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Green Building Construction and Sustainable Design

Green Building Construction and Sustainable Design


[ MUSIC ]>>HELLO, AND WELCOME
TO “TALKING POINTS.” I’M DAVE KELLY, DIRECTOR OF
ADVANCED MEDIA PRODUCTION AT CAL STATE LONG BEACH. OUR DISCUSSION TODAY
INVOLVES SUSTAINABLE DESIGN AND GREEN BUILDING CONSTRUCTION. MY GUEST IS STEVE GLENN. STEVE IS THE CEO
OF LIVING HOMES. LIVING HOMES IS A
CALIFORNIA-BASED COMPANY THAT DESIGNS AND BUILDS
SUSTAINABLE HOUSES. WELCOME, STEVE, AND THANK YOU FOR JOINING US ON
“TALKING POINTS.”>>THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME.>>WELL, WE FOUND OUT ABOUT YOU AT THE UNIVERSITY
HERE A FEW YEARS AGO WHEN YOU WON SOME AWARDS
FOR DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION. WE’LL TALK MORE ABOUT
THAT IN A MOMENT. I KNOW YOU ALSO TAUGHT SOME
COURSES OR SOME SEMINARS IN GREEN BUILDING AND SUSTAINABLE DESIGN
HERE AT THE UNIVERSITY. BUT TO START THE CONVERSATION
WE SHOULD PROBABLY FRAME THE SUBJECT FOR THE AUDIENCE. WHEN WE TALK ABOUT
SUSTAINABLE DESIGN AND GREEN BUILDING,
WHAT EXACTLY IS THAT? IN A NUTSHELL, BRIEFLY,
PLEASE DEFINE THAT FOR US.>>WELL, SUSTAINABLE DESIGN IS
DESIGNING A BUILDING IN A WAY THAT REALLY REDUCES ITS
ECOLOGICAL FOOTPRINT. SO, IN GENERAL, WE’RE
TALKING ABOUT THINGS THAT MAKE THE BUILDING
MORE ENERGY EFFICIENT. WATER EFFICIENT. RESOURCE EFFICIENT. OFTEN TIMES AIR QUALITY
GETS LOPPED INTO THAT TOO. THAT’S REALLY A HEALTH
ISSUE, BUT SOME WOULD SAY THAT YOU CAN DEFINE
SUSTAINABILITY TO ALSO, OR AT LEAST REFER TO
LIFE SUSTAINABILITY. SO THOSE ARE THE MAJOR ISSUES
THAT TEND TO GET ADDRESSED IN A SUSTAINABLE DESIGN AGENDA.>>AND, WHEN YOU TALK
ABOUT AIR QUALITY, WE’RE TALKING MANY TIMES
ABOUT INDOOR AIR QUALITY.>>RIGHT.>>AND HOW THAT’S AFFECTED
BY WHAT ARE REFERRED TO AS VOLATILE ORGANIC
COMPOUNDS OR VOC’S. WHAT ARE THOSE VOC’S?>>WELL, THAT’S ONE
OF THE COMPOUNDS.>>OKAY.>>IT’S INDOOR AIR QUALITY. DEFINED BROADLY, ANYTHING
THAT CAN POLLUTE INDOOR AIR. VOC’S, VOLATILE ORGANIC
COMPOUNDS ARE COMPOUNDS THAT GET EMITTED FROM
PAINTS AND STAINS. YOU ALSO HAVE COMPOUNDS
LIKE FORMALDEHYDE AND UREA. YOU FIND THEM IN THE ADHESIVES
IN CARPET OR MILLWORK. AND THEN THERE’S MOLD. AND ALL OF THESE COMPOUNDS
HAVE BEEN ASSOCIATED WITH MORE AND MORE RESEARCH, MORE AND MORE
RESEARCH HAS FOUND ASSOCIATIONS BETWEEN THESE COMPOUNDS
AND SKIN IRRITATION. EYE IRRITATION. HEAD IRRITATION. EVEN FORMS OF CANCER. SO IT’S BAD STUFF THAT
REALLY HAS NO PLACE IN AN INDOOR ENVIRONMENT.>>SO GREEN BUILDING MEANS THAT IT’S NOT ONLY
ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY IN TERMS OF THE OVERALL
ENVIRONMENT. IT’S ALSO HUMAN FRIENDLY
IN TERMS OF THOSE THINGS THAT YOU JUST MENTIONED.>>EXACTLY.>>ALL RIGHT. WELL, LET’S TALK ABOUT YOUR
MOTIVATION FOR GETTING INVOLVED IN SUSTAINABLE DESIGN
AND GREEN BUILDING. WHAT WAS THE MOTIVATING
FACTOR FOR YOU TO GET INVOLVED IN THIS AREA?>>WELL, REALLY KIND
OF THE BIGGER AREA FOR ME IS ARCHITECTURE,
IS DESIGN. IT’S THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT. AND, AS A KID, I JUST I
