About The Author

Novid Parsi, Utopia Freelance Writer

Novid Parsi

Novid Parsi is a St. Louis-based freelance writer who covers a wide range of industries, including construction and technology.

Articles by Novid Parsi


The Year Ahead for the Residential Construction Industry

For builders, 2023 likely will bring declining demand, rising costs, and continued mental health struggles. But builders also will benefit from lessons learned.

Man's headshot in front of yearly calendar stock photo


Bamboo: Not Just for Your Floor Anymore

Illinois-based Lamboo produces an engineered bamboo that can be used for interior, exterior, and structural applications.

Interior Master Bedroom with bamboo Rainscreen Ceiling

Start ups

Inflatable Concrete Homes: Building Faster and Cheaper

A New York startup called Automatic Construction pumps air into plastic fabric, then fills it with concrete—creating a house’s structure at 20% of the cost.

Automatic Construction inflatable house exterior walls

3D Printing

Building Homes on the Moon? It’s Possible, with Innovative 3D Printing

Tennessee-based Branch Technology 3D prints material that solidifies in midair as it’s being printed—resulting in lightweight structures and custom designs.

Prototype lunar habitat 3D-printed by Branch Technology

Tiny Home

Tiny Homes That Are Sustainable and Affordable—But Not Cheap

South Carolina’s Eclipse Cottages builds compact units that help homeowners live “more abundant” lives—instead of maintaining, and paying for, square footage they don’t use.

Tiny home modern interior living room and kitchen


Top 2023 Kitchen and Bathroom Design Trends

For its 2023 report, NKBA surveyed almost 600 industry members about what their client homeowners want.

Split photo of man washing herbs in kitchen and woman washing hands in bathroom

Healthy Home

Learning How Our Homes Affect Our Health Through Biophilia And More

In Rochester, Minn., Well Living Lab, in collaboration with Marvin, is developing a smart, connected test home to research the impacts of indoor environments on health and well-being.

Well Living Lab Test Home

Net Zero Homes

The Path from Net Zero Energy to Zero Carbon

After building high-performance, energy-efficient homes for 30 years, Colorado’s Thrive Home Builders takes on a new target: carbon impact.

Modern interior clean white kitchen, Thrive Home Builders

Net Zero Homes

The Six Grand Winners of the Housing Innovation Awards

Since 2013, the Department of Energy has honored innovative builders constructing zero energy ready homes. This year’s winners include 26 homes in 18 states.

Denver home exterior by Thrive Home Builders


Accommodating Climate Change—With Elegance

Architecture firm FORMA creates an award-winning design for a beachfront home that hovers above rising waters.

Miami House by FORMA concept, hovering coastal home.


The Benefits of Biophilic Design, Without the Economic or Environmental Costs

Mississippi-based Modern Mill uses discarded rice husks to create a wood-alternative building material called Acre.

Austin barn house vertical siding with Acre sheets


For This Cohousing Community, 'Community' Is the Operative Word

Outside Seattle, Sunnyside Village plans to build 32 cottages with shared outdoor and indoor areas—including a common house that serves as a coworking space and a second living room.

Sunnyside Cohousing community Rendering

3D Printing

3D Printing, Prefab, Modular—A Startup Delivers All Three in One

California-based Azure Printed Homes 3D prints accessory dwelling units using recycled plastic.

3D printed accessory dwelling unit with backyard gym


Foam Homes Deliver Efficiency and Savings—and Can Withstand Hurricane Winds

An Arizona company has devised a homebuilding system that creates an entire structure out of lightweight foam covered with a cement composite.

Foam house on the beachside

Healthy Home

Giving Buyers the High-Performance Features They Want

After surveying hundreds of home shoppers to find out what they most want in their homes, Tri Pointe Homes announced several new standard offerings.

Hands-free touch faucet in the kitchen, Tri Pointe Homes

Build For Rent

Catching the Wave of Build-For-Rent

RangeWater, a multifamily developer and manager, has been making a serious foray into the BFR sector.

3D rendering of multifamily home development


Taking Glamping to the Next Level

At Utah’s Bear Lake, Conestoga Ranch offers a luxury camping experience and is now building 35 year-round, Alpine-style cabins.

