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YC-backed Tango Builder wants to use aerospace engineering to build a house

YC-backed Tango Builder wants to use aerospace engineering to build a house
Housing has been constructed for millennia, and while clearly our modern abodes are ever so slightly better than the elk tents we used to live in, the construction techniques behind housing today haven’t progressed all that much. What has progressed are prices – it’s https://sf.curbed.com/2020/2/11/21133328/sf-construction-prices-increase-rlb-housing-development]more expensive than ever to build a modern unit, and that’s just for housing – head over to commercial real estate and the numbers don’t look much better.
For Martin Diz and his team, that’s a problem. Diz is not exactly a lifelong builder – in fact, he was building proverbial rockets as an aerospace engineering PhD researcher several years ago. As he was talking to his roommate back then, who was studying structural engineering, he realized that some of the techniques that his roommate’s field was trying to pioneer had already been discovered by the aerospace folks decades ago.
His roommate was trying to simulate an earthquake to model how the tremors would affect objects like a table inside a building. As Diz recalled, he said “Hey dude, did you know that in aerospace engineering, we did the same thing for the space station 50 years ago? . I learned this in grad school, you know, in our basic course because it’s a very old technique.”
Diz is legitimately a nice chap, and totally not the kind of aerospace engineer who goes around talking about how aerospace solved everything a century ago (okay, maybe just a tad of that). But the interaction and followup conversation got him thinking about what aerospace as a field had solved, and whether some of those techniques could be used in other domains.
Diz and his roommate kept talking over the years, and eventually, the two formed http://www.tangobuilder.com]Tango Builder. Tango’s main premise is to bring more sophisticated engineering techniques to construction, improving performance and quality while lowering costs. It’s part of the current YC batch, and previously raised a small seed round, which included participation from Tracy Young, co-founder and CEO of PlanGrid.
The two, plus one employee, have already worked on a handful of projects, with some early promising results. Tango helped to design a hospital for COVID-19 patients in Ecuador that saw total savings of $1 million by lowering structural costs by a third. They consulted on the creation of a justice center in Mexico, and were able to reduce the required steel in the project by 40%. And they used their platform to optimize wall thickness in a masonry home to bring total cost down by 15%. All numbers are reported by the company and have not been independently verified.

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