ALWAYS LOVED ARCHITECTURE. I WANTED TO BE AN ARCHITECT. I HAD BOOKS ON FRANK
LLOYD WRIGHT. I HAD LEGOS. I HAD BLOCKS. I WOULD MAKE CITIES
AND DRAW BUILDINGS. BY THE TIME I GOT TO COLLEGE, I WAS ALSO INTERESTED
IN TECHNOLOGY. WHICH IS WHERE I SPENT MY CAREER
UNTIL I STARTED THIS COMPANY. BUT I STILL THOUGHT I
MIGHT GO INTO DESIGN. AND I DID A SUMMER
PROGRAM WHERE I DISCOVERED THAT I REALLY HAD NEITHER
THE TALENT NOR TEMPERAMENT TO BE AN ARCHITECT
UNFORTUNATELY. BUT I LEARNED ABOUT DEVELOPERS
AND ONE DEVELOPER IN PARTICULAR, DEVELOPER NAMED JIM ROUSE. HE HELPED ME TO APPRECIATE
THAT, FIRST OF ALL, IF YOU CARE ABOUT THE NATURE
OF THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT, DEVELOPERS ARE MORE
IMPORTANT THAN ARCHITECTS BECAUSE THEY SET THE AGENDA. THEY ACTUALLY CONTROL
WHAT GETS BUILT OR NOT. SO I CONCLUDED I SHOULD
BECOME A DEVELOPER SOME DAY. BECAUSE, A, I DIDN’T HAVE TALENT TO BE A GOOD ARCHITECT,
IN MY OWN OPINION. B, DEVELOPERS ARE
MORE IMPORTANT. AND, C, I CONCLUDED THE WORLD
COULD USE MORE RESPONSIBLE DEVELOPERS LIKE ROUSE. SO THAT’S KIND OF
THE BACKGROUND. AND AFTER A COUPLE DECADES
IN TECH, WHEN I HUNKERED DOWN TO FOCUS ON REAL
ESTATE, I JUST CONCLUDED THAT THERE WAS A LARGE
AND GROWING NUMBER OF PEOPLE [INAUDIBLE] CALLED
THE CULTURAL CREATIVES. I’M ONE WHO, WE REALLY
VALUE DESIGN, HEALTH AND SUSTAINABILITY
IN THE PRODUCTS WE BUY. SO, YOU KNOW, WE’RE
DRIVING I DRIVE A VOLT. SOME ARE DRIVING PRIUSES. AND WE’RE SHOPPING
AT WHOLE FOODS OR BUYING ORGANIC AT COSTCO. WE’RE READING “DWELL”
AND “WIRED.” WE’RE BUYING ORGANIC
APPAREL FROM PATAGONIA. WE’RE USING APPLE PRODUCTS. WE’RE BUYING FROM IKEA
OR DESIGN WITHIN REACH. SO, AS I JUST INDICATED,
THERE ARE LOTS OF COMPANIES THAT OFFER PRODUCTS THAT HAVE
GREAT FORM, FUNCTIONALITY. AND THAT ARE BUILT IN A
HEALTHY AND SUSTAINABLE WAY. BUT THE PRODUCTION HOME BUILDERS
— THE KB HOMES, R.S., PULTE, THE CENTEXES OF THE WORLD —
DON’T BUILD FOR THOSE PEOPLE. SO I SAID I’M GOING TO
START A COMPANY TO DO THAT, TO BUILD FOR THE
CULTURAL CREATIVE.>>AND SO IT’S ABOUT LIFESTYLE. WHEN YOU DESIGN AND
BUILD THESE HOMES, IT’S ALWAYS ABOUT LIFESTYLE. AND THE KIND OF LIFESTYLE
THAT PEOPLE WANT TO LIVE IN THOSE SUSTAINABLE HOMES. AND THAT BEING THE CASE,
THERE IS AN ORGANIZATION KNOWN AS LEED, WHICH IS LEADERSHIP FOR
ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENTAL DESIGN, WHICH AWARDS CERTIFICATION
TO VARIOUS PROJECTS. AND YOU HAPPENED TO
WIN THE PLATINUM AWARD FOR A HOUSE YOU DESIGNED
CALLED THE RK1 IN 2006. PLATINUM IS THE HIGHEST
AWARD THEY OFFER. WHY DID THEY GIVE YOUR
DESIGN, YOUR HOME, THE RK, EXCUSE ME THE RK1 HOME, WHY DID
THEY GIVE IT THE PLATINUM AWARD? AND WHAT DID THEY SAY TO YOU
WHEN THEY GAVE YOU THAT AWARD?>>WELL, FIRST OF ALL, LEED
IS NOT THE ORGANIZATION. THE ORGANIZATION IS THE UNITED
STATES GREEN BUILDING COUNCIL. THAT’S A NONPROFIT. THEY STARTED THE LEED PROGRAM. LEED IS THE ACTUAL CERTIFICATION
PROGRAM, POINT-BASED. SO YOU GET POINTS FOR THINGS
THAT REDUCE YOUR ENERGY USE. OR WATER USE. OR BETTER INDOOR AIR QUALITY. OR LESS RESOURCES FROM
A CARBON STANDPOINT. LESS WASTE. AND BASED ON THOSE POINTS, YOU CAN GET CERTIFIED
