Wouldn’t it be fun to say you lived in an origami house?  Not one constructed of colorful paper of course, but rather steel and wood.   I would like to build a house and see it unfold, much like my daughter’s dollhouse.

When I was a child my parents designed and built a stick-built home.  The process took years and I was dragged to the construction site nearly every day.  While the results were pretty gorgeous, I know that I do not have the patience to build a home this way.  Remembering a brochure I saw at the Toyota factory (in Japan), I decided to do some digging into pre-fabricated homes.

What I learned is pretty compelling.  Around 85% complete when transported to your lot, these homes cut down on construction time from years to just a couple of months. To condense the building schedule on-site land excavation and preparing the foundation occur at the same time the house is being built at the factory.  No longer a lesser-quality alternative to traditional building, prefabricated home quality can often surpass traditionally built homes because skilled labor is co-located allowing for better labor pooling.  Additionally, these homes tend to be built with energy efficiency in mind.  For instance, 3-D modeling software can position the home on the lot to be optimized for local sun and weather patterns.

In some places, like New Zealand, modular houses are produced in China then transferred by a combination of rail, road, and sea. Closer to home, Topsider Homes builds seismically-sound prefabricated homes, which utilize post and beam construction similar to that in New England barns.

Blu Homes, based in California, has an online configurator.  It works just like a car configurator and yes, it is just as much fun.  What I like about the Blu designs are how custom the homes look…and the origami idea is pretty cool too!

There are many SAP products that help building materials companies like these provide the materials, service and products – where, when and how we want them.  Learn more by attending SAPPHIRE Now or the SAP Forum for Building Materials 2014:

SAPPHIRE Now Mill Products sessions include ASUG 4101: From Zero to Mobile in 10 Weeks and ASUG 3207: Case Study: Ramp-up Implementation of SAP Transportation Management 9.0 at Woodgrain Millwork.

SAP Forum for Building Materials 2014 will be held on June 23-24 at the SAP headquarters in Walldorf, Germany.   This two day conference is designed to bring together like-minded building materials companies of all sizes to stimulate fresh thinking and facilitate the sharing of industry expertise. We expect to have business and IT-focused attendees representing a diverse set of industries including cement & concrete, bricks & tiles, pottery & ceramics, flat glass, insulation, gypsum & plasterboards.  Customer speakers include: Cemex, Knauf Insulation, Wienerberger AG  and Woodgrain Millwork.

Please follow me on Twitter: @MandyBayArea

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