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National Association of Home Builders Co-Hosting HUD Innovative Housing Showcase

April 30th, 2019 Comments off

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The Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) missed touting Earth Day.

Thanks to some forward-looking MHI members, the Arlington, VA based trade group has been dragged into the Innovative Housing Showcase.  See those insights further below the byline and notices.

 

Yesterday, HUD announced in a release to the Daily Business News on MHProNews that the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) would be co-hosting their event with HUD.

What follows is the bulk of their release.

 

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National Association of Home Builders to
Co-Host 
HUD Innovative Housing Showcase

WASHINGTON – U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson today announced the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) will co-host the Department’s inaugural “Innovative Housing Showcase.” The Innovative Housing Showcase will be held on the National Mall June 1-5, 2019, to educate policy makers and the broader public on the new housing innovations and building technologies that are helping address the affordable housing challenges across our country.

“We’re thrilled to have the National Association of Home Builders co-host this Showcase,” said Secretary Ben Carson. “It’s important we highlight these new building technologies that are answering the call for more affordable, durable housing options for families across America.”

“The housing affordability crisis is affecting both builders and consumers nationwide. We are honored to be co-hosting this event with HUD as we work together to find solutions to this growing problem. “ said Greg Ugalde, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders.

The Showcase will highlight various solutions that could make housing more affordable for American families and more resilient during natural disasters.

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That’s this pre-dawn edition of “News through the lens of manufactured homes, and factory-built housing” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

 

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HUD Secretary Carson to Host Innovative Housing Showcase Featuring Affordable Housing Solutions

“Less Waste, Better Buying” – Earth Day and Manufactured Housing Image-Building

 

 

 

 

 

Joint HUD, White House Announcements Aim to Advance the American Dream

December 14th, 2018 Comments off

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Press releases from both the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the White House pressroom to the Daily Business News on MHProNews could be summed up with this goal in mind.

 

There is a need to revive, expand, and protect the American Dream for all.

President Donald J. Trump signed a new EO – Executive Order – based upon authority from the 2017 Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017. It is meant to foster development of the opportunity zones that MHProNews has previously reported on, for example, in the two articles linked below.

 

Factory-Built Housing Pros, Opportunity Zones Roll-Out Approaches, Insider Look

 

Each article can be accessed by clicking on the linked box, later, for more details.  Because there are already – per reports – some in factory-built housing that are preparing to act on these opportunities.

 

Opportunity Zones Law in Place, Poised to Benefit Some 50,000,000 Americans

 

Given a pending fuller implementation of the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act (MHIA) of 2000 and/or under Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH), these Opportunity Zones could be welcome news for HUD Code manufactured home and other factory- builders.

 

Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing, a Novel Yet Proven Solution to the Affordable Housing Crisis That Will Create Opportunities, Based Upon Existing Laws

 

The creation of more jobs, and less government dependency clearly are good for people, budgets, and those who want to serve the millions who have been trapped in programs and economic conditions that arguably keeps millions poorer.

The HUD press release will be first, followed by a complementary but broader media statement from the White House afterwards.

Please note that by providing these federal releases in toto, it gives industry readers an opportunity to see the take – in this case – from the White House and HUD, unfiltered by other media.  MHProNews tees up the factory-built home industry context, you get to see for yourself what these branches of your government have to say.

 

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SECRETARY CARSON TO LEAD WHITE HOUSE

OPPORTUNITY AND REVITALIZATION COUNCIL

 

WASHINGTON – Today, President Donald Trump signed an Executive Order establishing the White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council and named U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson as its chairperson.

 

The Council’s 13 Federal member agencies will engage with governments at all levels on ways to more effectively use taxpayer dollars to revitalize low-income communities. The Council will improve revitalization efforts by streamlining, coordinating, and targeting existing Federal programs to Opportunity Zones, economically distressed communities where new investments may be eligible for preferential tax treatment.

 

Additionally, the Council will consider legislative proposals and undertake regulatory reform to remove barriers to revitalization efforts and present the President with options to encourage capital investment in economically distressed communities.

 

“These are still early days for the work of the Council and Opportunity Zones, but the groundwork has been laid,” Secretary Carson said. “The seeds the President has planted are growing and the promise they hold will improve places long forgotten, and the lives of those who call those places home.”

 

President Trump signed the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, creating Opportunity Zones to stimulate long-term investments in low-income communities. The program offers capital gains tax relief to those who invest in these distressed areas. This program is anticipated to spur $100 billion in private capital investment in Opportunity Zones. Incentivizing investment in low-income communities fosters economic revitalization, job creation, and promotes sustainable economic growth across the nation, especially in communities HUD serves. Read more about the Opportunity Zones program.

 

Opportunity Zones are a powerful vehicle for bringing economic growth and job creation to the American communities that need it the most.  On average, the median family income in an Opportunity Zone is 37 percent below the state median. To date, 8,761 communities in all 50 States, Washington D.C., and five Territories have been designated as Opportunity Zones. Nearly 35 million Americans live in communities designated as Opportunity Zones.

Currently, there are approximately 380,000 Public Housing units and approximately 340,000 Project-Based Rental Assistance units within Opportunity Zones. Nearly a third of the more than 100,000 rental units preserved through HUD’s Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) are located in Opportunity Zones. Read more about the RAD program.

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Opportunity Zones are a key part of the tax cuts signed into law by President Donald J. Trump last December. Today, they got another huge boost.

“For decades, job growth and investment have been concentrated in a few major metropolitan areas,” the President said after signing an executive order to create the White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council. “Some cities have thrived, while others have suffered chronic economic and social hardship. With Opportunity Zones, we are drawing investment into neglected and underserved communities of America.”

The purpose of Opportunity Zones is to lift up communities that have been neglected by Washington and left behind for far too long. The typical family income in these areas is 37 percent below their state’s median level. The average poverty rate is 32 percent—almost double the national average. Nearly 35 million Americans live in these communities. Now, help is on the way.

Here’s how it works: Tax relief is offered in exchange for long-term investments in the low-income communities that need it most. These poorer areas begin to see more job creation and lasting growth. This private investment fuels human potential in these communities, whereas government spending programs too often extinguish it.

The upshot: All Americans, regardless of zip code, should have access to the American Dream. With Opportunity Zones, we get closer to that reality.

President Trump is lifting up the communities that Washington forgot.

Watch: The President signs today’s executive order

  ——————————-

‘We need to know who is coming in and going out’


Yesterday’s tragic terror attack at a Christmas market in Strasbourg, France, reminds us that national security is nothing without border security.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo explained the stakes. “This is an enormous challenge. We have this problem in the United States as well,” he said. “Lots of folks that we’re watching, we think are at risk, we try to monitor. But the numbers are so big. It’s why, frankly, border security matters.”

“We need to know who is coming in and out of our country.”

Controlling the border is a matter of public safety—one that includes many threats beyond terrorism. From October 2017 through this July, U.S. Border Patrol seized 6,423 pounds of cocaine, 532 pounds of heroin, 439,531 pounds of marijuana, 10,382 pounds of methamphetamine, and 332 pounds of fentanyl from Border Patrol checkpoints.

It’s time to make a deal. There’s nothing partisan about protecting our borders to encourage legal immigration.

Throwback: When Sen. Chuck Schumer believed in securing our border

Watch: President Trump host Democrat leaders in the Oval Office

For years, Democrats have acknowledged the need for border security—even voting for it in the past. Why won’t they come to the table in 2018?

