Hotels, mansions, and affordable homes are being built by robots today. You may not be able to tell as you drive by your neighbor’s house, but a shortage of skilled labor in the construction market has left home builders relying on machines to produce more and more of each house.
Inside the factories where the robots, with help from both skilled and unskilled humans, make the homes, conditions are controlled. There’s no down time caused by foul weather, and every nail driven by a robot ends up right where it’s meant to go.
And perhaps most essential to the growth of the prefabricated housing market is that simple ranch homes are no longer the only option. Prashant Gopal and Heather Perlberg write for Bloomberg:
Today’s plants are capable of producing bigger buildings with more elaborate designs. The Blueprint factory in Baltimore is one of the first in the U.S. to use robots, Fleisher said. Taller multifamily buildings, dorms and hotels are increasingly being manufactured indoors. And so are mansions that sell for millions.
“Some builders won’t even advertise they work with modular companies like us,” said Myles Biggs, general manager of Ritz-Craft Corp.’s Pennsylvania construction facility. “You could be driving past a modular home and not even know it, because it looks just like one next door.”
Ritz-Craft can deliver a single-family house in six to eight weeks, on average. Having an indoor facility means weather delays are rarely a factor. Each worker is given a narrow concentration, like tiling floors or sanding drywall, which increases production speed. People without any background in construction can become skilled laborers in two weeks, according to Biggs.
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Jeremy Jones, CFA
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