SILVER OR GOLD OR PLATINUM. OUR FIRST HOME, WHICH IS MY
HOME, WHICH I DID NOT DESIGN. IT WAS DESIGNED BY RAY KAPPE, ONE OF OUR ARCHITECTS
FOR LIVING HOMES. WAS THE FIRST HOME EVER TO
ACHIEVE PLATINUM ACTUALLY. AND WE’VE DONE, WE’VE HAD 13 OF
OUR HOMES CERTIFIED PLATINUM. WHICH IS MORE THAN ALMOST
ANY OTHER DESIGN FIRM IN THE COUNTRY. AND FOR US IT’S IMPORTANT
BECAUSE WE THINK THAT OUR, THE PEOPLE WE’RE TARGETING,
THE CONSUMERS WE’RE TARGETING, THEY CARE VERY DEEPLY
ABOUT THE HEALTH, ABOUT THE SUSTAINABILITY
OF THEIR PRODUCTS. PARTICULARLY THEIR HOMES. AND THEY WANT AN OBJECTIVE
THIRD PARTY TO BE ABLE TO VERIFY THAT YOU ARE DOING WHAT
YOU SAY YOU’RE GOING TO DO. SO THAT’S WHY WE LIKE
GETTING CERTIFIED. THAT’S WHY I THINK IT’S VERY
IMPORTANT THAT LEED EXISTS. THAT IT IS, LITERALLY
CERTIFIED TENS OF THOUSANDS OF BUILDINGS ACROSS THE COUNTRY. AND WE ARE DOING THINGS AT
A VERY COMPREHENSIVE LEVEL WITH RESPECT TO OUR
ENVIRONMENTAL PROGRAM. AND IT’S IMPORTANT
FOR PEOPLE TO BE ABLE TO UNDERSTAND WHAT WE
DO VIS-À-VIS OTHERS. AND LEED DOES THAT.>>ONE OF THE THINGS THAT
YOU’RE DOING IS UTILIZING PREFABRICATION IN THE
ASSEMBLING OF THESE HOMES. AND WHY DO YOU USE
PREFABRICATION? AND WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF IT?>>SO WE’RE USING IT TO MORE
EFFICIENTLY BUILD WHAT WE BUILD. FIRST OF ALL, FIRST AND,
OUR HOMES ARE MODERN HOMES. THEY REFLECT KIND OF A WARM
MODERNISM THAT, FRANKLY, IS MORE COMPLICATED TO DO THAN
A TRADITIONAL HOME, A FAUX TUDOR OR MEDITERRANEAN OR A RANCH. HOMES LIKE YOU MIGHT FIND FROM
A PRODUCTION HOME BUILDER. SO IT REQUIRES A UNIQUE
SET OF SKILLS TO DO IT. AND THEN, BECAUSE OF OUR
ENVIRONMENTAL PROGRAM, WE TEND TO BE USING
MATERIALS, FINISHES, FIXTURES THAT ARE
ALSO NOT SO COMMON TO A TYPICAL HOME,
TYPICAL DEVELOPERS. SO IT’S IMPORTANT FOR US
TO WORK WITH FACTORIES WHERE WE CAN BETTER CONTROL
THE PRODUCTION PROCESS, A. B, THEY TEND TO BE MUCH MORE
EFFICIENT AT BUILDING THAN SITE-BASED CONTRACTORS. TYPICAL SITE-BASED
CONSTRUCTION PROCESS, FIRST, YOU HAVE TO DO THE FOUNDATION
AND ALL THE SITE WORK. AND THEN AND ONLY
THEN CAN YOU FRAME IT AND DO PLUMBING AND ELECTRICAL. WITH PREFAB, AS YOU’RE
WORKING ON THE SITE, WE’RE WORKING OFFSITE
ON THE HOME. SO WE’RE ABLE TO BUILD
IN A 1/3 OR 1/2 THE TIME. WE’RE DEALING WITH LABOR
THAT IS 9:00 TO 5:00 FOLKS WHO WORK AT THE FACTORY. NOT A BUNCH OF SUBS WHO CAN BE
FLAKY AND NOT SHOW UP AT TIMES. SO IT’S MORE DEPENDABLE. IT’S FASTER. AND IT’S LOWER COST
BECAUSE IT’S BUILT IN LOWER, IN AREAS WHERE THE
COST OF LIVING IS LESS. SO FOR ALL THOSE REASONS. AND MUCH LESS CONSTRUCTION
WASTE. WE LIKE PREFAB.>>ALL RIGHT. WELL, WE ACTUALLY HAVE A
VIDEO OF THE PROCESS OF COMING UP WITH THE DESIGN
AND THE CONSTRUCTION AND THE ASSEMBLY OF THAT HOME. SO LET’S TAKE A LOOK AT
THAT VIDEO RIGHT NOW, WHICH WE’RE SEEING
ON THE SCREEN. THIS IS CALLED THE
FIRST LIVING HOME. TELL US ABOUT IT, STEVE.>>WELL, SO WE’RE
SEEING RENDERINGS OF THE HOME BEFORE IT WAS BUILT. AGAIN, DESIGNED BY RAY
KAPPE, A CREDIBLE ARCHITECT. HE STARTED SCI-ARC. THERE’S RAY. [ MULTIPLE SPEAKERS ]>>THERE HE IS, RAY.>>AND THIS NOW IS SHOWING