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Strong Job, Economic Data Contrast with Market Fears, Plus MH Stock Updates

“No Good Deed” – Brad Pitt, Make It Right Foundation Sued for Defective Modular Housing, NBC News, More Video

November 30th, 2018 Comments off

 

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There are some things you can’t make up. There are not many that would accuse Brad Pitt and the Make it Right Foundation he helped establish of purposefully providing modular homes that have been drawing negative media attention for the last few years. It seems like a fit for the dark adage, “No good deed goes unpunished.”

 

That said, several home owners have been complaining to local and national media. Some have filed suit. The local news video below, which tees up the issue, was cut shortly before the case was filed.

 

 

NBC News filed the following video report.

 

 

Pitt Says, No Not Me…

Pitt is asking to be separated from the foundation he founded for the purposes of this suit, per media reports.

Brad Pitt’s Make It Right Foundation, which built homes for New Orleans residents after Hurricane Katrina destroyed their neighborhoods in 2005, has been hit with a lawsuit by two people who claim the homes built for them “were deficiently constructed and built,” according to People.

 

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In a statement provided to People, Brad Pitt’s charitable organization, the Make It Right nonprofit, stated that it “has filed a lawsuit against its former executive architect, John Williams, and his firm for monetary damages to remediate and repair affected homes in the Lower 9th Ward of New Orleans, arising from his engagement with the Foundation. Make It Right continues to work proactively with homeowners in the Lower 9th Ward, and we will make no further comment on the case at this time,” on Sept 25, 2018.

The Daily Business News on MHProNews notes that The Make It Right foundation website reflects no updates to their own blog since late 2015. Given that fact, it is no surprise that our requests for comments to the nonprofit have not yet been answered.

 

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As industry professionals already know, a modular home – not unlike a manufactured home – requires proper installation. As a prior report, linked further below under related reports reflects, problems that are not promptly observed or addressed on a factor-built home can rapidly mushroom into other issues. That isn’t necessarily a reflection on the factory-builder, unless the production company was directly involved with the installation.

Similar points could be made about conventional housing, issues must be addressed rapidly, or they can mushroom.  Far costlier conventional housing builders have had their own numerous tales of construction woes, so was is it a surprise when it happens from time to time with factory-built housing too?

 

Exposé! Heartbroken Conventional Housing Buyers? Dare to Compare Site Built with Modern Manufactured Homes

 

So, the problems noted in this case or others shouldn’t be viewed by discerning minds as something that necessarily disproves the inherent value and need for various kinds of affordable housing built indoors, and transported for installation to their final location.  Exceptions don’t prove much, save that people and products aren’t perfect.  Automakers have recalls, builders have problems too.

 

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Still from the video, above. Pitt gave numerous media and photo ops for Make it Right, until the negative news began to develop around the problems of some of those modular units became more evident.

 

In the Beginning, How Pitt Got Involved

“When Brad Pitt visited New Orleans’ Lower 9th Ward two years after Hurricane Katrina, he was shocked by the lack of rebuilding progress in this historic, working class community. Many worried the plight of the neighborhood would be forgotten. In a bold move, Pitt committed to help rebuild in the hardest hit area of the city,” per Make it Right.

Pitt’s foundation has reportedly raised $30 million dollars in this work, but the homes in New Orleans were purchased by its home owners, who may have used insurance or other money to buy the home.

 

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What is ironic is that Make It Right has a Clinton Foundation connection, per their own website, not unlike the work done by Clayton Homes in Haiti. That too was a troubling fiasco.

Make It Right kicked off initial fundraising efforts with the Pink Project in December 2007 and broke ground on the first homes with President Clinton and the Clinton Global Initiative in March 2008. Construction began in June 2008 and the first six homes were completed in August 2008,” said their foundation.

“Toxic Trailers” – Clayton Homes, Warren Buffett, Kevin Clayton, Clintons – Exposé Videos

 

The Latest…

The “…class action lawsuit against Brad Pitt’s Make It Right Foundation was moved from civil to federal court on November 7,” said Archpaper. Pitt’s and the foundation’s legal team are suing the architects. “Actor Brad Pitt’s Make It Right Foundation has sued the architect of scores of homes the nonprofit sold to Lower 9th Ward residents who lost everything to Hurricane Katrina.”

Among the troubling points with this scenario is that the news seems to be drawing far more media coverage than the arguably more prevalent issue of defects or other problems found in conventional, site-built construction.

If that slant is so, then it is but the latest example of how misinformation is being allowed to spread, because industry trade groups such as MHI – which claims to represent all aspects of factory built housing, including modular builders – Clayton, and their Berkshire Hathaway parent’s BH Media group each allow such stories to go unaddressed.

 

 

That in turn, as Rolfe and scores of others suggest, is harmful to the industry at the local level, including locations like yours.  The pattern will arguably continue until MHI – or some new trade group that supplants their work – does what former chairman, Tim Williams himself admitted to MHProNews, in the quote below.

 

 

It is all part of what our publisher, while still an MHI member, was praised for by the organization, namely, the need to routinely engage the media.  They can’t plausibly claim ignorance.  So what is MHI’s excuse for not acting as needed, to defend and promote the industry’s products and image?

 

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We tried for years from within MHI to get them to engage the media, and to encourage other positive reforms. They praised our efforts, in writing. So why didn’t they adopt them?

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To learn more, see the related reports, further below. That’s factory-built housing “Industry News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ##(News, analysis, and commentary.)

NOTICE: Readers have periodically reported that they are getting a better experience when reading MHProNews on the Microsoft Edge, or Apple Safari browser than with Google’s Chrome browser. Chrome reportedly manipulates the content of a page more than the other two.

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Ford and Toyota Teach Manufactured Housing Professionals and Investors

 

 

Blueprint Robotics Disruptive Aim at Modular Housing, and Factory-Building Technology

October 8th, 2018 Comments off

 

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There are four robots on this machine,” says Blueprint Robotics CEO Jerry Smalley. “It cuts it nails it screws it trims, it drills.”

 

In other words, these machines do what people used to,” wrote Chris Welch for ABC Action 2 News about the Baltimore, Maryland based robotics firm.

Every other industry has brought automation to the solution. This is just an industry that’s time is now to bring automation,” says Smalley. “We’re no different than automotive, or aerospace, or medical, this is just our moment to bring automation.”

The Daily Business News on MHProNews have been tracking developments in artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, and related technologies for some years for factory-built housing pros.  There are firms with deep pockets that have entered the housing field with robotics, automation, and various kinds of modular housing.  ICYMI, or need a refresher, Katerra is a firm that has had large sums poured into it by SoftBank.

Billion Dollar Startup Modular Builder, Using Robotics, Could Soon Rival Clayton Homes’ Total Sales

Blueprint Robotics says they think they can cut construction time by 20 to 40 percent, using modular building and robotics.

It’s more precise, higher quality, less cost, less risk,” explains Smalley. “You know the cost of our product before we commence, a more predictable schedule, and at the end of the day a better just a totally better product.”

Blueprint Robotics still has dozens of employees on the factory floor daily.  Human workers are still needed.  Once For example, once a robot builds a wall, an electrician will still need to install the wiring. Other workers on the floor are there for quality control,” said Welch.

Architect Richard Pedranti talks about his experience working with Blueprint Robotics.

 

Pedranti said in the video above that in Sweden, some 90 percent of home building is now factory-based. That’s a look into why the U.S. tech giants are laser focused on factory-construction.  See the related report, linked below, for more details.

 

$300 Billion Market, As Predicted, Jeff Bezos’ Amazon Alexa Fund Dives Deeper into PreFab Homes

 

“Weird to See” Robots Building Homes…

Roy Collins worked for decades at traditional construction job sites.  Now, he is watching as machines are doing what he did. “He says it’s weird to see,” said Welch.

