat or cool your home.
Smart energy and water usage
Every Vector Homes house will come with solar panels on its roof and a grey water purification system. The energy which is generated by the solar panels will be stored in batteries within the house and therefrom be ready to be used, no matter if for your lights, the fridge or charging your electric car in the garage.
As for the water usage, how insane is it that it’s normal to use perfectly clean drinking water to flush our toilets? For us this is really shocking and not sustainable at all. This is why we use grey water purification systems in our houses. What happens is that we catch the water from your sink, shower and washing machine, filter it within your house and use it to flush the toilet, take a shower or wash your clothes. Even though this creates marginal extra costs, you can be sure it contributes a lot to changing the way we think and deal with water, the most precious element on earth.
When building Vector Homes communities, we plan to create a bunch of additional benefits which will enhance the living experience improve sustainability.
In a future where most technologies of our daily lives, like your car, will be electrified, we have to start with generating and storing electricity. As mentioned above, every Vector Homes house will be equipped with solar panels, an energy storage system (e.g. battery), an internal smart control system to most efficiently manage your energy and facilitate grey water usage. On a community wide range, we’ll add additional centralised energy storage, centralised waste disposal, drone security and community spaces where people can come together.
Within the centralised energy storage, we’ll try to tackle one of the main weaknesses of renewable energy sources like solar and wind energy, the storage issue. While the sun shines only during the day, most energy is needed in the evenings and nights. With a centralised energy storage, we’ll store the energy over production which goes over the storage capacity of the individual homes. This energy will then be distributed across the community to provide additional energy where it is needed.
Once our Vector Homes communities get big enough, we do also want to create an entire community wide grey water cycle. Why if every house already has a grey water filtration system you might ask? The answer is pretty straight forward, cost. Grey water purification systems are expensive and most of the time only create a monetary profit if used centrally for a lot of water. This is why you nowadays will most likely only find these systems in hotels or on company sites. The heart of this grey water cycle will be the central water purifier. Once the grey water is filtered, it will be returned to the houses and used for grey water usage only like flushing the toilet or watering your garden.
Obviously, we cannot develop all the above technologies and systems all by our own but in order to make them a reality we work with a range of partners.
We can only make this happen together.