In one week, ship and assemble a 2,200-
square-foot (204-square-meter) home
inside the Las Vegas Convention Center,
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. And then dismantle, ship and rebuild the same house
on the roof of a parking garage in Long
Beach, California, USA within four days.
> 10 contractors from Profile Structures, Santa Fe
> Five staffers from LivingHomes, Santa Monica,
> Fork lift and crane operators at each site
In January, the LivingHomes team traveled to two
major industry events to show off its environmentally
friendly, prefabricated homes. But instead of using a traditional booth to display the company’s wares, the team
opted to set up a completely functional model of its latest
The team had five days to ship and assemble the house
for the show in Las Vegas. The structure breaks down
into 10 pieces that can be easily transported on flatbed
trucks, but high-speed
winds threatened to
damage the modules.
That prevented the trucks
from completing the trip
on time, wreaking havoc
on the project timeline.
“It cost us a day and
a half, which was devastating to the project,”
says Steve Glenn, CEO
of LivingHomes. And
with absolutely no
option to extend its
deadline, the team had to resort to brute force and long
hours to get the job done.
30% to 40%
The portion of building
materials from the average
site-built home that ends
up in a landfill
2% to 8%
The portion of building
material from the
average prefab home
that ends up in a landfill
PARK IT HERE
When the show ended on 23 January, the team faced yet
another hurdle. Breaking down the house required extra
room and two forklifts, so the team had to wait until every
other booth came down before it could start in, says Amy
Sims, the project architect.
“It took four hours to take down the house. But
because of forklift failures and time limitations, we were
still moving modules on 26 January,” she explains. The
team rallied and managed to get out on time.
While Ms. Sims and part of the team were breaking down
the structure in Las Vegas, the remaining members were
en route to the other conference site in California. There,
they would build a steel foundation on the roof of a parking garage where the house would stand.
By the time Ms. Sims and her party arrived in
California, the foundation was complete. But that left only
four days to rebuild the house.
Because the crane sat at street level four stories below,
the team had to carefully coordinate the work among
three key people: the crane operator, an assistant on the
ground with a walkie-talkie and another team member on
the roof signaling directions.
Despite the complications, the house was back up in
time for the next show. It remained open through late
February for public tours and then it was taken apart and
stored. But it will eventually go up one more time when
“This is a real house,” Mr. Glenn says. “Some day it
will have a home.”