Being in the industry 20 years I never thought this would be capable of happening,” Collins says.

Welch points to the shortage of construction workers, and then cites Jeff Gwinn, with the National Construction Trade Association, who claims it won’t hurt the building trades at all.  They insist it won’t take away jobs from skilled workers.

As far as increasing productivity and holding down costs, it’s absolutely a good thing,” Gwinn said. “It’s not gonna hurt the industry at all.”

A HUD Code manufactured home builder tells MHProNews he’s not as sure about robotic and automation, explaining that you can’t lay off a machine when times get tough.

 

 

The Competing Challenges

But beyond the higher upfront costs of automation, or the fact that you can lay a machine off, isn’t there also a downward pressure of the wages of factory-construction workers?  Won’t more machines mean less people, over time? Won’t that be downward pressure of wages?

Be that as it may, Collins said “It’s quicker, better; you get a better product, material is better. It’s a better way to build.”

Therein lies just one of several points of potential tension between owners and workers, as a new economy is emerging in America.

Yes, the automotive industry ‘survived’ that move toward more automation, but there were human jobs eliminated in the process.  What happens when robots are doing the work, and people aren’t needed?  Who will pay the wages that allow working people to buy homes?

These are the broader questions that voices across the left-right spectrum need to grapple with.  Meanwhile, the robots are here, and more are coming. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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$300 Billion Market, As Predicted, Jeff Bezos’ Amazon Alexa Fund Dives Deeper into PreFab Homes

September 28th, 2018 Comments off

 

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We love working with companies that make a world positive impact on everyday lives, said Andrew Beebe, managing director of Obvious Ventures, as part of a statement to MHProNews. “Plant Prefab is focused on dramatically improving efficiencies and environmental responsibility in the $330 billion market for new homes in the US. With increased costs, labor shortages, reduced affordability, and the enormous impact housing has on carbon emissions, there are few challenges more important than creating more accessible, healthy housing,”

 

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Those are all points that the Daily Business News on MHProNews has raised for investors and industry pros to consider for several years.  We noted that last year, Amazon began marketing for third-parties homes, including container housing that sells for under $40,000 a unit.

Amazon has also been selling via their site pre-cut kit homes, a concept similar to what Sears and Roebuck used to offer a century or more ago.

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Now, through Amazon’s Alexa Fund, they’re taking the next step.

An array of media have given them considerable free ink, virtually all of it positive.

Plant Prefab, a Rialto, Calif., based factory-builder, tells MHProNews that they’ve raised $6.7 million “Plant Prefab’s Series A funding included Obvious Ventures and the Amazon Alexa Fund.”

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The new funding will go toward investments in “new senior hires, building the marketing and sales team, and developing Plant Prefab’s patented Plant Building System,” said Globewire to MHProNews.

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Voice has emerged as a delightful technology in the home, and there are now more than 20,000 Alexa-compatible smart home devices from 3,500 different brands,” said Paul Bernard, director of the Alexa Fund. “Plant Prefab is a leader in home design and an emerging, innovative player in home manufacturing. We’re thrilled to support them as they make sustainable, connected homes more accessible to customers and developers.”

Alexa Fund added as new investor, marking Amazon’s first known direct investment in a home prefabrication/construction company.

In 2016, the Plant Prefab was spun out of LivingHomes, “a design and development company that’s designed and built dozens of award-winning prefabricated homes, including the nation’s first LEED Platinum home.”

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According to a statement by Plant Prefab Founder and CEO Steve Glenn, “In the housing-crunched major cities like Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco, along with areas like Silicon Valley, it takes too much time to build a home from groundbreaking to occupancy, and labor shortages, construction delays and increased construction costs are exacerbating this trend even further — and making homes increasingly less affordable.”

That’s a theme thousands of factory-built housing industry pros know all too well.  Note that Glenn takes direct aim at manufactured housing, mis-characterizing HUD Code homes as “Most existing prefabrication companies in the US focus on standard, low quality, non-sustainable mobile and modular homes — for suburban communities.”

Glenn then juxtaposes what they do with manufactured and modular builders by saying, “Plant Prefab is unique in that we’re focused on custom, high quality, very sustainable homes and we have a special facility and a patented building system optimized for this. We build based on client’s architects or clients can select from a growing number of homes we offer from world-class architects, all of which can be customized for specific lots and client needs. By building in an all-weather facility with lower cost and staff labor, we offer clients a more reliable, time and cost-effective alternative to local, urban general contractors.”

Billion Dollar Startup Modular Builder, Using Robotics, Could Soon Rival Clayton Homes’ Total Sales

Rephrased, they sound more like they are targeting more of a U.S. based, Soft Bank backed Katerra, or international player, Revolution Precrafted homes.

Factory-Crafted Home Living, Reimagined – “The Art Park” vs. MHCs – Interview with Robbie Antonio, Founder of Unicorn Revolution Precrafted Homes

Plant Prefab operates out of a 62,000 square foot facility in Rialto, California.  They point to recent projects they’ve done where they “installed 26 units in California and Utah as well as a multifamily project in Berkeley.”

Keep in mind, that a few million bucks from Bezos could quickly lead to far more from the world’s richest man. Architecture says that the Alexa Fund can provide up “to $100 million in venture capital funding.” But as the world richest man, that too is far from Bezos’ limit.

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Independent and even larger corporate manufactured housing professionals, outside of the Berkshire Hathaway family of brands, arguably have to realize that Amazon, Google, Facebook, and other giants could quickly become a major player in factory built homes, including modular or manufactured homes.

With Buffett, Bezos and JP Morgan-Chase’s Jaime Dimon teaming up to carve out a bite from healthcare, what’s to keep some array of multibillion-dollar conglomerates from crowding out factory-builders through their money and political influence?

Thus MHProNews’ advocacy for antitrust action, and a new post-production association.  That later is similar to a call from the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR), which has made a similar call.  See the related reports, linked below. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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SoheylaKovachDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsMHLivingNewsSubmitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.com. Soheyla is a managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.

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USMC 3D Printed Barracks, Official Details, Video – Factory Builders Notice

August 31st, 2018 Comments off

USMC3DPrintedBarracksOfficialDetailsVIdeoFactoryBulidersNoticeDailyBusinessNewsmHProNews

MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, VA. – “The Marine Corps is leading the way in employing advanced technologies and robotic construction,” said Kaitlin Kelly, MCSC Office of Public Affairs and Communication.

 

Earlier this month,” per their release, “the Additive Manufacturing Team at Marine Corps Systems Command teamed up with Marines from I Marine Expeditionary Force to operate the world’s largest concrete 3D printer at the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center in Champaign, Illinois. As a joint effort between the Marine Corps, Army and Navy Seabees, an expeditionary concrete 3D printer was used to print a 500-square-foot barracks hut in 40 hours.”

 

The Marine Corps is currently staffing a deliberate urgent needs statement and concept of employment for this technology. The results of the field user evaluation will inform future requirements to give the Corps a concrete construction additive manufacturing program of record,” Kelly said.

This exercise had never been done before,” said Capt. Matthew Friedell, AM project officer in MCSC’s Operations and Programs/G-3.  “People have printed buildings and large structures, but they haven’t done it onsite and all at once. This is the first-in-the-world, onsite continuous concrete print.”

The team reportedly started with a computer-aided design model on a 10-year old computer, concrete and a 3D printer. Once they hit ‘print,’ the concrete was pushed through the print head and layered repeatedly to build the walls. In total, the process took 40 hours because Marines had to monitor progress and continually fill the printer with concrete.

But Friedell said that he thinks if there was a robot to do the mixing and pumping, the building could easily be created in one day.

