Looking at the past few decades, it’s obvious how much technology has impacted societies across the globe. From transportation to health care to education to retail, new technologies emerge every day, streamlining old, traditional processes into new, more efficient ones. That innovation and disruption many industries have seen for years is finally becoming more mainstream in construction.
For example, Veev, a vertically integrated real estate developer, is providing an end-to-end building process that brings technology, labor, materials, planning, and the build under one roof to accelerate and improve manufacturing and construction.
“Veev is a tech company and is set to re-imagine the way we build buildings,” says Dafna Akiva, co-founder and chief revenue officer. “But more than that, to deliver a product, a home, to the end user that gives an exceptional living experience.”
One of the company’s most recent projects is the Laurel Townhomes in San Carlos, California. Six units—ranging in size from 2,077 to 2,218 square feet—make up the project’s two three-story structures that boast an array of design features, amenities, and embedded technology. Tying all these elements together are the walls.
Systems and Surfaces
The townhomes were built with Veev’s closed-wall system to bolster each home with an envelope that is designed for performance and streamlined construction.
The walls feature two unique materials—light-gauge steel and high-performance surface (HPS). The steel is used for the structure, while the HPS is the material used for finishing.
According to the company, steel was selected over wood for several reasons. It is more sustainable, with near zero waste, and allows the team to manufacture structural components with higher precision and at a greater speed. Steel also provides benefits to homeowners after the build, including greater resistance to moisture and pests, seismic durability, and a high fire rating.
HPS is then used to cover the steel. Unlike traditional drywall, Veev reports the surface is nonporous and does not fade or degrade. It is also the chosen material for doors, vanities, built-in closets, kitchen cabinetry, and countertops. According to the company, it’s pleasing to the eye, certified hygienic and mold-resistant, ultrasmooth to the touch, and possesses great strength.
Between the steel and HPS, each wall is loaded with digital home, mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) functionalities.
Once completed and pre-inspected, the walls are delivered to the construction site ready for installation using the company’s plug-and-play system.
“The Veev closed walls precisely lock into our steel framing like Lego blocks, allowing our state-of-the-art system to instantaneously connect the MEP, HVAC, and digital integration routing zones,” explains the company’s website. “This completely removes the burden of on-site wiring support and allows construction timelines to be measured and predicted in terms of walls per day—all while delivering a simplified, mess-free construction site.”
Plans and Particulars
Although they differ slightly in size, the three-story units have similar features. Each includes three bedrooms, two-and-a-half to three bathrooms, a two-car garage, a dedicated home office or flex space, and community outdoor space.
The floor plans are all arranged with the garages and office/flex spaces on the first level, the main living areas on the second level, and the bedrooms and laundry on the third level. And on the two street-facing units, the office functions as a live-work space, where residents have the option to host outside clients or customers.
Aesthetically, the project’s overall design is modern and minimalistic, with warm wood accents on both the exterior and interior. Floor-to-ceiling windows and glass balconies provide ample natural light, hardwood floors have been installed throughout, and the HPS for the cabinets, counters, and closets reflects the contemporary design.
“The HPS can be printed on and can look like wood, stone, or cement,” says Akiva. “This is the design we chose for this project, but other homes with the same material could basically look and feel completely different.”
Integrated touch panels replace traditional switches and control home operations in the homes. The smart panels incorporate multiple sensors, enabling homeowners to control the LED lighting, the garage door, window shades, skylights, and temperature.
“Each room has a touch panel on the wall, and you also have your phone with our proprietary system in it,” says Akiva. “From this touch panel, you can basically control whatever you want because everything is configurable.”
The technology also goes hand in hand with energy efficiency, as homeowners can individually manage each room’s settings. Plus, rooftop solar, electric vehicle charging, LED lighting, and energy-efficient appliances also help homeowners save energy.