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TestFit Doubles Customer Base in Challenging Housing Market

TestFit is transforming building feasibility studies by offering “real-time” generative design that is approachable to typical AEC professionals.


TestFit, Inc., the world’s first building configuration software leveraging practical generative design, has announced significant growth and customer momentum through the year—a significant achievement given the challenging market dynamics due to the global pandemic.

TestFit Grows

Last year TestFit, Inc., secured USD 2.0 million in a seed funding round from Parkway Venture Capital LLC. Spearheading that seed round was patent-holding AI (artificial intelligence) evangelist Jesse Coors-Blankenship, who had a prior tenure at Autodesk before launching his generative design startup Frustum which was itself acquired by MCAD giant PTC for USD 70 million in 2018.


TestFit’s configurator software interface.

Since raising seed capital, TestFit, which is based in Dallas, Texas, has doubled its multifamily housing customer footprint by working with more than 150 clients in architectural, real estate developer, and general contractor markets. Professionals in those markets are using TestFit’s ultra-efficient solution to rapidly design feasibility studies without the need for generative design programming knowledge.

TestFit isn’t a tool built on any of the algorithms-aided design (AAD) platform leaders, such as McNeel and Associates’ famous Grasshopper or Autodesk’s created Dynamo competitor. Instead, Harness has told Architosh it is coded in simple C languages and runs as a “stand-alone” application running on a typical computer. Recent software innovations have enabled TestFit to address a wider market of building types, adding support for lower density housing, hotels, and volumetric modular buildings the type of which is oriented increasingly towards “automated construction” practices that are shaking up the AEC industry.

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TestFit has tripled their headcount by hiring more software engineers and developers and have added GIS system integrations for parcel data across the US. The software is optimized around the International Building Codes and automatically incorporates the intricate details of those codes to enable rapid test fit scenarios that are compliant with life safety codes and even zoning code profiles. The software can report zoning code pass or fail scores.

Helping More Get Built

“The ratio of buildings designed to buildings actually built is currently at about 20:1,” said Clifton Harness, founder, and CEO, TestFit. “In a challenging housing market, TestFit is creating more efficiency and less wasted opportunity costs on feasibility studies. Our goal is to provide our clients with the generative design tools to maximize time and resources, which will, in turn, reduce the housing costs and improve the quality of commodity architecture.”

MORE: AAD software company TestFit Raises $2M for new breed of AEC software

“Not a week goes by when we have not utilized TestFit to demonstrate to ourselves as well as property owners what might be possible,” said Tom Settle, partner at Paramount Development LLC. “We have a number of properties being negotiated today and those discussions were jump-started using TestFit.”

COVID’s Impact

The global COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the move towards less dense housing locations, out of big East coast cities and into areas in the south, west, and midwest. TestFit can scale to these adjustment pressures in the market, like the new move toward increased utilization of garden apartments, which currently make up 40 percent of the US market.

TestFit is also working on enhancements that will enable more energy-efficient designs. This is important because there is currently a housing boom playing out in many parts of the US. To address the urgency in the market, building industry professionals are looking for ways to accelerate their processes. TestFit is helping AEC pros embrace a data-driven approach to smart urban planning, by lowering the barrier to adopting “generative design” tool methodology.

“Our long-term goal is to get to a place in our software development and adoption where we can focus on building out the capabilities to incorporate the total cost of ownership analysis, energy analysis, carbon cost analysis, and carbon footprint of shipping,” said Harness. “With this data, we will be able to better inform sustainable building options.”

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