Vertical Reach

Early Monday, the operator of a truck-mounted hydraulic Grove TMS640 telescoped the crane upward, and swung it into action, carefully lowering the boom down to one of three enormous flatbed trucks, stacked with structural wall-panels that would become the enclosure of the first floor of a home. When it’s done, this house will show builders all over America at least some part of the way to the future of housing.

With a handful of local framers, the entire two story envelope–including finished flooring and roofing–of a house that’s never been built before will be complete in three days, a fraction of the time with a fraction of the skilled labor it normally takes to start with a bare slab and complete a home enclosure, with sheathing, sub-flooring, and insulation already in place.

KB Home wants to build smart, sustainable, healthy homes for people who make living wages and work to participate in the American Dream. Its KB Home Projekt is an R&D lab in the Las Vegas Valley desert, at one of the valley’s sprawling vibrant masterplanned communities, Inspirada, in Henderson. Projekt is KB’s literal line-in-the-sand commitment to learning to design, build, and sell with its customers as the very center of its universe, its business model, and its investments.

The three trucks set out from Entekra’s Ripon, Calif. factory early Sunday, packed carefully with labeled panels and components each ready to come off the truck in order of on-site assembly. They made their way south, through Fresno and Bakersfield, and east into Las Vegas, a 500-mile journey, start to finish.

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