SOME PICTURES OF THE SITE. SITE WORK BEING DONE. FRAMING OF THE MODULES. THEY WERE BUILT ABOUT 45
MINUTES FROM SANTA MONICA. THE SITE’S IN SANTA MONICA. THAT’S THE CISTERN THEY
JUST SHOWED BEING INSTALLED. SO THAT CAPTURES RAINWATER. NOW SOME PICTURES OF
THE MODULES OFFSITE. SO KIND OF SHOWING IN PARALLEL
BOTH THE FOUNDATION WORK AND THE MOD WORK
HAPPENING AT THE FACTORY. THAT’S THE RADIANT FLOOR. THE HOME WAS ASSEMBLED
ONSITE JUST TO MAKE SURE THINGS
FIT TOGETHER. AND NOW THIS IS A
VIDEO, OBVIOUSLY, TIME LAPSE OF THE ACTUAL
INSTALLATION OF THE HOME. IT WAS 8.5 HOURS, THE PROCESS. SO WE WENT FROM THE HOME SITE. AND THEN 8.5 HOURS LATER,
THE HOME WAS 80 PERCENT DONE. SO KITCHEN MOD’S IN. THE BATHROOM MOD’S IN. NOW THEY’RE WORKING TO
FINISH THE FIRST FLOOR. THE SECOND FLOOR JUST CAME IN. ONE OF THE, ACTUALLY,
MASTER BEDROOM, MY BEDROOM. SECOND BEDROOM. NOW THIRD BEDROOM. AND THEN THE DECKS CAME
IN AND THE TRELLISES. AND, AGAIN, THAT WHOLE
PROCESS WAS ABOUT 8.5 HOURS.>>OKAY. AND SO IT’S A
PRETTY IMPRESSIVE PROCESS WHEN YOU CAN GET ALL THOSE
FOLKS TOGETHER AND PUT SOMETHING LIKE THIS FROM START TO
FINISH IN EIGHT HOURS. OF COURSE, YOU HAD TO BUILD
THE FOUNDATION FOR THAT.>>EXACTLY, RIGHT.>>AND WHAT ABOUT IN TERMS OF WHEN YOU HAVE THE
HOME COMPLETELY BUILT? YOU WERE STARTING TO
TALK ABOUT ELECTRICAL AND PLUMBING AND SO FORTH. DOES IT TAKE MORE TIME TO SET UP
THE PLUMBING AND THE ELECTRICAL AND SO ON AFTER THE
ASSEMBLY IS DONE?>>NO. THAT COMES IN THE MODS.>>THAT COMES IN THE MODS?>>YEAH. NOW, AND THEN
THIS ONE WAS NOT NEARLY AS COMPLETE AS WE DO IT NOW. THE WINDOWS WEREN’T THERE. THE MILLWORK WASN’T THERE. BUT WHEN WE BRING IN MODS NOW, AND I THINK WE’RE
SHOWING ONE LATER. IT HAS ALL THE FINISHED
PLUMBING AND ELECTRICAL. WINDOWS. MILLWORK. EVEN THE APPLIANCES INSTALLED.>>AND SO THAT’S THE HOUSE
AFTER IT’S BUILT, OBVIOUSLY.>>RIGHT.>>AND IT WAS.>>IN TODAY.>>IN TODAY. AND IT WAS READY TO GO AS
SOON AS WE HAD IT ASSEMBLED.>>WELL, NO, NO. IT TOOK THREE MONTHS
TO FINISH IT OUT.>>OKAY, SORRY.>>BUT VERY QUICKLY AFTER
THE MODS ARE ASSEMBLED.>>OKAY. SO WE PUT
THE HOUSE TOGETHER. WE’VE GOT IT. WE’RE READY TO GO. AND A LITTLE MORE
TIME TO GET EVERYTHING INTO MOVE-IN CONDITION. BUT, OBVIOUSLY, THIS WAS AN
EFFORT THAT WAS WELL WORTH IT WHEN YOU SEE AT THE END OF
THAT EIGHT HOUR DAY, WOW, THE HOUSE IS REALLY
COMING TOGETHER.>>YEAH.>>WHAT’S THE FEELING LIKE
WHEN YOU SEE SOMETHING LIKE THAT HAPPEN?>>IT’S JUST, IT’S
PRETTY DRAMATIC. I MEAN, YOU KNOW, YOU USUALLY
HAVE TO SEE THINGS LIKE THAT WITH SPECIAL EFFECTS IN MOVIES. I MEAN, A NEIGHBOR CAME HOME. HE HAD, DOESN’T LIVE
THERE ANYMORE. BUT HE HAD A JOB. LEFT VERY EARLY. AND HE CAME BACK. AND I SAW HIM JUST
WITH HIS MOUTH AGAPE. HE JUST, BECAUSE THERE
WAS A WHOLE HOME. AND, WHEN HE LEFT, THERE
WAS JUST SITE WORK. SO, YEAH, IT’S DRAMATIC.>>IT IS. WHAT ARE SOME
OF THE POSSIBLE PITFALLS IN THIS KIND OF CONSTRUCTION? ARE THERE SOME THINGS YOU HAVE
TO LOOK OUT FOR IN THE PROCESS?>>I MEAN, YOU CAN, IT
DOESN’T WORK FOR EVERY SITE IF YOU CAN’T TRANSPORT
THE MODS THERE. BECAUSE OF TIGHT TURNS. NARROW ROADS. IF YOU DON’T HAVE THE
