Video rendering of an automated prefab housing factory
March 25, 2022 | 1:29 pm CDT

A peek at Plant Prefab's first automated factory.

 

RIALTO, Calif. – Plant Prefab signed a long-term lease in December to open the nation’s first automated factory devoted to efficiently and sustainably building multifamily developments and custom single-family homes.

In this animated video viewers take a peak at operations inside the company's new 270,000-square-foot facility that will be situated on 17 acres in the Tejon Ranch Commerce Center 25 miles south of Bakersfield, California, and will serve as Plant Prefab’s third factory.

The facility will be purpose-built to efficiently manufacture custom-prefabricated panelized and modular building components. The factory will be Plant Prefab’s first automated facility, utilizing sophisticated machinery driven by Plant Prefab digital modeling data, which, the company says, can achieve even greater production velocity and a level of quality assurance and cost, time and material efficiency unmatched by any other custom housing manufacturer.

It will serve as Plant Prefab’s first regional production hub, expanding the company’s service area to the entire Western United States and employing up to 440 people. Construction on the $30 million factory is expected to wrap in late 2022.

“The launch of our hub is a critical milestone in Plant Prefab’s broader mission to make architectural, sustainable housing more accessible, as it allows us to expand our capabilities from single-family and small multifamily housing into high-volume, large-scale developments – including student, affordable, and market-rate housing for real estate, hospitality, and corporate developers,” said Steve Glenn, founder and CEO of Plant Prefab. “Materially expanding the end markets we serve helps address critical housing issues in supply- and labor-constrained markets. Our expanded capabilities will allow us to provide an even faster and more predictable, repeatable and sustainable building solution for both developers and consumers.”

The hub facility will allow for the full industrialization of Plant Prefab’s patented Plant Building System, which combines advanced engineering with specialized Plant Panels and Plant Modules to build custom housing 20 to 50 percent faster than traditional building methods with up to 30 percent less waste at a 10 to 25 percent cost savings in labor-constrained markets.

Plant Prefab’s offers digital modeling tools and processes, which the company has optimized over the past five years, fuel the efficiencies. Bridging the gap between design and construction, Plant Prefab’s digital modeling coordinates the routing of mechanical, electrical, and plumbing through the structure, vastly reducing rework and delays; standardizes the production of custom housing projects into panelized and modular building components; and advances state-of-the-art finish application in manufactured wall production.

Plant Prefab’s Tejon Ranch production hub is projected to produce 900,000 square feet of living space per year – the equivalent of 800 dwelling units. The facility’s panel production lines have been specially designed to efficiently accommodate the unique dimensions, performance standards and finish specifications of each project, and the facility will be capable of producing modules complete with all finishes, fixtures and appliances for minimal on-site finish work.


 

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Larry Adams | Editor

Larry Adams is a Chicago-based writer and editor who writes about how things get done. A former wire service and community newspaper reporter, Larry is an award-winning writer with more than three decades of experience. In addition to writing about woodworking, he has covered science, metrology, metalworking, industrial design, quality control, imaging, Swiss and micromanufacturing . He was previously a Tabbie Award winner for his coverage of nano-based coatings technology for the automotive industry. Larry volunteers for the historic preservation group, the Kalo Foundation/Ianelli Studios, and the science-based group, Chicago Council on Science and Technology (C2ST).