Silicon Valley: Google Bets Big On Prefabricated Housing

Google just announced they have a high-tech solution for addressing the lack of affordable housing in the Bay Area – purchasing 300 modular/prefabricated units and building an apartment complex.

On Tuesday, the Wall Street Journal reported the online behemoth is about to finalize a real estate transaction with a modular home start up, Factory OS. In an effort to circumvent soaring home prices and high-rise rents in the Silicon Valley, the Mountain View-based company will purchase 300-prefabricated/modular apartment units.

Google Bets On Prefabricated Housing

Betting on a prefabricated building solution to solve the Bay Area’s housing crisis, Google finds they are again leading the way with this inventive solution. Valued at between $25-$30 million, the founder of Factory OS informed of the Journal this sale would represent the first for the company.

Hardly a new idea, it’s anticipated these prefabricated (prefab) apartment units will likely be fully loaded with all of Google’s latest bells and whistles. Excited by the opportunity to help integrate the tech giant’s latest innovations, John Igoe, director of design and construction at Google, told FOX News “Anything that can help us move forward with a greater knowledge of how we can produce housing more effectively is something we’re interested in.”

Silicon Valley

Potentially changing the housing paradigm in one of America’s wealthiest business hubs, the 300-units will initially be used as short-term housing for Google employees. Projected to cut the cost of construction by 20% to 50% in the Bay Area, Google seems to be setting the stage for a housing revolution.

Among the priciest communities in the U.S., Silicon Valley’s surrounding communities – San Jose, Palo Alto, and Cupertino – costs approximately $1,000 per Sq. Ft. for your basic stick built home.

Constructed locally, the Factory OS building facility is located in Vallejo, California. Comprised of approximately 260,000 ft.², this port city building facility is anticipated to hire approximately 300 people just before the holidays.

Building the Home of Tomorrow

The typical manufactured home also referred to as a prefabricated home and/or modular home, are built off-site. Builders construct the entire home, apartment units or model in a factory setting, then ship them to the final destination. Once on-site, journeymen carpenters operate in synchronicity, putting the house together like pieces of a puzzle. Less expensive and faster to build than on-site construction techniques, this business model reduces costs and overhead as employees can work through inclement weather.

A win-win situation for all involved, this collaboration between Factory OS and Google will open the doors of greater innovation going forward.

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