Raleigh Road Trip: Recap

We just got back from Raleigh where we visited an impressive group of people taking action and driving results! Each of the companies we visited demonstrated grit – unrelenting creativity, passion and persistence – in driving the industry and their organizations forward. Creating value for our industry, their communities and their employees.

Joining the Alliance team on the tour, our members and partners included capital providers, dealmakers, leading builders, disruptors, industry analysts, heads of product manufacturers, management consultants and more. For some, it was their first experience with the Alliance, we also had a few of our Alliance champions and board members along for the ride…

We’ll share deeper insights over the next few weeks, so let us know if you have any follow up questions or feedback.


Thanks to our hosts from:

Williams Robotics – A start-up leveraging robots to drive productivity in off-site construction facilities and on the jobsite. They are developing a variety of business models to serve any size builder. Currently focused on framing, next steps include sheet rock, shingles and siding…  

Prescient  – Their digital design-build system and UL certified process is revolutionizing the building environment and increasing ROI across the entire development, construction and operating value chain. With only a handful of SKUs required on site, they are able to keep the jobsite clean and tight – perfect for urban environments. Seismic certifications unlock new opportunities on the west coast and in highly regulated military projects.

Garman Homes – They have a fresh and colorful take on homebuilding, a design-by-numbers offering, Fresh Paint, and a product focus geared toward attainable housing for the missing middle. We were all inspired by their stories of giving back to their community and the priority it takes in their business. They’ve created a winning strategy with a strongly defined culture and uncompromising values.

Wendell Falls by Newland Communities – A new community based on new thinking about ways to live and ways to work. They like to say its where small-town community meets big-city urbanity. Props to the municipality and development team for their collaboration, attention to the historical landscape and strategic partnership in creating place – bringing the Wendell Falls vision to life. 

Tiny Homes Village – An inspiring 40-acre demonstration project, including new affordable 400 square foot housing options and supportive services for people with mental illness and other health conditions. Home as dignity. Public and private support has been overwhelming. The project is an exercise in zoning and education and takes a holistic approach that is scalable regionally and nationally. Thava’s commitment to the cause and personal story was so moving that our newest Transformation partner, Mitsubishi Electric Trane US, donated comfort systems for the 15 units.

Southern Energy Management  – Single-family and multi-family solar and building science experts stressed the importance of resilient buildings, capturing performance data and using it to tell a story through compelling marketing and communications. #BCorp

ASMBL – An open source platform enables customers to personalize the design and simplify fabrication of small dwelling units by utilizing digital technology and distributing production, with a highly engineered building system and off the shelf solutions. These self funded “house-hackers” have received nearly 400 order inquires from all over the world.


View more photos.

Key Takeaways + Why it Matters

  1. Your team has to have the right mindset. An initiative to take a fresh look at an old problem and willingness to take (calculated) risks, to fail forward and capture market share.
  2. There is no silver bullet, nationwide attainable housing is the product of a technology solution mix. We need a robust portfolio to deliver by product type, geography, and available skill sets.
  3. Productivity is about standardization, but the message has to be fun and engaging.
  4. House is the structure, the technology. Home is the experience. 
  5. More and more project financing is leaning towards a green certification for resilience and durability – ensure better long-term asset value.
  6. Move upstream and invest in upfront efforts.


What’s next? 

We’re planning more road trips to see innovation in action all over the U.S. Do you have something to share or something that you want to see? Let us know and keep an eye on the “Alliance Update” eNewsletters for upcoming opportunities and events. 

Hope to see you in Denver Nov. 12-13, 2019 for our next live round table and think tank discussion.