Sara Routhier, Managing Editor and Outreach Director, has professional experience as an educator, SEO specialist, and content marketer. She has over five years of experience in the insurance industry. As a researcher, data nerd, writer, and editor she strives to curate educational, enlightening articles that provide you with the must-know facts and best-kept secrets within the overwhelming world o...

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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity-backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He also has an MBA from the University of South Florida. ...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder, CFP®

UPDATED: May 3, 2012

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When home loan borrowers, particularly first-time homebuyers, begin looking at the real estate market, they may find themselves asking, “Why do homes cost so much money?”

The answer, of course, is that land is not cheap. But there’s also the cost of planning, drafting, architectural expertise, raw materials, inspections, construction, more inspections, and then finally a finished real estate product is complete. While land will always be sought, valued, and priced accordingly, some are trying to reduce the cost of home loans by minimizing the cost of what we do on that land.

Imagine a world in which we didn’t hire contractors to design and build our houses, but instead simply sat at our computer desks and created them ourselves. In this world we could adjust every minute detail and erect the home of our dreams with simple mouse clicks and quick keyboard commands before we even considered taking out a home loan. Then when we came up with a final product, we just clicked the “print” button and a large printer, which feeds off of plywood sheets, printed the pieces of our home. Home mortgage loans wouldn’t be used for permanent and existing homes, but instead for the mere pieces of our new, unique, and fully customizable properties.

Well, let that imagination run wild because a Danish architecture firm has dived headfirst into this concept and has produced technology capable of doing exactly that: they create homes out of computer software and then print out the pieces using a state-of-the-art plywood printer, otherwise known as a CNC machine.[[{“type”:”media”,”view_mode”:”media_large”,”fid”:”1388″,”attributes”:{“alt”:””,”class”:”media-image”,”height”:”320″,”style”:”padding-top: 5px; padding-right: 5px; padding-bottom: 5px; padding-left: 5px; margin-left: 5px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-top-style: solid; border-right-style: solid; border-bottom-style: solid; border-left-style: solid; float: right; width: 300px; height: 200px; “,”typeof”:”foaf:Image”,”width”:”480″}}]]

“It’s a computerized milling machine, which cuts out parts for our components,” said Nicholas Bjorndal, an architect for the Danish company 1:1 Arkitektur, according to Reuters. “Basically like a printer—[which] you feed… with sheets of paper—we feed this machine with sheets of plywood.”

The CNC machine then scans over the pieces of plywood and begins to cut the slabs into slotted components that will fit together  in order to eventually form a complete house.

If this technology catches on, home loans will no longer be called home loans, but instead maybe “wood loans” or “pieces loans.”

What’s more is that this new technology has tried to address the growing concerns of global warming and environmental damage.

1:1 Arkitektur boasts that its creations are entirely eco-friendly and that they minimize their environmental impact. The company uses plywood from sustainable forests in Finland and has strived to make the home as “green” as possible.

[[{“type”:”media”,”view_mode”:”media_large”,”fid”:”1389″,”attributes”:{“alt”:””,”class”:”media-image”,”height”:”334″,”style”:”padding-top: 5px; padding-right: 5px; padding-bottom: 5px; padding-left: 5px; margin-right: 5px; border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-top-style: solid; border-right-style: solid; border-bottom-style: solid; border-left-style: solid; float: left; width: 300px; height: 209px; “,”typeof”:”foaf:Image”,”width”:”480″}}]]“Well a goal in this project has been to try to make the most CO2-firendly house possible, and we have done that by several aspects,” explained Frederik Agdrup, and architect with 1:1 Arkitectur, according to Reuters. “One thing is that we don’t use any concrete. Another thing is that we only use one material which is wood. And by producing on a CNC machine we can also keep the amount of waste very low.”

The printable houses use structural heating and minimal amounts of steel, which also contribute to the homes’ “green friendly” highlights.

Each these homes are then fitted together on raised foundations so that they can be relocated with little hassle, and so that they leave but a small footprint on the land in which they’re built.

“This house is not only Danish — it’s global and the reason why is that you have every information—design, interface, everything—in a digital platform. And you can just deliver that file to Norway, to China, to the countries that you want to export this concept to. And they can adjust it to the market there,” explained Anders Thomsen, from the Center for New Industries, Technological Institute of Denmark, to Reuters.

If the public receives this new form of housing with open arms, expect to see cheaper home loans, lower amounts of debt, more unique properties, and a healthier environment.