NECESSARY CLEARANCES FOR A CRANE BECAUSE OF TREES OR POWER LINES THAT YOU CAN’T MOVE,
YOU CAN’T DO IT. IT’S HARD TO CHANGE THINGS
ONCE PRODUCTION STARTS. I MEAN, WE WORK WITH FACTORIES
WHO WILL TAKE TWO WEEKS TO, AT THIS POINT TO
BUILD THE MODULES. SO, IF YOU WANT TO RETHINK
THINGS ALONG THE WAY, THAT’S DIFFICULT. BUT THERE AREN’T A LOT OF
PITFALLS THAT WE’RE AWARE OF. IT’S, BUT IT’S NOT FOR EVERY
KIND OF CONSTRUCTION PROJECT.>>RIGHT.>>SO.>>IT’S GOOD FOR WHAT IT IS.>>THE THINGS IT DOES,
IT DOES VERY WELL.>>ON THAT NOTE WE’RE GOING
TO HAVE TO GO TO THE BREAK. SO STAY WITH US. WHEN WE COME BACK, WE’LL TAKE
A LOOK AT SOME MORE VIDEOS. AND HAVE MORE DISCUSSION ABOUT SUSTAINABLE DESIGN
AND GREEN BUILDING. STAY TUNED. [ MUSIC ]>>MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN
OUR FUTURE BY RESEARCHING AND HELPING TO PRESERVE
OUR NATURAL RESOURCES. THE WIDE VARIETY OF CAREERS IN THIS FIELD WILL HAVE A
HUGE IMPACT ON OUR LIVES, WHILE USING THE PRINCIPLES
OF ENGINEERING, CHEMISTRY AND BIOLOGY TO HELP
FIND SOLUTIONS TO ENVIRONMENTAL PROBLEMS. YOU COULD BE A PART OF THIS
EXCITING FIELD WITH A DEGREE FROM CAL STATE LONG BEACH. [ MUSIC ]>>WELCOME BACK TO
“TALKING POINTS.” I’M DAVE KELLY. MY GUEST TODAY IS STEVE GLENN. HE’S THE CEO OF LIVING HOMES. AND, STEVE, BEFORE WE WENT
TO THE BREAK, WE WERE TALKING ABOUT THE FACT THAT THERE AREN’T
VERY MANY PROBLEMS INVOLVED IN THIS. THE ONLY THING THAT YOU
CAUTIONED IS THAT PEOPLE NEED TO KNOW WHAT THEY’RE GOING TO
DO BEFORE THEY GET INVOLVED IN THE MANUFACTURING,
PREFAB PROCESS. BECAUSE IT’S HARD TO CHANGE
THINGS ONCE THAT STARTS. BUT LET’S TALK ABOUT COST. BECAUSE PEOPLE ARE GOING
TO BE CONCERNED ABOUT COST IN ANYTHING OF THIS TYPE. WHAT ARE THE COSTS FOR THIS
KIND OF CONSTRUCTION THAT YOU DO VERSUS A NORMAL “TRADITIONAL”
HOUSE CONSTRUCTION?>>WELL, SO WE’VE
GOT TWO LINES OF, A HIGHER END LINE
THAT RAY KAPPE. AND THEN A MORE MODERATE PRICE. AND WE USED TO BID
OUT OUR PROJECTS BOTH TO A SITE GC AND THE FACTORIES. BUT THE FACTORIES
WERE ALWAYS LESS COST. SO, AND, BUT IT’S PROBABLY
IMPORTANT TO MENTION THAT WE’VE BEEN,
WE GENERALLY WORK IN HIGHER COST BUILDING
ENVIRONMENTS. IN OTHER WORDS, WE’RE DOING
PROJECTS IN SANTA MONICA. LOS ANGELES. SANTA BARBARA. SAN DIEGO. NAPA. SAN FRANCISCO. IT’S EXPENSIVE TO BUILD
PROJECTS IN THESE CITIES. WE HAVEN’T YET DONE
ONE, FOR EXAMPLE, IN RIVERSIDE OR IN HEMET. IT’S LESS EXPENSIVE TO
BUILD IN THOSE ENVIRONMENTS. SO WHAT WE FOUND IS
IN THE ENVIRONMENTS THAT WE’VE BEEN WORKING IN,
WE’RE 10 TO 30 PERCENT LESS THAN SITE-BASED CONTRACTORS,
THAN THE BIDS WE RECEIVED AT LEAST TO DO THOSE HOMES.>>OKAY, SO IT IS COMPETITIVE. IT’S ACTUALLY QUITE COMPETITIVE.>>YEAH. AND THEN A
1/2 TO 1/3 OF TIME.>>RIGHT. AND IN TERMS
OF SUSTAINABLE MATERIALS, ARE WE TALKING ABOUT
USING MATERIALS THAT ARE MORE ENVIRONMENTALLY
FRIENDLY? ARE WE TALKING ABOUT
RECYCLED MATERIALS? THOSE SORTS OF THINGS?>>YEAH. I MEAN, BUT, AND AGAIN,
IT DEPENDS ON THE CATEGORY. I MEAN, ON THE ENERGY SIDE,
MORE ENERGY EFFICIENT LIGHTING. LIKE LEDS, LIGHT EMITTING
DIODES THAT USE 1/10 OF THE POWER OF AN INCANDESCENT. ON THE WATER SIDE, MORE WATER