In 2016, the commandant said robots should be doing everything that is dull, dangerous and dirty, and a construction site on the battlefield is all of those things,” Friedell said.

This raises issues about automation previously reported in MHProNews, on both modular and HUD Code manufactured housing building.

 

Billion Dollar Startup Modular Builder, Using Robotics, Could Soon Rival Clayton Homes’ Total Sales

 

See the linked articles, above, below and in the related reports.

Clayton Homes’ “Robots” – Automation’s Role in Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway’s “Durable Competitive Advantage” in Manufactured Housing

 

The ability to build structures and bases while putting fewer Marines in danger would be a significant accomplishment, Friedell said.

In active or simulated combat environments, we don’t want Marines out there swinging hammers and holding plywood up,” said Friedell. “Having a concrete printer that can make buildings on demand is a huge advantage for Marines operating down range.”

The USMC says it normally takes 10 Marines five days to construct a barracks hut out of wood.

With this 3D FUE, the Marine Corps proved four Marines with a concrete printer can build a strong structure in less than two days.

Ideally, said Kelly, the Corps’ use of concrete printers will span the full range of military operations, from combat environments to humanitarian aid and disaster relief missions.

As the first military services on site in natural disasters, the Navy and Marine Corps are great at providing food and water, but struggle to provide shelter, said Friedell. In many locations, cement is easier to acquire than wood.

During humanitarian or disaster relief missions, Marines could safely and quickly print houses, schools and community buildings to replace those destroyed.

That line above is one that should cause a laser focus on this topic by manufactured and modular home professionals who are disaster housing focused. And that’s just one of several levels that factory-home builders should be responding to promptly, by addressing the issues that hold manufactured homes back. See the related reports, linked below.

 

This capability would enable a great partnership with the local community because it is low cost, easy to use, and robotics could print the buildings,” Friedell said. “We can bring forward better structures, houses and forward operating bases with less manpower and fewer Marines in harm’s way.”

The AM Team plans to conduct further testing and wants to get the capability into the hands of more Marines to inform future requirements for cutting-edge technology and autonomous systems, according to Kelly.

Our future operating environment is going to be very kinetic and dangerous because we don’t necessarily know what we’re going into,” said Friedell. “The more we can pull Marines out of those potentially dangerous situations—whether it’s active combat or natural disaster—and place robotics there instead, it helps us accomplish the mission more efficiently.”

Factory home builder? This is your latest wake up call. That’s “News through the lens of manufactured homes, and factory-built housing” © – where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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Skyline Champion Corp – Manufactured Homes, Modular Housing – Outlook, Opportunities, & Obstacles

July 31st, 2018 Comments off
SkylineChampionLogoPhotoIPManufacturedModularParkModelHomeDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsThirdPartyMHProNewsLogo550-315

Slide from IR presentation. as are others below. Text graphics by MHProNews. While a design like the home shown above could, in theory, be done as a HUD Code manufactured home, the odds are that this was built as a state-code modular home. 

With almost 2 months since the combination of Skyline and Champion – producers of manufactured home, modular housing, and other forms of factory-crafted construction – has occurred, it’s an apt time to take a snapshot of the new #2 in HUD Code home industry.

 

As with several other publicly-traded operations previously analyzed on the Daily Business News on MHProNews, this first look will begin with their own internally crafted information.

skylinechapmpionSKYlogoSnapshotManufacturedModularParkModelHomeIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews598

Slide from IR presentation. as are others herein.

It is worth noting again that often useful industry insights are gained – not only for investors, but for others in the manufactured home industry – by reviewing such IR (investor relations) presentations.

SkylineChampionIRPresenationJune2018USCanadaFootprinttopTenStatesFastestGrowingMarketsDailyBusinessnewsMHproNews

The top ten states, and the fastest growing states, are shown at the right. Note that some of the fast growing states had such low shipment levels that it could skew the impression. See related reports, linked below, for more details.

These documents – properly understood – can also be useful for advocates, lenders, researchers, and public officials.

SkylineChampionSKYIRImprovingFinancingOptionsManufacturedHomeDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews598

Finance – and access to capital – is more available, especially since the Trump Tax Cut, and deregulatory changes. Those have indeed made a positive difference for the industry. That said, so far, the Duty To Serve (DTS) manufactured housing is still toe in the water, and is being protested by MHARR as insufficient and strayed from the purpose of the law established in 2008 by the Housing and Economic Recovery Act. Rephrased, there are more improvements in financing options possible. is iThe top ten states, and the fastest growing states, are shown at the right. Note that some of the fast growing states had such low shipment levels that it could skew the impression. See related reports, linked below, for more details.

Typical of such reports are mostly accurate industry information.

#2ManufacturedHousingPositionMarketShareTop8DailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

One of the driving forces that are growing in the next tier after Clayton, Skyline Champion and Cavco is Legacy Housing. They’ve grown rapidly in Texas, and are now doing the same in GA. Part of their success? Its financing, as well as other price point and specialized products.

The Daily Business News says “mostly,” as there are still times – for example, Cavco’s IR presentation – that cites information that is contradicted by other sources.

SkylineChampionSKYirStructuralAdvantagesOpportunitiesManufacturedHomesVsSiteBuiltDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

This is arguably one of the best slides in this report, as it captures several key facts about HUD Code manufactured homes. To learn more about third party research on manufactured homes, see the recent NAR report by Scholastica ‘Gay’ Cororaton, linked here or below.

“Market for Manufactured Homes,” Scholastica “Gay” Cororaton, for Realtor University, Analysis and the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI)

A specific example is the manufactured home community count, which matters very much to those in the community segment of the industry.

SkylineChampionirIncreasingInvestmentsByManufacturedHomeCommunitiesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Commentary and analysis by MHProNews.  The community count issue is one that public companies can address without MHI help, but they would be wise to get MHI to correct their apparent error, see what their own members say, in the report below..

Frank Rolfe, Dave Reynolds, George Allen, Manufactured Home Community Controversy Continues

Hundreds of New Manufactured Home Communities Opened, But How Many Have Closed? Industry Research Result$

MHProNews is a strong believer – as are others who are forward-looking in MHVille – that accuracy in data matters.  Any given company, as well as the industry at large, benefit from accurate data and facts.

SkylineChampionIRDemograpicTrendsCostComparisionsDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

This is another useful presentation slide, gathering some data which reflects why manufactured housing could be poised for serious growth.

 

Disclaimers

As with any source cited, or any report done by MHProNews or MHLivingNews, the relaying of information or an analysis should not be construed as an endorsement, nor its opposite.

Facts, insights and information are being conveyed for the sake of a deeper, richer understanding of the manufactured home industry in specific, or factory-built housing in general.

LegacyManufacturedHousing-LiquidationEvent-HurricanOverRun-image500x335

Click the above to learn more or register for the event, which is unrelated to the article.

We’d also note that when we see an inaccuracy and mention it – again, using the example of the community count – that doesn’t mean that there may not be others.

We hold no stocks, nor any other positions for or against, this operation, which operates under Skyline Champion Corp. (NYSE:SKY), and is covered as part of our evening/nightly market snapshot.  Last night’s closing numbers are found at this link.

MostMenAppearnNeverConsideredWhatHouseIsNeedlesslyPoorAllTheirLivesHenryDavidThoreauManufacturedHomeLivingNews

For newcomers to the website not familiar with modern manufactured homes, learn more by clicking the image above or the link here.  The opportunities are spelled out in reverse, in the report, below.

New Home Sales Fall to 8-Month Low in June, Data Signals Trouble – or Opportunity in Disguise for Manufactured Housing?

