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Outside Baltimore, one can catch a glimpse of what could be the future of home building. USA Today reports:

At a sprawling factory owned by Blueprint Robotics on the industrial outskirts of this city, a house frame – complete with windows, plumbing, insulation and electrical wires – is chiseled in large panels by computerized machines in about a day. The pieces of walls, floors and roof are then trucked to the construction site to be assembled in several more days. Although drywall and other features must still be added, the process – which has been used in Europe for decades – can shave the time to build a house by as much as half.

A new generation of prefabricated housing that bears little resemblance to the modular homes of old is among several technologies homebuilders are embracing to cope with the worker shortage. They’re also starting to deploy bricklaying robots and software programs that allow them to avoid miscommunication and delays.

“We’re at a tipping point where it’s finally just gotten too expensive to build the old-fashioned way,” says Margaret Whelan, CEO of Whelan Advisory and an investment banker for the home building industry.

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