Field Evaluation: Cohen Brothers Homes, Inc.
Rising to the industry's challenge to builders to eliminate unplanned variance and improve housing performance by controlling the assembly environment, Cohen Brothers Homes has designed, engineered, and will soon develop the on-site process by which a whole house is constructed within the shelter of a design/build facility. Building on a background in commercial construction, and enhancing their patented process and equipment with systems integration detailing, the builder expects to close the first homes produced in the facility within a year.
Members of a PATH strategic planning session, Technology Roadmapping for Manufactured Housing predict that off-foundation vertical building, like the Cohen Brothers Homes' patented comprehensive whole house system, will achieve a central position in supplying the nation's housing stock within the coming ten years.
The NAHB Research Center will provide technology integration, quality assurance program design and overview, process improvement, and code compliance support to Cohen Brothers Homes in order to launch this comprehensive building method.
October 2004 Update: Details on Build Sites Finalized
Cohen Brothers Homes has entered into a Strategic Alliance Agreement with an award-winning developer of New Urbanist neighborhoods in greater Denver and Colorado Front Range locales. Cohen Brothers Homes, in their role as builder, will introduce the on-site comprehensive whole-house system in several communities. The on-site facility will be scaled to meet the challenges and physical constraints relevant to production of a diversified range of housing styles right from inception.
The underlying concepts of New Urbanism include pedestrian-oriented mixed-use neighborhoods with a diversity of housing designs and price ranges. Sidewalks, modest property line setbacks, porches or private outdoor areas, and proximity to employment, shopping, or mass transit are hallmarks of the design movement. These design precepts present opportunities for structure re-use or deconstruction. While the Cohen Brothers Homes start-up facilities are planned for disassembly and re-assembly in future communities as factories, an on-site factory could be re-commissioned on site as a clubhouse, office, or loft building at community build-out.
Plans are underway to be operational within the next twelve months. Near term activities include securing planning board project approval, co-ordination of inspection oversight between state and local authorities, convening a stakeholders meeting to finalize facility and conveyance logistics, and obtaining plant construction permit(s).
November 2004 Update:
Cohen Brothers Homes and others met with Ed Tauer, the Mayor of Aurora, CO , in October 2004. The Mayor furnished contact names for processes that are within the oversight of his office for further discussion, such as coordination of inspections and permitting for the factory. An engineer by education, the Mayor saw the logic in the comprehensive whole house system.
In another meeting that same month, details of house conveyance from factory to foundation were finalized. Hydraulic rollers, dollies, winches, and jacks will all be used during different phases of the transport process to move and set the 40-ton homes.
Content updated on 9/13/2005