Under the same umbrella: shared vision and goals

Author: Lars Wikholm, Wiksfors Technology © 2020

The need for affordable and quality houses is severe. The time for making a big leap with the house building industry is now. This industry might be innovating on the surface, however in the meantime it is a cumbersome and traditional polluting industry, operating mainly within countries with complex hierarchical structures, focusing on maximizing revenues, project after project.

The matter of the fact is that the building and construction industry are responsible for 39% of all carbon emissions in the world. There is a global worrying trend with lack of affordable houses in almost every large city and one-third of the world population is financially struggling, because they are spending more than 40% of their income on housing.

The world needs good quality and affordable housing; however, the house building industry and governments do not seem to take the responsibility. Or more correctly, they are probably doing their best but have lost control over the vehicle they are driving and without a steering wheel the journey will be both expensive and without a clear goal!


Watch OECD’s video on the need of affordable houses

One-third of the world population is spending more than 40% of their income on housing

What can we learn from other industries, like the automotive industry such as Tesla, and the furniture industry like Ikea?

There will always be those who are willing to pay for design. We see that in the furniture and car industry as well. However those who will choose their product primarily based on values like price, quality and sustainable materials used, will have to struggle when buying a house. Tomorrow’s customers, the young generation, will value their selection of a house in a different way than what we see in the past. This trend is clearly evident in both the car industry and the furniture industry and the behaviour is emerging in an increasingly bright light as time goes on. The house industry has maybe a few examples, but it is just not integrated in the development process. The house building industry must change in a completely different way than what has happened so far. Not only to start acting on rapid development of affordable housing. But also if it wants to allow its end-customers to make any choice based on price, quality and sustainable materials used for example.

A lot of good development is ongoing in different areas of the building industry, but we also know that the Research and Development work (R&D) is very limited to specific niches of the total value chain. This specific R&D work is important and will make a difference, but it will not change the industry in its foundation. It will basically provide small improvements and adjustments on the surface of the deep sea of opportunities that the future holds for this industry. 

Knowledge distribution gap:

  1. Material manufacturers cannot figure out what a material should look like if they do not first understand what a machine can handle and produce.
  2. Architects and designers can not design affordable houses without a deep knowledge for how the house will be produced in a highly automated factory. Today the designers have a lack of knowledge of what machines can and can’t do.
  3. The machine builder is challenged to develop machines to manufacture a product that is complex and that he doesn’t have knowledge and understanding about. 
  4. The software producer is in the middle of the discussion between the machine builders and the designers of what can and can’t be done.
  5. The production unit (factory workers and management), is the one who needs to have knowledge of both the software, the machines, the materials and the design. There is a huge challenge in both obtaining and maintaining this knowledge.

Machine builders can not make machines without a deep knowledge of how house manufacturing is working, whereas today factories can not tell the machine builders what kind of machines to build, because they have no tradition of developing their production units for automated production. What is needed is an “Umbrella” where there is a tight group of partners, companies, industries working together to enable the house production of the future. It needs to make a giant leap, creating a change that the earth so badly needs. When governments are backing up, developers continue doing business as usual, it is time to stand up and rise. 

Wiksfors Technology is up for the task. We are devoted to this task and believe to the fullest that we are going to change the market based on our belief, knowledge, partnership, and dedication.

So, what will make this happen?

We have the ideas, we have the knowledge, we have the time and we have the people.

What we need is a partner/investor that wants to make a difference in the world and be a part of this ambitious project that has called many, but none has – yet – managed to largely bring change to the house building industry.

This is more than a machine, more than a factory, more than a material producer, more than a trade and more than a customer journey. This is the vision of the entire chain fitting together and working under one umbrella, like in any other successful business working on a global scale. Making an impact worldwide.