Alternative homebuilding remains a small section of the market, but everything from cost challenges to worker shortages within the traditional model suggest there’s ample room for automation technologies to change how homes are built.

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In March, innovative home manufacturer Veev closed on a $400 million round of funding.

While not the only company out there making modern, quality homes in a factory — that kind of funding makes a significant statement about the status of the category.

Equally intriguing to the evolution of home construction is the naming of a robotic 3D printer to the Long Island Builders Institute (LIBI). The announcement was made in a December statement, formally inducting SQ4D’s Max ARCS, or “Max,” as a “peer-recognized” member of the organization, a first for a 3D printing company.

Kristen Henry, Chief Technology Officer of SQ4D, accepted the membership on behalf of Max.

“It’s time to drop the hammer and let the 3D printers do their work as we push the construction industry forward,” Henry said in the statement.

ARCSs is an acronym for Autonomous Robotic Construction System. It can be deployed on-site to build a home’s footings, slab, foundation walls, exterior and interior walls and roof, the company said. When Max is done, more than 50 percent of the home is finished.

Alternative homebuilding remains a small section of the market, but everything from cost challenges to worker shortages within the traditional model suggest there’s ample room for automation technologies to change how homes are built.

Veev’s $400 million came about a year after it raised $100 million, according to an Inman report.

“Not only do we have so much to catch up, we have so much to rebuild,” Veev’s CEO Amit Haller told Crunchbase at the time. “That means one thing: it’s a nonlinear problem. This problem requires a lot of disruption in construction.”

However, with lagging buyer demand and interest rate fears holding back the market, building anything may be a challenge as the market slogs into an already weather-beaten winter.

Inman reported in November that builder confidence is down. The National Home Builders Association/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index dropped five points in November to 33, down from 38 in October, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). The latest results mark the lowest level since June 2012 with the exception of the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in the Spring of 2020.

Long Island Builders Institute was founded in 1941 and is the local chapter of the NAHB and the New York State Builders Association (NYSBA). Collectively, the organizations consist of 140,000 human members.

SQ4D is based in Patchogue, New York, a town along Long Island’s south coast. According to its website, it holds the record for the world’s largest 3D printed home, a four-bedroom, two-bathroom house in Islandia, New York, with a garage and 9-foot ceilings. It took 15 days to complete.

Email Craig Rowe

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