EFFICIENT WATER FIXTURES. WITH RESPECT TO BUILDING
MATERIALS, WE TEND TO USE, AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE,
RECYCLED MATERIALS. WE USE STEEL A LOT. STEEL IS THE MOST
RECYCLED BUILDING MATERIAL. WE USE WOOD WHEN WE CAN THAT
IS FOREST STEWARDSHIP COUNCIL CERTIFIED WOOD. SO THEY CERTIFY THAT
WOOD IS GROWN AND HARVESTED IN
A SUSTAINABLE WAY. SO WE TRY TO SOURCE RESPONSIBLY. BUT IT DOESN’T MEAN EVERYTHING
IS RECYCLED OR RECLAIMED. THAT’S NOT REALISTIC. BECAUSE WE ALSO HAVE TO TRADE
CERTAIN PERFORMANCE REQUIREMENTS AND COST.>>OKAY. ALL RIGHT. WELL, STEVE, YOUR OPERATION
DOES THINGS THE RIGHT WAY. AND YOU’RE VERY EFFICIENT. AND YOU GET THINGS
DONE IN SHORT ORDER. BUT THERE ARE SOME WAYS
WHERE THINGS CAN GO WRONG. AND NOT YOUR COMPANY, BUT WE
KNOW, FROM A 1920 FILM MADE BY BUSTER KEATON,
THINGS CAN GO AWRY. SO WE HAVE THAT CLIP NOW. WE’RE GOING TO TAKE
A LOOK AT IT. LET ME SET IT UP FOR YOU. BUSTER KEATON PLAYS THE
ROLE OF A BRIDEGROOM. NEWLYWED COUPLE GOT A GIFT OF
A BUILD-IT-YOURSELF HOME KIT. AND LET’S TAKE A LOOK AT THE
FILM AND SEE WHAT HAPPENS. YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO BE ABLE TO
BUILD THIS HOUSE IN ONE WEEK IF YOU FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS. THERE’S THE NEWLYWED COUPLE. THEY FOUND OUT THAT THEY’VE
GOT THE PORTABLE HOUSE KIT. THEY’RE READY TO GO. THE NEXT DAY BUSTER
IS DOING THE SAWING. HIS WIFE IS PREPARING BREAKFAST AND EAGERLY ANTICIPATING
THE NEW HOME. BREAKFAST IS READY,
AS YOU CAN SEE. SHE CALLS HIM DOWN. AND BUSTER SAYS, I’LL BE
DOWN IN JUST A MOMENT HERE. SO HE’S GOING TO WORK AWAY. BUT IT LOOKS LIKE THERE MIGHT
BE TROUBLE COMING UP HERE, AS YOU CAN SEE, THE
WAY HE’S, OH, BOY. THERE IT IS. SO THERE GOES BUSTER. AND THE WIFE IS OBVIOUSLY
CONCERNED. SHE GOES TO HELP HIM. HE’S OKAY. THE NEXT DAY YOU SEE THE
FRAMING WALL IS ALREADY UP. BUSTER’S GOT THE HAMMER. HE’S READY TO GO. HE’S BUILDING THAT FRAMING WALL. TIGHTENING, OH, NO,
WHAT’S GOING ON THERE? OH, BOY. SO NOW BUSTER
DOESN’T KNOW WHAT HAPPENED TO HIS, WHERE’D SHE GO? HE’S LOOKING FOR THE WIFE. SO HE’S DESPERATELY
CALLING OUT TO HER. TRYING TO FIND HER. OH, THERE GOES THE WALL. OKAY, SO THE NEXT
THING BUSTER IS PUTTING ON THE KITCHEN BASIN THERE. THAT’S THE KITCHEN SINK
HE’S NAILING IT ON. WHY IS IT ON THE
OUTSIDE OF THE HOUSE? WELL, ACTUALLY, IT’S
A SPIN AROUND DEVICE. I’M NOT SURE IF THAT’S
THE RIGHT WAY TO DO IT. HERE HE COMES WITH THE CHIMNEY. TRYING TO PUT THE
CHIMNEYSTACK ON. MAYBE THAT’S NOT
THE WAY TO DO THIS. LOOKS LIKE TROUBLE
MIGHT BE COMING HERE. OH, BOY, THERE IT IS, OKAY. SO WITH THAT HE’S
GOT THE HOUSE BUILT. BUT A STRONG WINDSTORM COMES UP. WIND AND RAIN, AND HE’S
TRYING TO KEEP IT, OH, THAT FOUNDATION WASN’T
VERY SOLID TO BEGIN WITH. BUT LOOK AT THAT. IT’S KIND OF REMINISCENT OF THE
“WIZARD OF OZ” TORNADO SCENE, WHICH HAPPENS 19
YEARS LATER IN CINEMA. SO THERE WE SEE THE
COUPLE AFTER THE STORM. THEY TURN AROUND TO SEE WHAT
HAS BECOME OF THEIR HOUSE. IT’S A LITTLE BIT DEVASTATING. BUT THAT’S AN EXAMPLE OF
HOW THINGS CAN GO WRONG IF YOU DON’T DO IT
