OpenIDEO is an open innovation platform. Join our global community to solve big challenges for social good. Sign up, Login or Learn more

AVAVA Systems: Renewable Energy + Modular Housing = Smart Communities!

AVAVA Systems mission is to design the most compelling and sustainable solutions for affordable housing in the world. We believe renewable energy should be fully integrated into to our living and working spaces as a standard option. This combined with a high efficiency building envelopes and natural water treatment systems will allow people to build new towns and cities nearly anywhere in the world in a way that is truly sustainable. Our designs are intended to be locally manufactured and assembled in order to create jobs for these communities. For the people, by the people!

Photo of Benjamin Kimmich
42 20

Written by

AVAVA Systems is passionate about creating housing ‘for the people, by the people.’ One of our core goals is to leverage design to make housing something that does not require specialized skills or tools to build. It should be simple, easy and fast to construct. This will make it possible for any community to build their own housing. Also, in parts of the world where reliable infrastructure is scarce or nonexistent, it only makes sense that this be “built-in” or integrated into new developments. This is far more efficient than the “add-on afterwards” strategy that is often planned but not often implemented.
Imagine planning a real estate development and knowing exactly what it will cost, how long it will take build and that ‘sustainability’ won’t be cut out half way through to save time or money. This is the goal for the designers at Avava systems. We also want to work directly with the people living and working in these developments so we can consistently improve the design and adapt it to their needs.

Questions we have…
1. What areas are most in need of this type of product and at the same time are open to a new way of building communities? Who can we talk to in these areas to get the conversation started?
2. Who else is passionate about solving this problem? Who can we partner with to make the design better (especially in the renewable energy sector) or get the resources to scale with the demand?
3. What are the most important things to you in a place you live? What makes your house a place you are proud to call home?   

What community does this idea benefit and who are the main players?

Our product is intended for a number of communities, these are as follows:
The 863 million people across the world are living in slum conditions. (As of 2015). The 42 million people left homeless because of natural disasters. (2010 Figure). The 27 percent of Americans that spend more than half their income on rent. (As of 2010) The 3 billion people, or about 40 per cent of the world’s population, that will need proper housing and access to basic infrastructure by 2030, according to UN Habitat

Our population is expanding at an exponential rate and the only way to achieve an acceptable standard of living for the people of this planet is through innovation. We implore you to help us with this mission.

How does your idea specifically help your community rapidly transition to renewables?

If renewable energy comes standard on any living or working space we build, than the need to “transition” becomes unnecessary. In addition, if these spaces are so elegant and desirable that all the surrounding communities decide they simply must have them, than you start a renewable energy movement by demand. This is a very important factor. The majority of people didn't crave electric automobiles until Tesla started making them desirable. We must combine the form of beautifully designed housing with the function on renewable energy in order to create a scaleable solution that will go viral.

What early, lightweight experiment can you try out in your own community to find out if the idea will meet your expectations?

Avava systems has approached the owners of a few vacant lots around the San Francisco Bay area and has received permission to do a pilot projects at these locations. This would allow us to test an initial production run of our units as well as get feedback from local users. We are also in conversation with a architecture firm that is working on sustainable work force housing for a number of projects throughout North America.

What skills, input or guidance are you keen to connect with from the OpenIDEO community to help you build out or refine your idea further?

The folks at AVAVA Systems love meeting anyone who is passionate about affordable, sustainable housing. With that said, we are especially interested meeting people are working on real development projects and are open to innovative methods. We are also currently in fund raising mode, so if you or someone you know is interested in investing in “the most compelling way to build our communities” we would love to talk to them. Finally, we are always interested in talking to mechanical engineers and industrial designers.

(UPDATE)
One of the best things about contributing to this challenge has been the talented people that have come forward to offer their time and expertise to help us be more successful.

1. Thank you so much to Matthew Chow from the IDEO team for the help he gave us regarding our business strategy. Matthew started with a great template to evaluate our product applications. He then helped us figure out a clear and concise business plan around that application including potential partnerships, value proposition and growth strategy. Matthew's energy was inspiring and he asked some really good questions. We really appreciate the time and effort he devoted to our company.

2. We have been contacted by mechanical engineer who shares our vision for creating affordable, sustainable and sexy housing solutions. We look forward to collaborating with her. We have also been contacted by a designer who is focusing on better utilizing public and vacant spaces, and we hope to provide him with some innovative solutions.
A big thank you to OpenIDEO for getting our idea in front of people in a way that inspires them. We look forward to strengthening these relationships and building more as we move forward.

Please indicate which type of energy is most relevant to this post:

  • Solar

This idea emerged from:

  • A Group Brainstorm

42 comments

Join the conversation:

Comment
Photo of Benjamin Kimmich
Team

Just wanted to mention again how helpful it was for AVAVA Systems to participate in this challenge. Thanks so much to all those who provided comments, suggestions and links to new technology. Here is a link our feedback page:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/nbozzoydvuivnvl/Feedback%20-%20OpenIDEO%20Renewable%20Energy%20Challenge.docx?dl=0

View all comments