Insights from Attending Digital’s AI Powered Housing Growth Innovation Workshop
June 19, 2024
Nathan Tong

According to the latest CMHC report, addressing the pressing need for affordable housing in Canada requires an estimated 3.5 million additional housing units, beyond current construction rates. Ontario and British Columbia are particularly affected, accounting for about 60% of the housing unit gap, highlighting the severity of the housing crisis in these provinces. This crisis not only strains finances but also contributes to environmental challenges, including carbon emissions and embodied carbon associated with buildings.

Two weeks ago, Green Analytics’ sister company, Green Metrics, attended DIGITAL’s AI Powered Housing Growth InnovationWorkshop hosted by Microsoft Vancouver to learn from industry leaders about the issues plaguing the commercial and residential real estate sector. DIGITAL’s Amy Willis presented a large board illustrating the traditional and linear “Lifecycle of a House,” which was an effective thought exercise for all stakeholders to share issues and opportunities as they saw fit.

Traditional and Linear "Lifecycle of a House" presented by DIGITAL

Insights from the workshop highlighted several key areas for improvement:

  1. The construction industry suffers from poor logistics, fragmented stakeholders with individual objectives, and inadequate communication. Specialized agents serve singular purposes throughout the construction  process, leading to logistical errors. However, there is an opportunity for software to revolutionize data transfer, streamline timelines, and break down silos. Embracing open data formats and fostering a collaborative environment can enhance efficiency and integration in the industry.
  2. The complexity of construction, design, and materials contributes to longer construction durations for properties. Simplifying processes and adopting standardized practices could lead to more efficient construction timelines. Additionally, there is a serious need for upskilling workers, providing valuable employment opportunities while supporting local economies.
  3. Collaboration between public entities and private corporations is essential for accelerating housing growth and removing bureaucratic obstacles. British Columbia's approach, which emphasizes alignment between public and private sectors, serves as a model for effective collaboration in the industry and provides valuable lessons for the rest of Canada.

Attending the DIGITAL AI Powered Housing Growth Innovation Workshop provided the Green Metrics’ team with an invaluable opportunity to gain insights from industry leaders and collaborate on innovative solutions to the pressing challenges facing the real estate sector. Stay tuned for more updates on our collaborative work with DIGITAL as Green Metrics’ continues to seek ways to support the modular real estate and development industry.

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