Luxury cabin in the woods near Bear Lake, Utah

Net Zero Homes

BlocPower Wants to Green the Nation’s Buildings

The New York-based climate technology company electrifies and decarbonizes buildings—more than 1,200 of them so far.

New York multifamily apartment building

Offsite Construction

Shipping Containers, Steel, Wood: A California Firm Goes 'All In' on Modular

Studio One Eleven finds that modular construction can be a more cost-effective, efficient way to deliver affordable housing.

Watts Works project shipping container home

Trade Workforce

Why Do Construction Workers Stay or Leave?

Pay isn’t their top consideration, according to a recent survey conducted by Building Talent Foundation.

Man walking on bridge in New York


As Wildfires Worsen, Consider Homes Made of Steel

A California builder reimagines the military Quonset hut as a noncombustible home.

Q Cabins construction of steel homes

Net Zero Homes

Does 'Sustainable' Have to Mean 'Expensive'?

A Massachusetts nonprofit asked the building community about its net zero and net zero ready projects—including how much more they cost. The results might surprise you.

Top view of houses with solar panels

Business Tools

Webcam Tech Keeps a Watchful Eye on the Job

For over 25 years, EarthCam has developed webcam technologies that allow builders to monitor and document construction work.

Frana Companies apartments panoramic with EarthCam


New York’s Largest and Tallest Mass Timber Building

For the six-floor condo building, MESH Architectures deployed mass timber for its aesthetic and environmental benefits.

Timber House interior with mass timber wood

Start ups

An App that Delivers Learning to Construction Workers’ Phones

On3 engages builders, manufacturers, and trades in the creation of learning and development videos that meet their people’s needs.

Builders can use On3 app for training

Offsite Construction

Volumetric Building Companies (VBC) Uses Holistic Approach to Modular

By taking on the entire design, construction, and installation process, the Philadelphia-based manufacturer produces modules more efficiently, says CEO Vaughan Buckley.

4233 Chestnut modular apartments exterior in Philadelphia, PA


The Impact of Energy-Efficient Appliances for Low-Income Households

Habitat for Humanity studied the financial and environmental benefits for homeowners who received thousands of Whirlpool fridges and ranges.

Young man writing reminder on fridge and drinking coffee at home

Build For Rent

Building in Backyards: ADUs as an Affordable Housing Solution

One way to provide more housing? Construct accessory dwelling units in people’s yards and then rent them out, says an Atlanta architect.

Backyard ATL affordable housing project - eightvillage

Smart Home

Making Smart Homes Smarter

Today’s homeowners consider the connected home a given. Now they want higher-quality, more efficient smart home products.

Johnson Controls smart home devices can be used to to save energy, improve safety, and optimize comfort


The 14 Winners of the AIA Housing Awards

The recipients demonstrate innovative, sustainable design. And several show that, with housing, small can be mighty.

AIA Housing Awards winner: The Ohringer has re-emerged as an Arts Incubator and affordable Artist Housing

Trade Workforce

Creating and Connecting the Construction Workforce

NCCER’s CareerStarter platform wants to be the place where employers, educators, and job seekers all come together.

CareerStarter came about to fill that gap in the industry, matching job seekers with job creators.

Start ups

Getting Paid to Pay Rent

A startup loyalty program incentivizes tenants to pay rent on time and landlords to reward them for it.

HOOF It! app startup wants to reduce tenant turnover by rewarding them with digital currency and rewards


A One-Stop Tech Shop

For multifamily properties, Allbridge takes care of their technology needs—from planning to installation to support.

Fontainebleau, Miami Beach, Allbridge project for Wi-Fi 6 upgrades

Tiny Home

Tiny Homes Get Code Cred

As the tiny-homes market grew, industry members sought common standards.

Tiny living gets huge recognition as diminutive dwellings finally get IRC requirement


A Love Fest for Rural Land

Recreational land and farmland surge in value, according to a new poll of realtors.

Farm and country land showed slight increase in land values in 2021.

Offsite Construction

Getting the Offsite Players to Play Together

Australia’s PT Blink brings its offsite technology and methodology to the US.

