The Builder’s Digest

HIVE Top 10: Celebrating Housing, Innovation, Vision & Economics Together

Posted by Chandal Nolasco da Silva on Dec 3, 2019 4:50:16 PM

We’re excited to announce that RenoRun was recognized as part of the prestigious 2019 HIVE 50! HIVE stands for Housing Innovation, Vision and Economics, and it honours leading people, products and processes in the building industry annually, through an awards ceremony and dinner event coinciding the Innovation and Disruption in Housing Incubator. This year the event takes place on December 4-5 in Austin, Texas, one of our favourite US cities!

While there are endless examples of the incredible work being done by all the building-industry innovators named in this year’s HIVE 50, here are some of our favourites.

1 Andersen Easy Connect Joining System 



Recognized by HIVE for their building technology, Andersen Easy Connect Joining System has taken a commoditized product — windows — and catapulted it to a whole new level. They’ve created safer and quicker assembly to ensure window and door combinations are completed correctly on the first try.

With a focus on ensuring a positive experience for both homeowners and builders, their patented system encompasses the factory fabrication process, engineering, and interlocking fiberglass joining plates. 

Why We Love Them: 

Less time spent on labor, reduced costs for materials, decreased waste being produced and less back and forth during the construction cycle. 

How to Find Them:

2 Austin Energy Green Building 

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Austin Energy Green Building has set the bar for increasing energy efficiency, literally. They developed a rating system in the early 90s that could be used to evaluate energy conservation performance in a building, thanks to a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy. The organization recognizes builders who meet the standards in their rating system and some parts have been adopted into the City of Austin’s building code regulations.

With a strong social conscience and focus on repair and healing, this company was looking for environmentally-friendly solutions long before many builders had this on their radar.

Why We Love Them: 

They've rated over 15,000 single-family homes, 160 multifamily properties, and more than 26,000 dwelling units, in addition to commercial lots. Part of their important mission helps the City of Austin meet its “net-zero, community-wide greenhouse gas emissions by 2050” climate-change commitment.

How to Find Them:

3 Backyard BI(h)OME 

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Backyard BI(h)OME, from Kevin Daly Architects, was introduced in 2015 with the idea of creating a low-cost and low-impact dwelling. The goal was a financial and space-conscious option for expanding homes or adding as a standalone in a backyard.

Each 500 square-foot unit is equipped with a living room, kitchen/dining room, bedroom, and bathroom. The units are easy to install and remove and are almost completely recyclable. 

Why We Love Them:

The dwellings create anywhere between ten and 100 times less of an environmental impact than conventional supplementary dwellings, and they don’t require a foundation or a sewer hookup. BI(h)OMES represents everything great about sustainable buildings — smart design, easy fabrication, and recycling. 

How to Find Them:

4 Optima DCHGlobal Building System 

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Combining recycled steel and glass, the Optima DCHGlobal Building System stands out in the design category. With its modular, 7x7 foot grid, prefabricated components, this building system can be used to build both horizontally and vertically. The system was designed to address the “lack of standardized construction systems that were comprised of components that could be assembled in different configurations.”  

Why We Love Them: 

The components of the system use recycled, corrosion-resistant steel that can be assembled quickly on-site, saving time, even on the most difficult to access building sites. 

How to Find Them:

5 Hayward Score 

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A HIVE honouree for intel, Hayward Score helps individuals create indoor environments that are free of health hazards. Hayward Score conducts surveys on the climate and environmental data of a building’s structure and system characteristics. They look at odours, noise, indoor air quality, light and water purity, along with gathering health information from building residents. This information is then run through an algorithm to rate the home condition as either healthy or unhealthy. Residents can get free, actionable advice on how to improve their unique situation.

Why We Love Them: 

They empower residents to improve the environmental conditions of their homes. They’re using the data to find links between building materials and the health of the residents. 

How to Find Them:

6 Intelligent Structural Panel 

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Intelligent Structure Panel (ISP) is the brainchild of Toronto-based WZMH Architects. They wanted to take everything that goes into a floor and wall and put them into one integrated panel. They achieved this innovative mission and went a step beyond creating a revolutionary low-voltage structural system.

Here’s a quick rundown of how ISP is reimagining residential systems integrations:

  • Onsite installation
  • Minimum labour required
  • Energy-efficient modular design
  • Reduction in construction waste
  • Mechanical, electrical and IT operations infrastructure built-in
  • Buildings that are 90% low-voltage (DC vs AC)

Why We Love Them: 

These panels allow builders to monitor areas, such as water conservation, energy use, and health and safety measures in real-time. 

How to Find Them:

7 Source Hydropanels 

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Hydropanels from Zero Mass Water, harvest water from the air using only sunlight. Clean drinking water could, in theory, be delivered to anywhere in the world! 

The Hydropanels are four feet wide and eight feet tall. They filter air before it passes through the system, and water is kept clean with ozonation inside the integrated reservoir. This is done in arrays of two 4 x 8-foot panels in more than 33 countries on six continents.

Why We Love Them: 

The staff at Zero Mass Water are true alchemists with the power to turn air into water, now in more than 33 countries on six continents. 

How to Find Them:

8 Infinite Panel 

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Infinite Panel offers a prefabricated option for building facades. Using a standard frame and connection system, these panels offer flexibility in terms of the overall look and are a single-source solution that meets or exceeds water, vapour, sound, and fire code requirements. Known for their building solutions, Infinite Panel from Clark Pacific is one to watch for in the building-technology category. 

Why We Love Them: 

Infinite Panel allows builders and architects to increase efficiency and reduce cost without sacrificing on design.

How to Find Them:

9 Howick 

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Howick has created a digital design-to-automated construction platform in collaboration with Structsoft, Autodesk and a group of local contractors. Together they were able to automate the onsite construction of the customer briefing space within the technology centre. The end result was the elimination of nearly all framing waste and a shorter project timeline. 

Why We Love Them: 

They've pushed the boundaries of what’s possible for onsite and offsite industrial construction, and between physical and digital. In the process, they’re eliminating construction waste and shortening project timelines! What’s not to love?

How to Find Them:

10 CoUrbanize

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Developing a city takes a lot of coordination, from floor plans to environmental impact studies. CoUrbanize provides a central platform for everything that developers and planners need for reporting and communication tools. Across Canada and the U.S., CoUrbanize has facilitated at least 400 inclusive community projects. 

Why We Love Them: 

By being transparent with what’s happening, builders and city planners can address questions from residents and get better buy-in for their projects.  

How to Find Them:

Thanks to Everyone Involved in H.I.V.E

Together, the people who participate in HIVE are working to reshape the tomorrow of the building industry. RenoRun is extremely proud to have been selected as part of this prestigious group.

Want to learn more about all of the HIVE 50 2019 honourees? See the whole list right here.


Image Credits

Feature Image: Unsplash/Ian Schneider

All screenshots by author, November 2019.

Image 1: Screenshot via Andersen Easy Connect Joining System 

Image 2: Screenshot via Austin Energy Green Building 

Image 3: Screenshot via Backyard BI(h)OME

Image 4: Screenshot via Optima DCHGlobal Building System

Image 5: Screenshot via Hayward Score

Image 6: Screenshot via Canadian Architect

Image 7: Screenshot via Zero Mass Water

Image 8: Screenshot via Infinite Panel

Image 9: Screenshot via Howick

Image 10: Screenshot via CoUrbanize

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