How TechPrefab increases property value by 30% with prefab ADU?

Makers of Multipliciti is a series of interviews with architects, manufacturers and developers to uncover the challenges in the construction industry and explore possibilities of manufacturing future buildings.

We talked with Weili Xu, CTO at TechPreFab, about prefab buildings and the importance of having a network of manufacturers.

How did you start Tech Prefab?

A: The construction sector has been one of the last to adopt process and technology innovations. Fortunately, a wave of prefab technologies emerged in the past few years, disrupting the low-tech industry by offering high-productivity, quality, and cost -effective construction solutions. However, this has created a new challenge — finding a solution that works the best each site and project.

We have worked with modular and panelized systems in multiple residential projects and have experienced the same struggles as many customers. So, we founded TechPrefab, which offers developers, contractors and end-users, the best prefab solution tailored to their site and project. We optimize prefab by designing and building panelized thermal walls, modular constructions as well as retrofitting projects.

Accessory dwelling unit built with LGS prefab structural wall panels

Tell us about prefab ADU and how it increases property value by 30%?

A: An accessory dwelling unit (ADU) is a legal term for a secondary house that shares the building lot of a larger, primary house.

Our ADU solution is unique in California. We build light gauge steel (LGS) structural wall panels in a factory and assemble the house on-site. There are multiple advantages for offering this solution to ADUs buyers over other prefab options:

  • The process still follows the conventional inspection process
  • It does not require a crane, which could easily cost an additional $3k — $10k per day
  • It is light weight and easy to transport
  • Steel is fire incombustible, termite free and recyclable even after a hundred years so our ADUs are safe, eco-friendly and sustainable.
  • The average cost of our ADU solution in California is $190/Sq.Ft
30% cash-on-cash return

What makes Tech Prefab different from other prefab and modular companies?

A: We do not own factories. Instead, we build strong relationships with a network of prefab manufacturers with deep understanding of their products’ capabilities and performance.

So, when our customers approach us, at a variety of project stages (concept, permit approval etc..) we quickly find the ideal prefab solution to reduce costs, save time and improve quality.

How do you keep your project deadline under control and deliver on time?

A: We built a proprietary. web-based platform called BIMport™ for customer-project manager collaboration. This has been an invaluable tool to eliminate miscommunications, mistakes and other errors that lead to costly change orders.

We keep design, communication and project and contract management in one place to keep our project under control and deliver on time. In the process, we enable transparency for everyone involved in the project, architects, engineers, contractors and most importantly the developer or end-user.

Our goal is frictionless construction that is not just on time and on budget — but headache free.

How do you collaborate with your manufacturers to ensure product quality?

A: We build a LOD400 BIM model for every project. Through the BIM model, we create precise data points for every panel’s dimensions, location of the tiedowns, ducts and pipes.

We follow virtual inspections sequences with manufacturers to check whether the panel correctly matches the BIM model so we can ensure product quality and a faster, more cost-effective construction process.

What are the challenges in managing your own supply chain?

A: We work with professional logistic companies to provide all the required prefab materials and components to each project on time. COVID has present challenges to every industry aiming for Just in Time processes. Shipping can be unpredictable and the costs have increased.

Therefore, we take extra measures to ensure our customers on-time delivery such as standardizing sub-parts and pre-shipping them to our warehouses so they’re ready to be used as they’re required for a project.

Production Environment

What is your vision for Tech Prefab?

A: Tech Prefab’s mission is to optimize the building process through technological innovation, providing a seamless experience while delivering affordable, durable, and sustainable building solutions. Our vision is to disrupt the construction industry and set a new norm for prefab design & manufacturing.

Watch a video below to see how TechPrefab built the East Bay Project in 18 days:

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