TestFit: Startup Year One In Review

Startup year in review

TestFit was founded to design buildings in milliseconds–to help architects and developers solve real estate deals with ease. This idea, and our implementation of it, has enabled us to survive our first year as a startup. As we approach October 1st, the one year anniversary of releasing TestFit, we are taking a moment to look back over the past year on all that we have accomplished with our Startup Year One in Review.

October 2017

  • Launched Residential Engine – The first out-of-the-box generative design tool
  • Made the first sale of Residential Engine

November 2017

  • Released Residential Engine 1.011 – “Spaces and 3D”
  • First outside of Texas sale (Atlanta, Georgia)

December 2017

  • Released Residential Engine 1.012 – “Tabulation”
  • First out of state trip (Atlanta, Georgia)
  • First annual contract, company-wide sale

January 2018

  • Released Residential Engine 1.013 – “Input”
  • Formalized macro-bim as a possible value proposition
  • Presented Residential Engine at Society for Construction Solutions, Boston
  • First Sale in Florida

February 2018

  • Released Residential Engine 1.014 – “Manual Mode
  • Presented Residential Engine at Society for Construction Solutions, San Francisco
  • First Sales in California and Massachusetts

March 2018

  • Released Residential Engine 1.015 – “Wrap-Podium”
  • First Sales in Colorado and Wisconsin

April 2018

  • Re-branded to TestFit
  • Released Test Fit 1.0
  • First Sales in Missouri, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Minnesota and Virginia
  • Formalized Deal Information Modeling
  • First International Sale to the United Kingdom

May 2018

  • Released TestFit Version 1.001 – “Multiple Sites”
  • Implemented Deal Information Modeling
  • First sales in Indiana and Washington

June 2018

  • Released TestFit Version 1.002 – “Lifts”
  • Drew up some real estate infographics
  • First conference booth at AEC Next
  • Won AEC Hackathon for “Scan Point”
  • First sales in Arizona and France

July 2018

  • Released TestFit Version 1.003 – “Unit Editor”
  • Presented TestFit at USC BIM BOP – Our first academic engagement!
  • First Sales in Maryland and Iowa

August 2018

  • Released TestFit Version 1.004 – “Dynamo”
  • Released Submit-A-Site – A SaaS solution for the test fit process
  • First company to publish an algorithm on Hypar
  • Posted our first job listing!
  • Submitted Generative Noise Abatement to NMHC
  • First Sales in North Carolina

September 2018

  • Working on a secret project to be released sometime in October
  • First BIM model built from TestFit geometry
  • First implementation of automatic free trials for TestFit
  • Accepted to Y Combinator Startup School

Generative Noise Abatement for the NMHC Innovation Challenge

Generative noise abatement

This is our proposal for the NMHC Innovation Challenge! Since we are deeply committed to multifamily innovation, we knew we had to submit. Here is the problem they set up:

“Noise from neighbors transmitted through apartment walls represents one of the most common renter complaints and frankly is a barrier to apartment living for some people. Cost-effective solutions for noise reduction in apartments would significantly reduce property management challenges and would improve the desirability of apartments as a housing choice.”

Too Long; Didn't Read

Problem: Apartments are loud.

Solution: Configure units with a generative noise abatement algorithm. Sandwich noisy living spaces between bedrooms, closets, and bathrooms. Visual representation below.

Why this Solution? It costs effectively $0

How did we get to this solution? Read below.

Defining the Problem

Apartment communities are inherently noisy because there are more people in less space. Our objective is to mitigate noise. For our purposes in this elaborate thought experiment, we will consider five levels of neighbor:

  1. A perfect neighbor will always observe “silence” (the perfect neighbor does not exist)
  2. A good neighbor assumes paper-thin walls still transmit everything except their “inside voices
  3. Considerate” neighbors keep everything at a reasonable volume
  4. Inconsiderate” neighbors love to listen to heavy metal on full blast at 3 in the morning
  5. rage-inducing” neighbors throw parties that quite possibly turn into a mosh-pit, irritating everyone in all surrounding units

Let’s say we have a hypothetical building comprised of only four units. The occupant of the 1 Bedroom could have the following impact on those around him:

The solution to problem is simple: configure unit adjacencies to mitigate sound transmission.

Defining our assumptions

Room noise depends on type of room and time of day:

  • Kitchens are used around mealtimes…assume the blender is always being used to blend ice
  • The Living Room is consistently used in the evenings…assume the television is on LOUD
  • Bedrooms are reasonably quiet around the clock
  • Bathrooms are loud during morning and evening transition periods…assume shaky pipes
  • Closets are reasonably quiet around the clock
  • The living space (Kitchen+Living Room) should be mitigated

Use walls to our advantage:


  • In general, more walls increase transmission loss; improving sound proofing
  • Rooms adjacent to loud rooms are affected by that noise
  • Rooms adjacent to the rooms adjacent to the loud rooms are less affected by that noise (and so on)

Apartments Follow Three Basic Designs

  1. One living space; bath/closet to the side
  2. One living space; one bedroom/bath/closet to the side
  3. One living space; between bedroom/bath/closet suites
  4. Closets can always be placed on the edge of a unit

Living Space Simulations

Studio living spaces negatively impact everything from the sound perspective

1 Bedroom spaces are insulated to one side, but negatively impact the adjacent unit

2 Bedroom living spaces are perfectly insulated within their own unit.

3 Bedroom living spaces are also perfectly insulated within their own unit.

Conclusions from the simulations

  • Studios offer no sound mitigation
  • 1 bedrooms offer sound mitigation to one side
  • 2 bedrooms offer sound mitigation on both sides
  • 3 bedrooms offer sound mitigation on both sides, and double on one side

Rules for the unit placement algorithm

First Priority: place studios and 1 bedrooms against staircases and elevator cores

Second Priority: Place as many bedroom suites between living spaces as possible

Third Priority: Place at least one bedroom suite between living spaces as possible

Fourth Priority: Flip units to increase transmission loss

Fifth Priority: Highlight areas that could use higher transmission loss assemblies

Generative Noise Abatement Algorithm

Thank you for reading this far. We hope this kind of thinking (which has close to no hard cost impact) can be used to solve other problems!

Further exploration? How we can achieve noise mitigation between building levels (rather than only in plan).

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