Alexander Bausk digs deeper into the Attia-Vennevar controversy, and finds the patent filed by Israeli architect Eli Attia. Read Mr Bausk's blog posting at writandraw.org.
The patent filed in 2008 describes automated design, fabrication, and construction management. Basically, you input a CAD drawing and it figures out what parts to cut how in the shop, which are quickly assembled in the field. Now, Mr Bausk feels this is an idea and not a method -- only methods are supposed to be patentable. Mr Attia names his system "Engineered Architecture" and calls it "ea" for short.
Anyhow, the patent documents include expected savings from this new system, about 44%. The patent includes several pages of budget numbers, which claim an accuracy to the nearest $1 -- on numbers as large as $163,381,991.
This may point to the source of that $120 billion revenue number touted by the media:
- Start with the claimed $37 million/building in construction and financing savings
- Multiply by lots of buildings
- Take the contruction management cut.
Bingo: you end up with $120 billion! I can see how Mr Attia figured he had hit the gold mine through Google X's interest, and then Vennevar forming to commericalized his idea. Sad it's gone sour.
Source: US Patent 20090234696