CertainTeed forms joint agreement with Unity Homes

WALPOLE, N.H. — CertainTeed, a leading North American brand of building materials and subsidiary of Saint-Gobain, one of the world's largest building products companies, announced its newly formed joint development agreement with Unity Homes, the Walpole, N.H.-based home manufacturer with the mission to raise the bar on high performance, low energy and affordability. The partnership was spearheaded by NOVA, Saint-Gobain's external ventures arm dedicated to fostering strategic partnerships with startups around the globe. These companies are teaming up to revolutionize the way American homes are built and to open a new door to innovation in the high-end prefab market.

Unity Homes began developing CAD-based digital tools to streamline and optimize the home design process. These tools formed the basis of Unity's Open Built platform, which uses a components-based approach to the off-site construction and on-site assembly of Unity Homes.

The on-site assembly consists of approximately 50 precision-built components, is weathertight in just a few days, and can be ready to move into within six to eight weeks. It is a much faster process than traditional on-site builds and requires less labor to achieve better quality and better performing houses (energy efficiency, aesthetics, and comfort), according to the company. The houses can be delivered to almost any site where other prefab/modular homes can't go due to the size constraints.

"We are very excited about the opportunity to have a joint development agreement with Unity Homes that will bring their technologically advanced and socially responsible building perspectives to our businesses in North America," said Minas Apelian, global director of NOVA and vice president R&D CertainTeed. "This strategic partnership will help the teams develop new assemblies and components for high-performance prefabricated homes, as well as evolve the Open-Built CAD platform."

"We are very pleased to be in a working partnership with CertainTeed with a mutual goal to develop important technical and functional efficiencies that are deeply needed in our fragmented industry," said Tedd Benson, founder and CEO of Unity Homes. "It is critical that we connect the dots between the companies that design and build, and those that make and supply the materials and parts for those buildings. With this joint agreement, we intend to establish the basis for a homebuilding operating system, leading to better industry cohesion and therefore time, quality, and cost improvements for all."

Bensonwood also recently announced the opening of its new manufacturing facility in Keene. The new 110,000-square-foot building component manufacturing facility is supporting a new Bensonwood brand, Tektoniks.

Tektoniks' technology platform offers efficient and precise production of high performance and high-quality wood-based panels and structures through the new manufacturing facility and existing facilities in Walpole. Once manufactured, the components are then efficiently transported and assembled on-site using a "montage" system of construction. This method, according to the company, saves enormous amounts of time, and also improves quality and consistency. Bensonwood has been successfully using off-site manufacturing and on-site montage construction for all timberframe and high performance building projects for decades.

"Tektoniks allows the building industry — architects, builders, construction managers and even competitors — to use our building systems, timber fabrication and millwork products directly," said Tedd Benson, Bensonwood's CEO. "This brand will also allow us to connect more broadly to the industry with proven systems, and world-class manufacturing capability."

With the addition of the building systems factory, located at 25 Production Ave., Bensonwood has one of the most complete building component capabilities in the U.S. The manufacturing lines simultaneously produce wall, floor and roof panels with automated equipment from Germany, Austria, and France. The timber fabrication equipment, located at the Walpole, New Hampshire facility, is a Hundegger Robot Drive from Germany. Its precision, six-axis capability, and machine efficiency is legendary.


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