The “Cloud” has often been described as a confusing and invisible source of data. To most, it means connectivity; to one developer, it means the future of housing.
Cloud Apartments is an unconventional housing development company creating a new brand of modular apartments for the modern renter (and no, it doesn’t really have anything to do with the Internet “cloud”).
Envisioned by founder Curtis Wong, Cloud Apartments aims to revolutionize modular housing with a patented “snap” installment technology. This allows for entire units to be built off-site—wires, pipes, ducts, and smart tech embedded—and shipped to the site 95% complete.
According to Cloud Apartments, this unique plug-and-play approach to construction provides dramatic cost and time savings for developers and renters alike.
MODULAR SOLUTION TO HOUSING, LABOR SHORTAGES
Founded in 2021, Cloud Apartments was made in response to the country’s housing shortage. Wong, a Harvard-Stanford graduate and previous SpaceX engineer, feels that modular housing is the prime solution for the current housing crisis.
“Costs are so high for housing because of labor shortages, rates to pay for labor, and efficiencies that aren’t improving,” says Wong. “How do you be more efficient with your labor? Modular makes the most sense to me.”
The Cloud Apartments are imagined with the idea that our rented spaces should be just as good as other consumer products that people love. Wong envisions the perfect apartment: modern finishes, an open and well-lit floor plan, and smart technology to boot.
Speakers built into the walls allow renters to make a space their own. Wong also wants to toy with space-saving features, such as Ori Living’s furniture that can be pushed into the ceiling. He even mentions the idea of built-in projectors that allow the resident to change their window scenery, or cook a meal with direct table-top guidance.
In fact, because the modular method would snap two walls next to one-another, each residence would be quite soundproof as well—another big issue that renters are having in their traditional units.
For Wong, it’s an experimental passion project rooted in modular successes of the past.
CLOUD APARTMENTS’ MODULAR UNIT PROTOTYPE
The company is composed of Wong and experienced modular builder Matthew Rapa—former superintendent at RAD Urban and builder/installer of over one-thousand modules.
“He’s one of the most, if not the most, experienced modular builders in the country,” says Wong.
Rapa’s talents are currently being used to serve as director of construction for the company, and develop Cloud Apartment’s first prototype unit. The module is slated to be completed by August, according to Wong, and will serve as the blueprint for the snap-system concept.
From there, the team hopes to fulfill their ideas of a studio, one-bed, and two-bed unit, all to eventually be implemented in their potential flagship building in San Jose.
Wong has found that building with this “snap” system offers 30% in cost savings per housing unit. He wants Cloud Apartments to be a market-rate line of units while still being affordable for middle-income renters. Inevitably, Wong wants to show the potential that modular building has for affordability without compromise.
For now, the startup company is setting out to partner with leading factories and contractors across the country. Cloud Apartments also encourages smart and sustainable builders to connect with them and build using its patented technology.
To learn more about Cloud Apartments and its innovative modular approach, visit their website.
For more on offsite construction and startups, read it here on Utopia.