Tuesday, May 29, 2018

L-P Invests Millions in Entekra

Louisiana-Pacific Corporation recently announced it has invested $45 million in Entekra, a design, engineering and manufacturing company that provides off-site framing for both residential and commercial construction.

It is not unusual for big US corporations to invest in startup companies that complement their business but I found this one quite interesting.

When Gerry McCaughey, the owner and marketing mastermind of Entekra, opened his factory in California he shouted from the rooftops that his FIOSS, (Fully Integrated Off-Site Solution), a trademarked process, was something new to prefab construction in that provides a system which integrates concept, design and engineering with off-site manufacturing and on-site assembly to deliver higher quality structures.

McCaughey says his FIOSS system is designed to streamline the construction process using prefab wall and floor panels which reduces construction time, waste and dependency on skilled labor, resulting in faster build cycles and increased production volume for builders.

All of these things are accurate but I have to wonder if simply trademarking a process that has been available to builders for almost a century is really anything new. Does adding the term FIOSS to that process make it any better?
I really like the marketing efforts he is doing to further awareness of panelized construction. However when reading through his website I did not find the word panelized anywhere. I found the word panel mentioned but only as part of the FIOSS process.

Based in Ripon, Calif., Entekra it operates a single 30,000 sq ft manufacturing plant. Compare that to Builders First Source which operates panel and truss plants across the US and you have to wonder what L-P saw in them that warranted a $45 million dollar investment.

Taking a closer look at the time saved at the jobsite also makes us go “Huh!”

Entreka says they can shave days off the building process by using their FIOSS system. Panelized wall and truss factories have been doing that for decades. As a builder I only used panels and trusses and yes it did save about 2-3 days over building the walls at the jobsite.

Now consider modular construction. In the same 2 day period panelized walls and trusses are erected on the jobsite a modular home can be set in the same 2 day period, be 80% complete and needing minimal subcontractor support.

The fun of working with tons of subs and laborers just starts when using panels and trusses. One big advantage of panels and trusses is when a home or commercial project is outside what can be built as modular.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I've been asking myself what is so special about Entekra. Nice to know I'm not alone.