 

Market Snapshot

Given the above disclaimers, the presentation by Skyline Champion (SKY) is one of the better ones for insights provided by publicly traded firms in manufactured housing.

SkylineChampionIRPlantsRetailOperationsIdlePlantsDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

The chart above reflects an interesting factoid, that Skyline Champion has 7 idle plants, which rephrased, means they could in theory ramp up more quickly than some others.

While it is graphically rich, it could benefit from more photos that exemplify the full range of housing options offered.

Producers of HUD Code manufactured homes or modular housing often show the fanciest and biggest models they can.  That makes sense for showcasing potential and for giving a good first impression.

EricBelksyManufacturedHousingIndustryManufacuredHomeManufacturedHousingInstituteResearchDataAffordbleHousingMHProNewsDailyBuisnessNews575

The facts are so powerful in favor of manufactured housing, some ask, why isn’t the industry doing much better?  The answer is found in part in Smoking Gun 3.

But such reports – Skyline Champion or others – should arguably show more entry level housing too.  Why?  There are more low-to-mid range potential buyers than those at the top that may want a modular waterfront getaway.

“Why Advocates Need to Rethink Manufactured Home Quality,” Harvard, GSE, Genz, “High Satisfaction”

IR presentations have certain limitations.  Not being specialized attorneys in public companies, we claim no expertise on those legal nuances in an IR presentation.  That said, when Skyline Champion says that there is significant upside for their business, or the industry in general – with proper management – consider that an understatement.

Why?

Several tech giants have spawned or inspired leaders who have launched factory-built housing enterprises.

LawrenceYunNARShort8.3MillionHousingUnitsRisingRentsHousingPricesCuredOnlyByMoreBuilding

Collage by MHProNews.

MHProNews recently noted that Japanese based SoftBank has bet big on Menlo Park, CA based Katerra.

Billion Dollar Startup Modular Builder, Using Robotics, Could Soon Rival Clayton Homes’ Total Sales

They are only the latest higher profile move by a factory-builder to address the affordable housing crisis.

  • With approximately 8.3 million housing unit shortage,
  • and with numerous voices inside and beyond the factory-built housing world having said for years that the construction gap can’t be closed by site builders alone,
  • the upside for factory home building should be obvious.

CompareMobileHomeTrailersPastManufacturedHomesSaferMoreDurableQuoteScholasticiaGayCororationPhotoSmallPercentageDamagedDuringHUrricanesMHProNews

This snapshot has selected those slides which in our view reflects the most interesting items to the greatest number of readers. A comparison between quality concerns of manufactured homes vs. conventional housing is launched in the related report, linked below.

Investors, Heartbroken Home Owners, Site Building Giant DR Horton, and Manufactured Housing

To see the entire SKY presentation, you can click the download linked here. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ##(News, analysis, and commentary.)

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SoheylaKovachDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsMHLivingNewsSubmitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.com. Soheyla is a managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.

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Realtor University ® “The Market for Manufactured Homes,” Research by Scholastica Cororaton, Certified Business Economist, Highlights

Winners and Losers, 5 Midwestern States, Manufactured Home Shipment Breakdown

 

Another $1.5 Billion From FEDs, Disaster Dollars Spell Opportunities, Factory Builder$ Take Note

‘Tip of Iceberg’ – Rick Rand; Marty Lavin, Communities have ‘No Confidence’ in Manufactured Housing Institute, New National Trade Group Announced

New Steps to Fill Skilled Jobs for American Businesses, including Manufactured and Modular Housing

July 19th, 2018 Comments off

NewStepsToFillSkilledJobsForAmericanBusinessesIncludingManufacturedandModularHousingDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

What are skilled workers?  “Its training the works for the skills that industry needs,” said Linda McMahon, who heads up the federal Small Business Administration (SBA).

 

Johnson Controls, makes numerous products, including heating, ventilation or air-conditioning systems and fire alarms, for housing, business and for manufactured home firms too.

Johnson Controls has partnered with Lincoln Tech, a leading provider of specialized technical training, to provide expanded career opportunities for graduates and help lay the foundation for the workforce of the future by providing the essential training needed to be successful in a technical career, according to Johnson Controls CEO George Oliver in an op-ed to Fox Business.

The White House, in a statement to the Daily Business News on MHProNews, touted approximate 3.2 million jobs created since President Donald J. Trump took office.

It should be noted, for accuracy’s sake, that When SBA’s McMahon said in the video posted that there’s been 3.7 million jobs created, she’s likely referring to the number of jobs since Election Day 2016.


McMahon notes that welders and construction workers are among those skilled positions needed, and those are among the jobs that manufactured home professionals – notably in production centers – are seeking too.

More than one HUD Code producer has told MHProNews that they are prepared to expand, open a new or re-open a previously shuttered production center, once they secure what they see as the necessary workforce.

These are real-world hurdles that face everyone in construction, which includes manufactured housing.

But these are positive hurdles – and at least in theory – a savvy factory producer or entrepreneur can more effectively train, and thus ramp up more quickly, than a site builder. Who says?  MHI and MHARR member factory-builders, among others.

 

 

Earlier today, the White House hosted a pledge to the American Worker event, where First Daughter Ivanka Trump spoke, and President Trump signed a new executive order.

The National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) has told MHProNews on numerous occasions this year that filling jobs are a big issue.  NFIB has hundreds of manufactured housing industry connected companies among their roughly 325,000 total small-business members.

Manufactured housing industry professionals and executives have said similarly directly to the Daily Business News.

There are over 6 million jobs open in the U.S., and more openings than there are workers applying. The economy is moving.  So these are healthy – even if throbbing – growing pains.

With the passage of S. 488 in the House this week on a near unanimous, bi-partisan basis, there may be reason for some optimism – even in an election year – for serious efforts to advance the needs of businesses and workers ahead of the rapidly approaching midterms. When was the last time a bill passed 406 to 4?  See the related report, linked below.

Who Says Bipartisanship is Dead? House Passes Massive “JOBS & Investor Confidence Act” S 488 by 406 to 4 Vote

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SoheylaKovachDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsMHLivingNewsSubmitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.com. Soheyla is a managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.

Manufactured and Modular Housing Factoids, and Profitable Analysis

July 12th, 2018 Comments off
ManufacturedModularHOusingFactoidsAndProfitableAanlysisDailyBusinessNewsModularprefabManufacturedHomeProNews

Modular home photo, from MBI website. Modular home building saves time and money over conventional housing, but tends to be less savings that HUD Code manufactured homes yields for a similar size home.

Tom Hardiman with the Modular Home Builders Association (Modular Building Institute) thoughtfully confirmed for MHProNews the data on shipments of new modular homes cited by the recent Harvard State of the Nation’s Housing in 2018 Report.

 

TomHardimanModularBuildingInstituteBisnow-postedDailyBusinessnewsModularManufacturedHousingIndustryNews_001

Tom Hardiman, Modular Building Institute, credit, Bisnow.

Accuracy in information are important for all aspects of factory home building. 

The new Daily Business News report on D.R. Horton is designed for professionals, as opposed to the general public. 

What’s more useful for the home shopper is the MHLivingNews report on D.R. Horton, that’s linked here or further below.  Notice that the kitchen models shown are from a range of HUD Code builders, including one that’s never been a client or sponsor.

You can search high or low, and still have a hard time finding a place where either MHProNews or MHLivingNews has undermined the quality of any federally certified HUD Code manufactured home.

We advocate against that ever being done.

 

We do compare cost, politics, policies, or other factors that have no connection to the quality of a builders’ homes.

