An Algorithm Can Design Your Next Home For $250

An Algorithm Can Design Your Next Home For $250
Design & Architecture

LA-based startup Cover is leveraging automated computer design software to create custom dwellings at a fraction of the price

Weronika Jurkiewicz
  • 10 april 2017

Whether you want a backyard office, painting studio or a full-time home, there are plenty of options on the market, from fully transportable tiny houses to 3D-printed modular homes. But LA-based startup Cover is joining the market with a tech-driven angle—offering affordable, yet completely customizable, accessory dwelling units using a computer-generated algorithm.

Unlike other prefab companies which offer only a couple of designs that are then slightly tweaked to match the customer’s needs, Cover turns to a proprietary algorithmic software to provide high level of personalization. The customers begin by answering a survey of 50 to 100 questions, from how many people usually cook a meal and which appliances are a must-have, to which way the windows should be facing. The answers are then complemented by a computer model which optimizes the window placement and cross-ventilation for natural light and sun-path to ensure energy efficiency.

algorithm design
The algorithm software then generates hundreds of designs that satisfy the requirements, though the general feel is minimalist and modern with insulated steel structure and glass walls. The design phase, described above, takes three days and costs $250, considerably less than a consolation of an architecture studio. If clients decide to hire Cover, the company takes care of any required permits ($20,000 and 2-5 months) and building and installation (12 weeks and the price varies based on the design, usually $250-350 per square foot). Sample costs offered on the company’s website are $70,000 for a guest room, $130,000 for a studio with a kitchenette, $160,000 for a one-bedroom unit, and $250,000 for a two-bedroom unit.


+AI algorithm
+artificial intelligence
+proprietary algorithmic software

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