VALLEJO, Calif. (KTVU) - A new front opened up Wednesday on the struggle to build more housing, more quickly and for a lot less money.
The official grand opening of Factory OS, on Vallejo's Mare Island harkens new era in high volume, high quality desperately-needed home building.
It is the marriage of traditional home building techniques, with union labor, as well as with new high technologies, all joined on a high volume assembly line to build high quality but lower cost, stackable, modular living units.
"For this type of construction, off site construction, we're the largest plant in North America," said Larry Pace, Factory OS Co-founder.
Fifty-eight workers build at 24 assembly stations. By Thanksgiving Factory OS will have 150 employees producing up to 8 living units of varying sizes a day.
From Mare Island, the units can be trucked, railed or barged to their final locations where the total time and expense of building multi-unit apartment and condo projects will be slashed.
"Seven to eight months total. And, it would have taken 16 to 20 months to do it site built. We'll do it for at least 30 percent less than than what it would have cost site built, said Factory OS Co-founder Rick Holliday. And, once Factory OS ramps up? "We figure well be in half the time and half the cost." said Mr. Holliday.
With several projects already completed, these units will be included in a hundred unit complex to be standing, ready to occupy in West Oakland, late this summer. Demand is so great, expansion plans are already in the works.
"We can get this this facility doing up to 2,000 quite easily with just a little bit further expansion," said Pace. "We're expecting, once we get into full operation by the end of the year. a second shift, or perhaps taking a second building and building prefabricated bathrooms and wall sections so that we can double or triple the production here," said Mr. Holliday.
This is a real shot at building desperately needed housing, quality housing at a price that many more people can afford.