 

When this writer owned a record setting MH retail center, or in the ongoing work we do with factory-built home industry clients in:

   coaching,

   videos,

   websites,

   training,

  • recruiting,

   or inspirational speaking,

we never encouraged blasting a competitor for the quality of their homes. It’s a foolish strategy for those who do. Doing that also undermines the logic of why HUD Code manufactured homes.

Have you ever noticed that MHARR seems to have a similar policy? I’ve never asked, but over a decade of observation tells me that MHARR doesn’t talk about any builder’s homes. Rather, they stick with policies and related discussions. Critiquing an association is different than critiquing the quality of a builder.

That said, we do encourage strict, factual comparisons to site built housing options.

The secret sauce for manufactured housing sales advancement is education. Professionals need to be educated. Home seekers need more education too.

 

 

Another part of the secret sauce for manufactured home success is the right kind of analysis and comparisons. Trade media can open doors that a business can’t as readily.

The more expert the trade media, the more reliable the research, the more readers can count on what they see and view.   

Every other major industry you can think of has trade media.

It is common in other industries, that trade media reports problems, and does analysis, as well as successes.

 

QuestionMarksManufacturedHOusingINdustryDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

 

Ask Yourself This…

Stop and think. Which would YOU believe or trust more:

   An automotive, travel or tech trade site that praised everything, and never critiqued anything?

   Or would you find those tech, auto, or travel media that candidly critiqued and reported on issues, so that you can be better informed?

Isn’t the obvious answer the second option?

We’ve said on MHProNews for years that every publication in MH that has an audience has some value.

But are those that won’t honestly analyze the clearly failed “leadership” that has caused manufactured homes to be at such a relatively low level of acceptance helping or enabling the industry to make needed course corrections?

 

We Take It Too

We get a steady steam of reader comments and feedback. They range from cheers to sneers. We consider comments from readers. Everyone likes praise. But we carefully consider critical comments. What do they tell us?

It’s all part of our own reality check.

 

CritiqueHighlyVisibleEcnouragesIndividu8alsRaiseStandardsDavidDidauQuoteMastheadBlogManufacuredHousingIndustryMHProNews

Critiques, properly understood, are a way of improving performance. Every business, every sports team which aims to win does evaluations, which are a critique. “We Provide, You Decide.”

The D.R.Horton report on MHLivingNews carries the added weight of being the industry’s top publicly focused trade media.

Exposé! Heartbroken Conventional Housing Buyers? Dare to Compare Site Built with Modern Manufactured Homes

Consider sharing links to that with the general public. Consider sharing the links to the Daily Business News, and this analysis, with peers, colleagues and other professionals.  Note that many of the same points, other than HUD Code home related items, apply to modular homes. Rephrased, the quality of modular or manufactured homes will both routinely be better than what is found in conventional, site building. Not a slam, just an evidence based reality that the D.R. Horton story exemplifies. 

That’s “News Through the Lens of Manufactured Homes, and Factory Built Housing.” © On MHProNews,We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

Footnote 1: The expression by Jim Reitzner is a generic statement periodically used by that manufactured home industry professional that seems to fit this topic; but bit should not be construed as a direct quote by him given for this column.

(Third party images, and content are provided under fair use guidelines.) Related Reports, are linked below…

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Publisher and industry consultant, L. A. “Tony” Kovach.

By L.A. “Tony” Kovach – Masthead commentary, for MHProNews.com.

Tony is the multiple award-winning managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.

Office 863-213-4090 |Connect on LinkedIn:
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Factory-Crafted Home Living, Reimagined – “The Art Park” vs. MHCs – Interview with Robbie Antonio, Founder of Unicorn Revolution Precrafted Homes

June 20th, 2018 Comments off
TheArtParkRobbieAntonioRevolutionPreCraftedHomesManufacturedModularPrefabHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Still from the video below. Text, collage by MHProNews.

Housing is a global need, and Asia is the largest market. As the Daily Business News recently reported, U.S. based Hometown America is one of several operations in manufactured housing that has ties to Asia, some of which are deepening.  Hometown’s recently announced deal is valued at nearly ½ a billion dollars.

 

CNBC is a division of NBCUniversal, and their “Managing Asia” program is about the Asia Pacific region, featuring CEOs, entrepreneurs and other business leaders.

Divestopedia defines a unicorn like this, “…a unicorn refers to any tech startup company that reaches a $1 billion dollar market value as determined by private or public investment. The term was originally coined by Aileen Lee, founder of Cowboy Ventures.”

In a release to MHProNews, CNBC’s Christine Tan provided the following transcript of an interview with Robbie Antonio, or Revolution Precrafted, a firm which asserts their focus on “Modern Prefab Homes by World Renowned Architects & Designers.”

Here in the U.S. “trailer parks” evolved into “mobile home parks” of 5 (+/-) decades ago have become what a number of industry professionals today refer to as “land lease communities” or “manufactured home communities.”

Forget all of that for the next few minutes, save as history and background.

Then, consider what Robbie Antonio is doing to bring factory-crafted homes into the future. Note how Antonio is attracting global attention, including well qualified buyers and investors alike.

The project that Tan is asking Antonio about is the one in the video, below.

 

 

Christine Tan: You know Robbie, we’re here at this 150 hectare park at Batulao Artscapes which you call a living Art Park. What can one experience by living here?

prefabhomeinstalledintwodaysaspartofparisshowcreditrobbieantoniodesignbloomrevolution-postedtodailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

Robbie Antonio. Credit: Design Bloom & Revolution Precrafted Properties.

Robbie Antonio: I’ve seen other art parks around the world and many of them are just museums and you get to see art and then you go back home. Imagine living in it. Imagine living in a David Salle house, Elizabeth de Portzamparc house, and really being surrounded by this magical environment.

C: What is the price point? How cheap can a prefabricated housing be?

R: The house and lot here is less than 50,000 dollars which is about 3 million pesos or so

C: Your family has been in real estate for almost 30 years. You started Revolution Precrafted in 2015 to essentially create a startup for prefab housing. How did you stumble upon the idea?

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R: I come from the real estate world and I’ve been doing this for over 10 years. In New York, I built my own company called Antonio Development where I did a project in the Plaza District, the most sought after area in all of Manhattan, close to Central Park where nothing has been made in 20 years. So when I did that with Mr I.M Pei, it was the first round of residential products I had ever done. At the very early age of 28 I started the idea of positioning buildings in a proper format, came back to Manila and did a flurry of branded towers with fashion companies such as Armani, Missoni and Versace. I did Trump Tower and also projects with Hollywood icons such as Paris Hilton where I did 9 towers with them. In mid-2015, I wanted to do something extremely disruptive. I wanted to be an asset-light, no inventory business and global.

C: So you were tired of the old model?

R: Yes, to begin with, and second I was looking at major unicorns like Airbnb and Uber from miles away and I basically said this to myself: “What do they have in common?” I asked myself this for a straight week. No inventory, asset-light, using technology and truly global.

I feel that I’m a man of the world and I did not want to just do projects here in Asia. I wanted to look at the world as if it were all the same country and I wanted to be global without being asset heavy. Then it just dawned upon me. It was like a Eureka moment, an epiphany in the middle of 2015. I wanted to investigate an industry called the prefab market, a space which allows you to get from Point A to Point B very succinctly.

It’s a means to the end, not the end. The end is to truly be everywhere, ubiquitous, and I wanted to be prevalent and omnipresent in all the regions of the world. I’ve told my team I want to be in 25 different countries this year, 55 by next year, 85 in 2020 and possibly go public then.

C: You’re not worried about cannibalizing your family’s real estate business?

R: Why would you talk about cannibalization when you should be talking about complementary businesses?

