When out in the San Francisco/Silicon Valley tech scene it is not the AEC (Architecture, Engineering, Construction) industry I hear about leading the charge in technical innovation. It is the chatter of the millions given and insane evaluations of those either in the cloud, selling user data, social, gaming, or insert buzz word here. Yet more and more construction companies are incorporating technology to improve various areas of the building process.

I observe all around SOMA how construction companies like Swinerton and Webcor are using data from the BIM (Building Information Modeling) process to build better. I applaud Skanska‘s use of tablets and experiments with augmented reality. I attend and follow the building/tech events such as the recent ENR FutureTech Conference, which was here in San Francisco this week, to stay current with who is helping lead the innovative builder charge.

Another construction company doing its part to take building high tech is IDEAbuilder, a residential home building company that adds the latest in web, digital fabrication, and robotic manufacturing to the builder’s toolbox to build more efficiently.

True I work at IDEAbuilder but don’t worry, I will spare you the pitch. Instead I want to offer a glimpse at a project we are working on with one of our technology partners (we build houses, not apps). Leveraging the latest in web3D technology and human computer interface, we have built a hands free online home configurator for our clients. What does this mean? Watch my guerrilla video to learn more. *Double click the video to see the whole screen.

So as seen in the video using just hand and body motions, users can snap together their dream home from a library of components. The Performance Shell selection allows users to design homes that meet or exceed certain home energy performance standards. Think of it as building homes with high-energy performance engineered digitally fabricated LEGO bricks.

For the hands free control we are currently using the Microsoft Kinect. The browser in the video was Google Chrome. This app is still in alpha stage with more UX/UI changes to come and the addition of more components. Thanks to the IDEAbuilder team for allowing me to make this video and give people a peek at how innovative tech is changing the building industry.

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