THE RIGHT WAY. SO JUST A LITTLE
COMEDY RELIEF, STEVE. SO, AS WE LOOK AT THAT, YOU
KNOW, BUILD-IT-YOURSELF KIND OF DESIGNS HAVE BEEN
AROUND FOR A LONG TIME. THAT’S DATED FROM 1920. BUT WHAT YOU’RE DOING TODAY
USES ALL THE TECHNOLOGY. ALL THE RESOURCES. ALL THE MODERN METHODS
OF CONSTRUCTION. AND HAVE YOU BEEN
REALLY SATISFIED WITH EVERYTHING YOU’RE
ABLE TO DO? ARE THERE SOME THINGS
YOU COULD DO DIFFERENTLY? THAT YOU’D LIKE TO DO
BETTER IN THE FUTURE? TELL US ABOUT THAT.>>WELL, I MEAN, YOU’RE
ALWAYS TRYING TO IMPROVE. AND WE HAVE LEARNED
A TREMENDOUS AMOUNT. I MEAN, THE, BUILDING A HOME
IS NEVER INCREDIBLY EASY. THERE ARE, PARTICULARLY
IN THE AREAS WE WORK. BECAUSE WE TEND TO DEAL WITH
CITIES THAT ARE VERY STRICT IN TERMS OF INSPECTIONS. IN TERMS OF REQUIREMENTS BEFORE
YOU CAN EVEN START BUILDING. WITH RESPECT TO YOUR PLANS. AND SO IT TAKES TIME. AND THE PROCESS IS NOT NEARLY
AS EFFICIENT AS, FRANKLY, IT WOULD BE IF IT WERE PRIVATE
ENTERPRISE, IN MY OPINION. SO IT TAKES TIME, AND THERE
ARE CHALLENGES ALONG THE WAY THAT AREN’T ALWAYS BASED ON
PREDICTABLE, RATIONAL AGENTS. SO I GUESS I’M SHARING THAT
THERE ARE MANY THINGS YOU CAN DO TO GET BETTER AT
WHAT YOU’RE DOING. BUT, WITH SPECIFIC RESPECT
TO THE GOVERNMENT AGENCIES THAT HAVE, THAT VERY
MUCH IMPACT YOUR PROJECT, THEY’RE HARD TO PREDICT. AND THEY ABSOLUTELY IMPACT HOW
LONG IT TAKES TO DO WHAT WE DO. SO THAT, I DON’T, THAT
WILL ALWAYS BE THERE. AND THAT’S ALWAYS A CHALLENGE.>>WELL, WE KNOW THAT
YOU’VE ACTUALLY BEEN ABLE TO REDUCE THE ASSEMBLY TIME
FROM THE 8 OR 8.5 HOURS THAT WE SAW ON THE FIRST CLIP. TO ANOTHER PROJECT THAT
YOU DID NOT TOO LONG AGO, WHERE THE ASSEMBLY
WAS DOWN TO 3.5 HOURS. AND THAT’S PRETTY IMPRESSIVE. SO LET’S TAKE A LOOK
AT THAT VIDEO, WHICH WE’VE GOT UP
THERE RIGHT NOW. HERE IT IS. TELL US ABOUT IT, STEVE.>>SO THIS IS A FOUR-UNIT
PROJECT. IT’S IN SANTA MONICA. IT’S THE SECOND VERSION
OF A HOME WE BUILT THAT WAS DESIGNED BY
KIERAN TIMBERLAKE. THE FIRST ONE WE
ACTUALLY INTRODUCED AT THE TED CONFERENCE. AND THEN IT ULTIMATELY WAS SOLD
AND INSTALLED IN NEWPORT BEACH, WHAT BECAME THE FIRST LEED
PLATINUM HOME IN NEWPORT BEACH. SO BECAUSE THIS IS
ONLY FOUR MODULES, SUPER EFFICIENT TO INSTALL. THE MODULES CAME WITH
ALL FINISHED PLUMBING AND ELECTRICAL. WITH THE APPLIANCES ACTUALLY
INSTALLED IN THE MODULE. ALL WINDOWS. AND, YEAH, I THINK THIS WAS
3 OR 3.5 HOURS TO DO THIS. SO THAT’S FOR SMALLER
HOMES WITH NOT LOTS OF MODS, THAT’S ALL WE NEED. AND THEN WE CAN FINISH
THEM OUT WITHIN A MONTH. IT’S, WHICH REALLY SHOWS THE
GREAT ADVANTAGE OF THIS KIND OF PROCESS VERSUS SITE. I MEAN, TO BE ABLE TO BUILD AND
COMPLETE A HOME IN LOS ANGELES IN LESS THAN SIX MONTHS, THREE TO FOUR MONTHS,
THAT’S IMPOSSIBLE.>>RIGHT.>>NORMALLY YOU COUNT
ON 12, 18 MONTHS.>>RIGHT. SO, WHEN WE LOOK
AT SOMETHING LIKE THAT, WE REALIZE WHAT THE
POSSIBILITIES ARE.>>RIGHT.>>AND SO CONNECTING THAT TO
YOUR PREVIOUS ANSWER, BASICALLY, IF WE CAN REDUCE THE
BUREAUCRATIC ASPECT OF THIS AND GOVERNMENT INSPECTION
AND SO ON. IF THAT CAN BE REDUCED, REALLY.>>EXACTLY.>>THE SKIES THE LIMIT HERE.>>YEAH. SO WE’VE GOTTEN SUPER
