Innovation Station: Bringing the Future of Housing to Pittsburgh

Curious about tiny homes that expand with you? What about smart thermostats that adjust the climate of each room based on your preference? Module and HiberSense, two local startups focused on smart building design and operations, will be featured at a Green Building Alliance event next week.

photos courtesy module

Tiny homes have been trending in housing community for some time (there even are several HGTV shows dedicated to the concept), but what if you could buy a miniscule home that grows with you as your family — and income — expands?

That’s the premise behind Module, a local startup co-founded by Brian Guadio and Hallie Dumont. Geared toward first-time homebuyers, the company allows buyers to start with a small home and then add onto it incrementally with custom, prefab additions.

“I thought Pittsburgh would be a great place to start. I’m originally from here and when I moved back wanting to create a better way to build housing," Gaudio told Pittsburgh Magazine in June. “I thought, ‘Why not do it in a place you love and are passionate about?’”

Guadio, who has a degree in architecture, was inspired to start Module several years ago while making a documentary about the housing crisis in South America.

Concluding people could live happily — and more economically — in smaller, environmentally friendly houses, he saw a need for more affordable housing in American cities, according to an interview he gave to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Gaudio and his sleek, 12-foot-by-16-foot Module demo unit will be one of the featured guests at The Innovation Station, a Green Building Alliance-sponsored event that takes a look at new building solutions being brought to life in Pittsburgh.

The event takes place from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 17 at Nova Place on the North Side.

The other featured guest is Daniel Mosse, co-founder and technologist at HiberSense, a network of affordable smart thermostats that can (based on your schedule and preferences) adjust the climate in each room of your home.

Besides increasing comfort, the thermostats can save around 30 percent of your HVAC energy, according to GBA. The Module demo unit also is outfitted with HiberSense technology.  

Also on hand will be Jeffrey McDaniel, executive in residence at Innovation Works, which invests in Pittsburgh companies still in the seed stage. McDaniel advises the management teams of startup, clean manufacturing and technology companies, according to GBA.

The event includes light food and drinks. Following the presentations, guests are invited to explore the Module demo unit. Tickets are $20 for GBA members and $30 for non-GBA members. To register for the event, visit here.   


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