The future of Buildings - Self Repairing Houses

27 Sep 2022

Back to all Articles

Dear Reader, 

Home ownership can be a drag. It's expensive and maintenance is time consuming. Today we rely on concrete and steel to build our world, but these materials are difficult to produce, transport, and assemble, and they eventually wear out or break down.

But what if you had a home that repaired itself? There'd be no need to replace driveway cracks, touch up exterior paint, or patch a hole in your wall. The idea may seem like science fiction, but self-repairing materials have been developed before. The potential benefits are huge: Self-repairing buildings could last for centuries with little or no human repair work. Entire buildings could be grown from scratch, using very little material and requiring virtually zero shipping costs.

DARPA, the arm of the U.S. Department of Defense that researches new technologies, launched a project last year to create new types of materials that have the structural abilities of traditional building materials but the attributes of living systems.The organization points to the advantages of biological materials such as coral, bark and even skin. DARPA's big idea is to replace those current building materials with new materials that can grow into predetermined shapes, repair themselves if damaged, and even adapt themselves to the environment. Its new mission to create them is called the Engineering Living Materials program.The vision of the ELM program is to grow materials on demand where they are needed. Imagine that instead of shipping finished materials, we could ship precursors and rapidly grow them on site using local resources. Entire buildings could be grown from scratch, using very little material and requiring virtually zero shipping costs.

For instance, DARPA proposes roof tiles that can passively control airflow, keeping your house cool in the summer and warm in the winter, all without you adjusting the thermostat. DARPA is working with one such company, Ecovative, to make physical moulds for structures. They envision reprogramming biology so that seeds could grow on their own into a given shape, such as a 2 x 4 piece of lumber. It's still the early days for these technologies, and it's unclear when the average person would get to enjoy these benefits. The wait could last for decades. But some innovators -- such as Sidewalk Labs, the urban innovation lab of Google's parent company, Alphabet -- are working toward this goal.This is all highly speculative, of course, and any advances in this area are not likely to hit the market for many years. But given DARPA's reputation for turning science fiction into reality, it may only be a matter of time before self-healing houses put the repairman out of business.

Highlights of #Issue 12 of FinTalk are:

  • Home grown StartUp Stories: Optimite Technologies Private Limited
  • Interview | Must find UPI monetisation path, says BoB CDO Akhil Handa
  • Global Fintech Fest: Founders a starry reception & regulators talk business
  • Next wave of Fintech with new age tools - CEA of India
  • Fintech platform Mintoak enabling banks to digitally empower merchant ecosystem

With Regards,   

Akhil Handa

Chief Digital Officer

Bank of Baroda   


To subscribe:

To unsubscribe:

Popular Articles

Tag Clouds

Related Articles

  • Disclaimer

    The contents of this article/infographic/picture/video are meant solely for information purposes and do not necessarily reflect the views of Bank of Baroda. The contents are generic in nature and for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for specific advice in your own circumstances. Bank of Baroda and/ or its Affiliates and its subsidiaries make no representation as to the accuracy; completeness or reliability of any information contained herein or otherwise provided and hereby disclaim any liability with regard to the same. The information is subject to updation, completion, revision, verification and amendment and the same may change materially. The information is not intended for distribution or use by any person in any jurisdiction where such distribution or use would be contrary to law or regulation or would subject Bank of Baroda or its affiliates to any licensing or registration requirements. Bank of Baroda shall not be responsible for any direct/indirect loss or liability incurred by the reader for taking any financial decisions based on the contents and information mentioned. Please consult your financial advisor before making any financial decision.

Leave a Comment

Thanks for submitting your details.

BFSI at 5G Speed

5G will bridge our hyperconnected world to the future of digital transformation as the next generation of wireless data networks. It brings new bandwidth available at rates two to ten times faster than 4G, resulting in a huge expansion of the information superhighway.

Rendezvous with Metaverse (in India)

In the recent years, Metaverse has moved from being a
niche topic of interest for tech enthusiasts to hit the fancy
of mainstream population. For the uninitiated, Metaverse
is an immersive virtual world that is facilitated by the use
of virtual reality and augmented reality technologies.
Bloomberg Intelligence estimates that global Metaverse
revenue opportunities will reach $800 billion in 2024,
compared to $500 billion in 2020.

Add this website to home screen

Are you Bank of Baroda Customer?

This is to inform you that by clicking on continue, you will be leaving our website and entering the website/Microsite operated by Insurance tie up partner. This link is provided on our Bank’s website for customer convenience and Bank of Baroda does not own or control of this website, and is not responsible for its contents. The Website/Microsite is fully owned & Maintained by Insurance tie up partner.

The use of any of the Insurance’s tie up partners website is subject to the terms of use and other terms and guidelines, if any, contained within tie up partners website.

Proceed to the website

Thank you for visiting

We use cookies (and similar tools) to enhance your experience on our website. To learn more on our cookie policy, Privacy Policy and Terms & Conditions please click here. By continuing to browse this website, you consent to our use of cookies and agree to the Privacy Policy and Terms & Conditions.