PT Blink works offsite, building facades, bathroom pods, balconies, and more. Photo courtesy PT Blink


5 Inefficient Home Spaces That Could Use a Redesign

Our home designs are inefficient, but they don't have to be. BSB Design’s Dan Swift applies ergonomics to residential interiors, and lists five spaces that designers should focus on to increase efficiency for homeowners.

Multipurpose garage from BSB Design let's homeowners put groceries from their trunk into pantry directly.


Unleashing the Power of 3D Design Tech

For a Michigan firm, the technology isn’t the point—it’s how you use it.

TK Design 3D rendering of home

Research Report

More Homes Go Up—But Still Not Enough

Even as they constructed more homes in 2021 than the year before, builders couldn’t keep up with demand.

Building crane Photo by Ave Calvar Martinez from Pexels

Build For Rent

The Burgeoning BFR Market Gains a Major Investor

A Los Angeles-based investment firm plans to bring efficient designs to the fast-growing build-for-rent sector.

Multifamily build for rent complex - Oak Crest in Houston, TX

Smart Home

Renters Want Smart Tech—and Will Pay For it, Too

A Rent.com survey reveals that offering even a single smart device can attract tenants.

Apartment renters will pay for smart home devices, up to a point

Start ups

The Talent Builders

Two organizations join forces to help fill the construction labor gap by means of education and connection.

M.T. Copeland instructor, Lydia Crowder, teaches her students how to use and maintain essential drywall tools for hanging, taping, and sanding

3D Printing

Habitat for Humanity 3D Printed Home Just Found its Newest Resident

After 3D printing its first two homes, and partnering with Habitat for Humanity to build more, Alquist is just getting started.

Alquist innovators print 3d homes with Habitat for Humanity


Turning Offices into Homes

Office buildings need tenants; people need homes. Office-to-housing conversions could be the answer, says a California architecture firm.

Example of an office space that has been renovated into a multifamily housing unit.

Production Methods

Driving Efficiencies in Modular Homes

A Colorado housing developer takes a Toyota-inspired lean manufacturing approach to produce modular units more efficiently.

Finding West constructs homes the modular way, and builds them on the lot in quick time

Tiny Home

Affordable and Efficient? Check and Check, With Tiny Homes

Thinking of downsizing? This Georgia project shows that micro living can deliver major benefits.

Will Johnston, Executive Director of the MicroLife Institute, has enabled policy change and brought acceptance of micro structures in the Southeast through events, projects, and advocacy.

Production Methods

Finding a Bettr Way to Build Homes

Florida startup Bettr Homes has a plan to disrupt the nation’s homebuilding industry.

Installation of SIPanels at a Bettr Homes construction site

Start ups

What If Housing Affordability Isn’t The Problem?

The answer to the housing affordability crisis may just be in your own pocket. A new app wants to fix the housing shortage by streamlining the financing and building of new homes.

Isaac Lidsky from ODC Construction and team at a groundbreaking for new property development

Women In Construction

Women in Construction: Carla Ferreira Takes an Early Lead in Residential Development

The Aurora Highlands executive learns from her developer dad and other women mentors.

Carla Ferreira, Aurora Highlands executive and director of onsite development, in her pink construction hat

Process Innovation

Startup Aims To Assemble Houses Like Cars

Assembly OSM brings auto and plane technologies to residential construction.

Post-modular residential bedroom pod constructed by Assembly OSM, built in parts and clicked together like Legos.


Getting Buildings to Talk With the Grid—Not Just At It

The DOE funds 10 projects to test innovations in efficiency.

 Getting Buildings to Talk With the Grid—Not Just At It; from ConstructUtopia


‘Smart’ Windows Promote Good Sleep, Peer-Reviewed Study Finds

When residents lived with smart windows, their nights and days got better.

“We don’t have bright-enough days, and we probably have too-bright evenings,” said Mariana G. Figueiro, professor and director, Light and Health Research Center, Icahn School of Medicine, Mount Sinai. Photos: View Inc.