C: How so?

R: We’re in Batulao, it’s a 145 hectare development. This specifically is a Century Properties Development, the only 1 I’m doing out of 11 countries and all the master plans we have closed. Case in point you have David Salle’s house there, Elizabeth de Portzamparc’s house here. Most of these developers outsource construction and supplying of construction to an entity anyway so that’s adding value, not cannibalization.

C: So I know it’s your own business but what did your father say when you told him about it?

R: I told him after the fact. I said this is what I’m doing, I’ve been working on this and I’m recently launching this in Miami Art Basel which had just happened a week or 2 weeks before. So I’m very independent, I’ve always been an independent person. To be emancipated and to really feel empowered is something that is integral to my existence.

C: You literally introduced brand to the whole concept of prefabricated housing by listing well known designers like the late Zaha Hadid and Tom Dixon to create these pre-fabricated housing for you. How do you get these high-end well known architects and designers to create something? They’re so used to big budgets, how do you get them to create something at a fraction of the cost? How big a challenge was it?

R: That’s the point. That’s why it was so intriguing for a lot of people and that’s why it was so intriguing for me. I always say in business that if someone’s in, I’m out. So that really means I always want to be a first mover in anything I do, and for this particular case as you just stated a lot of these brands are used to doing mega mansions or mega museums. Jean Nouvel’s did the Louvre Abu Dhabi, a billion dollar project but now we’re doing a Jean Nouvel museum here for not even 0.5% of that. So it was this antithetical rationale and business concept that was intriguing for them.

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Collage based upon still from video above.

C: They took it as a challenge?

R: Of course! If you have the foremost brands in design and architecture doing really expensive structures with probably no budgets at all, you get people to think a little bit more. That sets parameters like a mathematical equation and gets people to challenge themselves more.

C: I can understand architects, but you recently just signed on Manny Pacquiao –

R: That was last night, haha.

C: What has boxing got to do with housing?

R: I’m going to do sports cities around the world with him.

C: That’s your latest addition?

R: That was yesterday, he’s our 76th one. I told everyone in my office that I’m going to stop when we hit 100 and take a break.

RevolutionPreCraftedYoungGunsLegendsRobbieAntonioTrump-ModularPreFabHomeMHLivingNewDailyBusinessNews

MHLivingNews and MHProNews were the first in the manufactured home space to spotlight this rising star in prefab housing. Note the thinking of Robbie is similar to that of builder-businessman Donald Trump – “I like thinking big. If you are going to be thinking anyway, you might as well think big.” https://www.manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/young-guns-legends-robbie-antonio-eric-trump-high-end-designer-prefabs-class-for-the-masses-revolution-pre-crafted-properties/

C: How did you convince Manny Pacquiao to sign with you?

R: First we’re the only branded housing company in the world, bar none. So ultimately it’s a choice of doing it with some entity that has not done it or it’s not within their business plan, or doesn’t understand the full ethos of high impact design and doing it at an accessible price point.

He’s a humanitarian and that’s what I like about him. So we’re talking about creating sports cities and fitness centres under his name and his design, possibly even his land and really trying to change his neighborhood. That’s what I found also enthralling about the entire conversation, and we’re going to go after it. I don’t go for brands just because they’re famous; I go for people who are relevant.

C: So, you’ve got housing, you’ve got this, and you’ve got sports cities and sport complexes, what’s next?

R: At Revolution we’re doing multiple products in multiple geographies. I want to be in 6 regions in the world pretty much everywhere in the world. We’ve hit 4, definitely Asia with our projects in Myanmar, Philippines and Indonesia. For Dubai, our mega project in 9 islands in the world, we’re a foreign group doing something there where not even locals have actually announced so it has been something really interesting to us. I just came from Bahrain where I spoke and we’re definitely going to enter that market as well.

C: But what’s next? Office towers? Skyscrapers? What’s next for Robbie Antonio?

R: We’re going to go vertical, and we’re going to do prefab condominiums and prefab hotels later on this year. We’re actually going to do an Art Hotel here which is still relevant to the art concept. Aside from just creating products, we also engender creative and ingenious concepts for different master plans.

C: Revolution became profitable barely a year after it opened for business.

R: Yeah, the first quarter actually.

C: Did you ever think you would be so successful so quickly? You’re actually the Philippines’ first unicorn startup

R: I mean, I knew we were going to be successful, but I didn’t know the speed with which we were going to achieve this. A lot of these other mega startups, so-called unicorns have unbelievable valuations which raise a billion dollars so on and so forth, but I wanted to stay true to the integrity of the firm to be an asset light business model and to be everywhere.

C: You’ve signed up more than 7 billion dollars in deals in countries like Puerto Rico, Japan and Dubai, in more than 10 markets. Which overseas markets are you eyeing next?

R: I’m going to Europe next week, to 8 or 9 different countries. Scandinavian countries love modular prefab systems and I’m going to Norway, Sweden, Finland, also going to Poland as well and Spain. But this is a night each, this is no vacation. I haven’t had a single day of vacation since I started the company.

C: I understand the basic concept of your business model is that you manufacture parts of the home in the factory then you ship them on-site before assembling them like Lego bricks. How big a challenge is that, logistically?

R: Extremely complex. The prefab business has always been a fragmented industry, meaning that American prefab companies cater mostly to American end users and you go straight to retail. Asian ones are catering to Asians, Malaysian ones are catering to Malaysians and so forth, and it’s the same thing in Europe.

C: So you try to build the factories close to your projects?

R: No, that’s why I have a network, because the orders are coming from different parts of the world. In some cases for example Batulao is not all, fully prefab. Some are inserted on site in terms of some of the components.

C: So it’s basically cheaper to do it that way?

R: Yes, and faster. This goes back to the value proposition of Revolution. The first is speed, we’d like to say we produce things – we used to say at least 90 days, but now I produce in 45, 60 days.

C: So how safe is your housing, Robbie?

R: These are rigorously tested from the factories which go up to 250km/h seismic conditions to the highest degree, so these are very strong robust structures.

C: So just to clarify they can withstand a bad typhoon or a bad hurricane?

R: Why do you think we’re shipping in Puerto Rico and why do you think our orders are coming from there? Didn’t they just have a massive hurricane there last year? This is exactly why the value added is also helping people get to the points they usually can’t get to. For example, Islands, Dubai the World Islands is perfect. Puerto Rico, Vieques is perfect.

C: So you’re actually solving the world’s housing shortage problem?

R: In a way. I mean think about it right? It’s not all about design anymore. The amazing thing about it is it’s not a want, it’s a need and that’s something we’re trying to solve here.

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Still from video above.

C: I know you’ve done the math, so I know you’ve worked out how much it costs in terms of transportation costs and shipping, give me an idea how much it costs to actually ship such a big structure to market?

R: It’s actually not that much. Our containers ship a little bit over a thousand US Dollars only, so some of these homes can be put in 2 or 3 containers and you can do the math, when it gets from one point let’s say Southeast Asia to Australia.

C: So you’re inking all these multimillion dollar deals everywhere across the world. But are you investing enough in factories to support the kind of growth you see overseas?

R: We have an amazing network of global fabricators, and depending on where their orders are coming from and from which region in the world, I basically make that call and start producing these homes. So it’s a really B2B2C model where we partner and form a joint venture or we supply to a developer and they turn it out to the end user, and so far the sales have been super robust. For example, our project in Lakeshore Pampanga, the world’s first livable food bar, sold over a 1000 homes in about 2 months so it’s very enriching to see that people appreciate what you do.

C: Are you upping your investment in factories? What sort of amount are we talking about?