EFFICIENT IN THE PRODUCTION. BUT NO MORE EFFICIENT
THAN ANYBODY CAN BE AT GETTING THINGS PERMITTED. AND SOMETIMES THAT TAKES, WE DEFINITELY HAVE
PERMITTING PROCESSES THAT HAVE TAKEN FAR LONGER
THAN THE ACTUAL PRODUCTION OR CONSTRUCTION OF A HOME.>>WELL, LET’S TALK ABOUT BEING
ABLE TO USE THIS TYPE OF DESIGN FOR OTHER KINDS OF CONSTRUCTION. LIKE MULTI-UNIT FAMILY
HOUSING AND APARTMENTS AND THAT TYPE OF THING. DO YOU SEE THIS BEING
ABLE TO BE UTILIZED FOR THAT KIND OF CONSTRUCTION?>>YEAH. WE’VE DONE A
COUPLE MULTI-FAMILY, SMALL. ONE’S SEVEN UNITS
IN SAN FRANCISCO. FIRST LEED PLATINUM MULTI-FAMILY
IN NORTHERN CALIFORNIA. AND THEN A THREE-UNIT
IN SILICON VALLEY. FIRST LEED PLATINUM
IN SILICON VALLEY. BUT THERE ARE GROUPS
THAT ARE DOING HUNDREDS OF UNITS USING PREFAB
TO DO THOSE UNITS. SO THAT’S HAPPENING. WE’RE IN DISCUSSIONS ON A
FEW MULTI-FAMILY PROJECTS. AND WE THINK IT OFFERS
GREAT POTENTIAL.>>HOW FAR AWAY ARE WE
FROM BECOMING A SOCIETY THAT USES THIS AS THE MAJORITY
OF CONSTRUCTION AS OPPOSED TO SOMETHING THAT’S UNUSUAL?>>YEAH. I DON’T KNOW. I’M NOT ENOUGH OF AN
INDUSTRY EXPERT TO, AND NOT THAT EVEN THE
INDUSTRY EXPERTS WOULD KNOW. I MEAN, I WILL SAY THIS. IN JAPAN, IN GERMANY AND
SCANDINAVIA, THE MAJORITY OF HOMES THAT ARE BUILT
ARE PREFABRICATED. NOW, THOSE COUNTRIES HAVE MUCH
MORE EXPENSIVE LABOR RATES. SO THAT’S AN ISSUE. AND SHORTER BUILD SEASONS
BECAUSE THEY’RE COLDER. WE HAVE CHEAP LABOR. AND CERTAINLY, IN MANY
PARTS OF THE COUNTRY, YOU CAN BUILD YEAR ROUND. AT WHAT POINT THE TIPPING POINT
GETS TIPPED, I DON’T KNOW. BUT IT’S DEFINITELY THE
CASE THAT THERE IS MORE AND MORE MODULAR
PRODUCTION HAPPENING. HOWEVER, IT’S DEFINITELY
STILL LESS EXPENSIVE FOR THE BIG PRODUCTION
COMPANIES TO BUILD ONSITE. BUT REALLY WHAT THEY DO IS
BRING FACTORIES TO THE SITE. I MEAN, WHEN KB HOME OR LENNAR
OR PULTE DOES A BIG PROJECT WITH HUNDREDS OF HOMES. THEY HAVE TEAMS OF FRAMERS
AND ELECTRICIANS AND PLUMBERS WHO GO FROM SITE TO SITE. SO IT’S LIKE THEY’RE TAKING A
FACTORY TO EACH OF THE SITES. SO I THINK IT WILL BE, I’M NOT
SURE THAT WILL EVER CHANGE. I MEAN, AGAIN, LABOR RATES
WOULD HAVE TO GO UP WAY HIGH OR MUCH HIGHER THAN THEY
ARE NOW FOR THAT TO CHANGE. BUT I THINK MORE AND
MORE IN-FILL PROJECTS, WHICH TEND TO BE SMALLER. WHICH TEND TO BE
MUCH MORE EXPENSIVE. MORE AND MORE OF THOSE PROJECTS
WILL BE DONE WITH PREFAB.>>AND ON THAT NOTE WE HAVE TO
COME TO A CLOSE IN THIS PROGRAM. IT’S REALLY FLOWN BY. BUT I WANT TO APPRECIATE
YOU BEING HERE AND SHARING THIS WITH US TODAY.>>IT WAS GREAT. THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME.>>ABSOLUTELY. AND THANK YOU FOR JOINING US FOR THIS EDITION OF
“TALKING POINTS.” JOIN US AGAIN SOON
FOR THE NEXT EPISODE. UNTIL THEN I’M DAVE KELLY. HAVE A NICE DAY.

Comments (5)

  1. Impressive and true … I called Trend Green last week and they're experts at this kind of sustainable construction products. You can read more about them at http://www.trendgreen.biz or call them at 888-221-6663

  2. I would love to see this product in Colorado.

  3. "We shop at whole foods and use iphones" lol

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