Net Zero Homes

Investing in Zero Energy Ready Homes Pays Off For Garbett Homes

The Utah builder took a leap of faith with zero energy ready homes—and has been rewarded for it.

Investing in Zero Energy Ready Homes Pays Off For Garbett Homes 1 ConstructUtopia report


It's Build-for-Rent Boom Times For This California Developer

Los Angeles-based Haven Realty Capital has seen rapid growth with single-family rental developments.

Haven Realty Capital Bella View, Atlanta, build for rent housing trends

Work From Home (WFH)

Research Tracks the Pandemic’s Impact On the U.S. Home

New homes are getting bigger and more flexible, according to recent data and surveys.

SheaSolstice_LittletonColorado, Dahlin Group


A Community Hub for Crisis Times

An architecture student imagines an innovative neighborhood center for Houston.

Shot in the Dark modified shotgun house, Rae Atkinson, Rice University housing for weather events Porch Space

Healthy Home

Raising the Builder Bar

Colorado’s McStain Neighborhoods knows it takes more to build healthy, sustainable houses—and believes it’s worth it.

McStain Neighborhoods BeWell House DOE Housing Innovation Awards ConstructUtopia.com report

Smart Home

Smart Home Tech Evolves From Add-On to Must-Have

A new survey of homebuilding industry professionals by Utopia reveals the smart home tech features that builders offer as standard and upgrade options.

Download the 2021 Utopia Smart Home Technology Survey, ConstructUtopia.com Illustration: Mohamed Hassan, Pixabay


How to Build Solar Homes Without Losing Trees

A Virginia developer wants to keep a new home community's leafy surroundings by creating a shared solar garden. 

planned solar garden at Solara Woods

Healthy Home

5 Vital Components of Healthy Homes, from Meritage Homes’ CR Herro

Building science expert CR Herro outlines the most crucial factors to building—and marketing—healthy homes.

5 Vital Components of Healthy Homes, from Meritage Homes’ CR Herro

Tiny Home

The Massive Appeal of Tiny Homes

Arizona’s Aspire Fund builds an Instagram-worthy, tax-friendly development.

The Massive Appeal of Tiny Homes, a ConstructUtopia Report

Start ups

Startup Creates Investment Opportunities in Single-family Home Rentals

Through startup Arrived Homes, anyone can own shares of rental homes.

“There’s a massive unmet demand where most Americans see real estate as an incredible investment, but there’s no easy way to access it,” says Ryan Frazier, CEO and cofounder of Arrived Homes (pictured middle, with fellow cofounders COO Alejandro Chouza, at left, and CTO Kenny Cason, at right). Photo courtesy Arrived Homes

Passive House

Multifamily Housing Meets Passive House Design

A New York firm shows that large-scale housing developments can be both sustainable and affordable.

C+GA’s 154-unit Park Avenue Green is currently the largest affordable multifamily passive house building in North America. Photo ©John Bartlestone Photography

Research Report

Survey Reveals What 1,300 Homeowners Want Most (and Least) From Their Housing

Among the biggest unmet needs in the housing market are designs and features that enhance sleep, recuperation, and relaxation, according to a new survey led by Da Vinci Consulting and the Housing Innovation Alliance.

Survey Reveals What 1,300 Homeowners Want Most (and Least) From Their Housing

Smart Home

Smart Home Tech Is on the Cusp of Widespread Adoption

But it first has to address myriad homeowner concerns—especially security and privacy.

Smart Home Tech Is on the Cusp of Widespread Adoption, ConstructUtopia New Home Trends Institute


[UPDATED] Tracking the Build-for-Rent Housing Boom

The burgeoning build-for-rent market delivers benefits to both builders and consumers. Now updated with the November 2021 infographic.

Tracking The Build-for-Rent Boom infographic Housing Innovation Alliance Hunter Housing Economics

Research Report

5 Top Bathroom Design Trends for 2021

A survey of 1,140 homeowners by the New Home Trends Institute reveals the most in-demand bathroom design features of 2021.