R: Absolutely. Ultimately later on I’d like to have different networks of different fabricators, but I’m not at that point right now. I’d like to create my own because I’m literally a control freak.

C: You want to set up your own factory?

R: Yeah.

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C: When will it happen?

R: As early as this year actually. I’m already having conversations with amazing technology providers and we’re just going to go make the investment

C: So how many of your own factories do you ultimately want to have?

R: Ideally I’d like to have 1 per region, so ultimately that will be 6. I’ll start with Asia because that’s where most of the orders are coming from.

C: So, late last year, you’ve actually raised an undisclosed amount of money in your second round of funding from Singaporean venture capital K2 Global. Given all these deals you’re inking and your need for investment in factories, how soon before your next capital raising exercise?

R: I’m probably not going to do a Series C because we don’t need the money until maybe next year. We’ve gotten good fresh round from institutional investors and large family offices so I think it won’t be until next year when I have hundreds or thousands of these homes already and different master plans to show, and I’ve reached the goal of hitting the 25 countries we have to have penetrated by the end of the year.

C: What are your plans to take Revolution public? What are you looking at?

R: I mean there are only 2 ways to go to exit out of this or to maintain it. One is to sell it to a company.

C: Are you interested in that?

R: Look, the biggest homebuilders in the world are in America and they’re worth 10-13 billion so how can they buy some entity which should be selling at more than that? So the only way to go like many of the unicorns you’ve seen is to go public

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C: Where would you list?

R: Probably America, UK, or Singapore

C: What sort of time frame are you looking at?

R: Maybe 2020 or 2021.

C: Give me a sense of how big you will be in 2020?

R: 85 countries, we hope – north of several billion dollars of revenue a year.

C: North of several billion dollars?

R: That’s for sure

C: What are you talking about, 10 billion, 20 billion?

R: No, that’s probably a valuation but that will be very difficult to achieve in terms of revenue and high profitability. The greatest thing for our business would be if we can achieve the sort of scale where we can be truly global, supply everywhere, and be very highly profitable.

C: What is highly profitable to you? What sort of figure are you looking at?

R: 30, 35% margin

C: And is that something you’re looking at?

R: So, think about it. We have total project revenues about 7.2. About a 3rd of that goes to construction, that’s our revenue. So you can just do the math accordingly and then we make about 30% of that, so that’s what we’re expecting from the current deals. I haven’t even got to Europe yet though, but that’ll be next week.

C: Do you worry about expanding too fast?

R: Do I worry about expanding too fast? I don’t think I’m expanding fast enough in fact.

C: Really?

R: I’m a man of instant gratification and quite frankly I need to see things done very quickly. Expediency is integral and I always say my biggest weakness which is actually my biggest strength as well, is my impatience. I like to see things in a jiffy.

C: Will you be happy just heading Revolution Precrafted? Is there something else in the pipeline you want to kick off?

R: Not at all, I don’t think this is the ultimate legacy.

C: What other things are you planning?

R: I think we’re doing something great here.

C: But what projects would interest you? Does it have to be a 100 million dollar idea or 200 million dollar idea?

R: No, it’s got to be a several billion-dollar idea for me to jump and be excited about something, and it’s not just about the math believe it or not. It’s about truly changing the way people think about something. That’s what really interests me, the challenge of that. The sheer challenge and difficulty of achieving something that is seemingly insurmountable challenges me.

C: You father is well known Philippine real estate tycoon Jose Antonio of Century Properties. You’ve joined him in the ranks to be among Forbes’ 50 richest in the Philippines. How does it feel like to create your own business, to be successful in your own right?

R: It’s obviously gratifying. I know a lot of people and friends from different countries who are of the 2nd or 3rd generation and I respect that but I respect the founders more. I mean growing a business is very impressive, but starting a successful business is the most difficult thing.

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C: So you don’t want to be seen as the 2nd generation, you want to build something in your own right, in your own right?

R: I’ve already done it, so I think that’s the point of this exercise. And look, I don’t know what you call that, insecurity. Sometimes when I interview people I actually like people who are because they always have something to prove and when you have something to prove you work harder than everyone else.

C: You have something to prove all the time?

R: To myself. Not to anyone else, but to myself.

C: So your family is in real estate, your father obviously running Century Properties. Any valuable lessons you picked up from him over the years as young boy watching him grow his business?

R: I mean I obviously thank him because my love for real estate came from him so I will never take that away from him. But the desire to do something differently, the desire to create something is truly inborn and sort of innate with me, so I always try to innovate, disrupt an industry or industries.

C: Whether it’s Paris Hilton, Lenny Kravitz or Adrien Brody, you in particular hang out with the who’s who in the celebrity world. What’s it like having friends in such high places? Is it mostly business or mostly pleasure?

R: First, I don’t just hang out with celebrities. I mean a lot of people think that but a lot of it is they’re my friends. Some of them are my very good friends or my best friends. To me work is play; to me a trip in Spain has got to be filled with meetings aside from other things. It’s all intertwined in one.

C: So you always try to find a way to turn a personal relationship into a business relationship? You’re always looking for an opportunity?

R: I always think, “Is there a deal here?”

C: So when you’re talking to Lenny Kravitz or Adrien Brody, you’re always thinking is there something I can do with them?

R: I bet you half of them are thinking the same way! So I might as well just make the first move, some of them may come to deals and some of them may not be deals and that’s really ok,

I get back to them in a couple of months or weeks when I have something formidable because I want everyone to be excited by this.

C: You’re one of the most well connected young Filipinos today. You’ve been described as someone with a magnetic personality that no one can say no to. Are you really that persuasive when it comes to closing a deal?

R: First I think I give the value proposition in a succinct and formidable manner where they can truly understand it and buy into it. I think obtaining 76 of the world’s best architects and designers is not an easy thing and I’ve been doing this prior to this, so I’ve totaled it to about 84, probably more than any human being in the world

C: So you just turn on that Robbie Antonio charm to get people to say yes to you?

R: No, I mean, I think it’s just my personality. I’m very much driven by obtaining these things

C: Do people ever say no to you?

R: Of course some people do. Very few, but some people do. Most say yes and we’d like to keep it that way

C: You’re 41 years old, born in the Philippines. You studied many years in the US, got your Economics degree there, an MBA from Stanford, spent 5 years working in the US, joined your father’s business in 2009, and then really founded Revolution Precrafted in 2015. How would you describe your leadership and your management style? What is Robbie Antonio like?

R: I’m hardcore. I have an almost West Point type of leadership, military style. In fact I love interviewing military people, people who have business backgrounds because they’re very disciplined. I wake up my team up at like 4:35 in the morning.

C: You wake them up at 4:35 in the morning?

R: Yeah, I basically Whatsapp all of them and I ask for reports and all that and I’m probably the last person they hear from in the evening.

C: Is it true you have a rule in the office where employees have to answer a text or an email within 10 minutes of getting it and accomplish the task within 24 hours?

R: Yeah, that is correct and if I don’t hear from them, I have 1 of my assistants (and I have 4) contact them to get me a response.

C: Why is speed important to you?

R: Because it’s always a race. People say it’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon, but I strongly disagree. It’s both, it’s always a sprint and then you need to be sustainable to make it a marathon.

C: And finally as one who’s won awards and really made the journey, what advice would you give other young entrepreneurs on how to build great disruptive businesses?

R: Think bold, always think big and achieve it no matter what people say. Be passionate, be obsessed, do it all. Know your rights and never, never, ever give up. Once you give up it becomes a habit and you don’t ever want that to happen. ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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Robbie’s Revolution Precrafted’s $1.1 Billion-Dollar PreFab Project

 

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