Meet The 27-Year-Old Who Wants To Build The Tesla Of Housing


"Joseph Daniels is unlike anyone you’ve ever met in the world of real estate and construction. At the age of 27, he has already been backed by one of Europe’s richest families and a hedge fund titan, met Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discuss tackling the global housing crisis and built houses on two continents.

He has no formal educational qualifications, but taught himself disciplines from thermodynamics to electrical engineering to architecture, and has invented or co-invented technology that is now being put to use in the smart, energy-efficient modular homes his company is building from two factory sites in the UK."

A puff piece for the most part but it was striking for the emphasis on self-teaching a myriad of disciplines (Thermodynamics too?) to persuade the reader that the founder is in fact an Elon Musk in the making and that no profession requires schooling if one has the guts to go for it.

"In a similar manner, he taught himself the disciplines he thought he would need by reading up about them online, from electrical engineering, to thermodynamics, to architecture, and brand and marketing. He believes being self-taught helped him to think differently to the conventional manner, which he said is much more linear and siloed."

Feb 19, 20 8:55 am

“investment” news.

I love the part about how he's going to show America how its done. Not that we couldn’t use a complete overhaul of just about everything but his cluelessly brash overconfidence is hilarious. Which probably means he's trying to get SoftBank to fund him.

Feb 19, 20 9:37 am

If he's successful, he's learned the two most important things:

how to get rich people to invest
how to use that money to hire people who actually know what they're doing

After that, claiming you learned x, y, or z is just marketing bs to continue your brand.

Feb 19, 20 9:38 am
Non Sequitur

But how many thousands (millions?) of useless wannabe wankers are there for every 1 Elon Musk?  

Feb 19, 20 9:38 am

Elon Musk IS a useless wannabe wanker.


I don't know about this guy, but I'm reminded of WeWork....

Feb 19, 20 9:42 am

umm, you believe this? or you're looking for some criticism?

I have nothing. This is the perfect idea at the perfect time from the perfect person.

Feb 19, 20 9:42 am

the Donald Trump of architecture

Feb 19, 20 11:47 am

Donald Trump is the Donald Trump of architecture.


destructive architecture

Feb 19, 20 12:38 pm

I’ll play; based on the single photo of them building it there are defects that will cause failures.  

All-in-one sheathings mean lacks redundancy; so assembly must be perfect which means they do not understand who actually builds this stuff.  That sheathing has a cut edge and lacks the wrap you’d have to put at cut lines since the paper is probably the weather-barrier. No WRB and open joints means the water which will get through the fiber-cement will get into those joints.  

Mixing steel and wood studs; different thermal expansion which will open more joints.  

Siding installed without flashing or end caps at ends of boards; more moisture infiltration. Why no rainscreen? 

Metal deck roof; no idea about roof assembly, but with a residential use that has high humidity, if humid air hits it, it will condensate causing rust. Because that deck goes over the eave; it will get cold and metal is awesome at thermal bridging so the entire perimeter will be cold metal just waiting for humid air to do its thing;  Hope their vapor barrier is perfect. 

I also don’t understand the wall assembly; heavy gauge metal structure and flat stud “infill”? Doesn’t look like it’d handle shear, but might.  Flat studs, irregularly spaced for the outside; note siding nails aren’t aligned which means they’ll be unable to resist pullout. Hope they like warped siding.  Also note the edge of that sheathing also doesn’t align; so you’ve invalidated any shear capacity.  The edges of that sheathing also aren’t blocked or appear to conform to a nailing pattern which again negates any structural criteria.  A strong wind could probably blow this over.  

And that is just a glance at one corner. 

Feb 19, 20 12:40 pm
Non Sequitur

you also forgot the lack of helmets and safety goggles. Also, the leaning 6' tall folding ladders.


lol... goes back to using materials that won't tolerate mistakes and getting them installed by folks who lack even basic training on jobsite safety and the proper tools to perform the work. Also looks like 4 workers and one electric screw gun; efficiency at it's best.

Non Sequitur

You forgot about the 5th worker taking the picture


This is hilarious! I mean the photo. And the design. Wow!


Oh, come’s in Namibia...doubt standing 2’ off the ground on a ladder is the most dangerous thing they’ve done all day...lions and malaria and aids, oh my...


To Mr. Daniels I say, excellent! Keep it up! Attempts at this in the past have been very good, but too fragmented. The more it gets field tested and modified the better it will become. It is astonishing that the massive US home builders, with all their resources, still show no signs of life with this concept.  Once energy standards and building codes catch up this will take off. It certainly will not be happening with the current US administration, but other countries will, once again, lead the way.

Feb 19, 20 12:48 pm

Not exactly true... Modular has been around awhile. Here's one going up in Denver for a mid-rise apartment complex..


Yes, it has been around a long I said. But thanks for the picture.

Chad Miller

What the article is referencing appears to be a bastardized version of modular. A very poorly executed version.


I read the article and it references many things. Are you referring to the picture of the demo with locals in Namibia that "mightyaa" took a piss on? Because I was not.

Chad Miller

The entire article is basically referencing modular construction type. From the few images seen in the article the tolerances, assemblies, and craftsmanship are poorly designed and constructed. If you want to see good modular design there are many firms in the US and Japan that are doing things a lot better.

Wood Guy

“I can talk my way in and out of many situations.” No shit. 

He's not bringing anything to the US that we don't already have, but we could use more of it. I've shared this company's info before--I was their OM during their startup phase. They are building the most technically advanced building envelopes in North America, based on the Swedish platform framing system:

Feb 19, 20 3:22 pm
Chad Miller



Rich people sure do like that snake oil.

Feb 19, 20 3:38 pm
a virus's virus

so it's a trailer...the chinese do it better as modular, which has been around for decades...this is hardly ground breaking.  give it 5 years to fail.

Feb 19, 20 8:47 pm

it's really concerning when investment by 'important people' you've never heard of is considered valid evidence of merit. i'm kind of obsessed with frauds and scams and this checks all the boxes.

maybe that's not a bad thing. you can get far in life cheating and tricking people. this guy might be what's needed to Make England Great Again.

Feb 19, 20 9:26 pm

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