5 Top Bathroom Design Trends for 2021 Ample counter space enabled Van Metre Homes to increase bathroom storage at Prosperity Plains (Chantilly, Va.) with a tower between the two sinks. Photo courtesy DesignLens, John Burns Real Estate Consulting


Simple Methods Yield Big Benefits For Addison Homes

South Carolina’s Addison Homes has found that high-performance construction isn’t all that complicated.

Pictured: A home by Addison Homes with a modern kitchen with Energy Star appliances

Net Zero Homes

Tim O’Brien Homes Goes Big With Net Zero

The Wisconsin builder commits to making zero energy ready standard for all its homes by the end of 2022.

Tim O’Brien Homes at Red Fox Crossing community, New Berlin, Wis. main image

Net Zero Homes

Denver Wants to Make Net Zero a Citywide Reality

Colorado’s capital has a plan for getting new residential and commercial construction to net zero energy in under a decade.

Denver Wants to Make Net Zero a Citywide Reality, photo Andrew Coop via Unsplash


MultiGreen’s Data-Driven Approach To Residential Development

Multifamily developer MultiGreen aims to fill the nation’s housing gap by using digital tools.

MultiGreen Properties property rendering


21 Home Design Trends for 2021, Part 2

Housing market experts from the New Home Trends Institute share their top 21 home design trends for 2021.

UTOPIA recap of the 21 Trends for 2021 webinar by the New Home Trends Institute

Research Report

21 Home Design Trends for 2021, Part 1

From smart home tech to personalized spaces to lifestyle-driven design, housing market experts from the New Home Trends Institute share the top 21 home design trends for 2021.

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a heightened awareness of the small spaces in our homes, and what we want in them, according to the 21 Trends for 2021 webinar, hosted by the New Home Trends Institute. Photo courtesy New Home Trends Institute

Offsite Construction

The Advantages of Offsite Wall Panels

An Arizona panel manufacturer helps homes go up more quickly, predictably, and efficiently.

HercuTech panel wall system sodella construction

Offsite Construction

Architect Pushes the Design Limits of Modular Housing

A California housing development benefits from hybrid modular-panel construction by Plant Prefab.

The Palisades at Squaw Valley, Olympic Valley, Calif. Photo courtesy Brown Studio ConstructUtopia report Architect Pushes the Limits of Modular Construction


5 Ways Homebuilders Can Become Innovators

There are reasons the industry hasn’t fully embraced innovation. And there are ways to get past that.

In Austin, Texas, Taurus’s Whisper Valley community will include 7,500 net zero energy ready homes featuring solar panels and geothermal technology. Photo: Taurus of Texas Holdings

Start ups

Wells Fargo Incubator Helps Housing Innovators Survive the Startup Stage

At an innovation incubator funded by the Wells Fargo Foundation and supported by NREL, early-stage housing industry firms get their ideas ready for the marketplace.

Wells Fargo Helps Housing Innovators Survive the Startup Stage, Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator, blokable team

Start ups

Housing Startup Brings ‘Builder Bots’ To Homebuilding

Williams Robotics has created a robot that builds walls. And that’s just the start.

Williams Robotics' homebuilding robots in action, housing startup brings robotics to homebuilding constructutopia report

Net Zero Homes

7 Steps to Building Net-Zero-Ready Production Homes, From an Award-winning Builder

Delaware builder Insight Homes uses a wide array of innovative techniques to achieve zero-energy-ready certification for some 250 homes since mid-2019.

The model home at The Peninsula, an Insight Homes community in Millsboro, Del. Photo courtesy Insight Homes

Offsite Construction

The Ivory Prize and Homebuilding’s Affordability Crisis

The annual Ivory Prize aims to promote innovation in an industry that has long resisted it.

Entekra factory modular construction - Ivory winner


5 Top House Exterior Design Trends for 2021

A variety of factors will go into—and onto—the houses of tomorrow. Here are five recent home design trends.

Home exterior during sunset street view

Offsite Construction

Factory-Made Housing Takes Hold in San Francisco

Autodesk has committed two strategic investments in Factory_OS in as many years. The goal: To build affordable multifamily housing through an industrialized construction model.

Autodesk has committed two strategic investments in Factory_OS in as many years. The goal: To build affordable multifamily housing through an industrialized construction model.