Applying Just-in-Time Manufacturing to Home Building
By Gina Dostler
Martin Boyd loves making things happen. He is vice president of sales and marketing for homebuilder RSI Development LLC, which builds energy efficient homes in 40 working days or less. RSI focuses on replacing old, dated houses with new, high-quality, energy-efficient homes at surprising prices. The company’s strategy suits homeowners, as well as investors and land developers or owners subdividing parcels into multiple home sites.
RSI has built and sold more than 200 homes in Southern California in the past five years. Walking the grounds of one of their almost finished homes off of 15th Street in Newport Beach, Boyd fielded answers to several questions.
Q: Who is RSI?
A: RSI, a Newport Beach, California based company, was founded in 2008 by Ronald M. Simon, founder and chairman of RSI Holding LLC. Starting out as a cabinet manufacturer with decades of expertise in design, engineering and production, Ronald’s innovative thinking found a niche in the homebuilding market. His streamlined production of cabinets paved the way to bringing the same quality to building homes with incredible efficiency and without forsaking quality.
Q: How is it possible to build in 40 days or less?
A: RSI utilizes a unique precision-built manufacturing approach to designing and building houses. It’s the same philosophy behind building automobiles, televisions, computers, cabinets or any other high-quality products. Utilizing a proven manufacturing process through a repeatable and controlled environment enables those products to be brought to market with the highest level of quality and cost efficiency. At RSI, we felt why should a house be any different?
Q: Briefly describe the precision-built process for a house.
A: House plans are engineered around maximizing the utilization of materials. Every inch of the house is intentionally designed and engineered in exact detail. All major components including wall panels, floor systems and roof trusses are built in RSI’s state-of-the-art factory. This allows The New House homes to be superior in quality and craftsmanship compared to traditionally built homes. Then we engage our smooth and effortless construction process.
Q: You mentioned the process as a smooth choreographed dance. How so?
A: We specially train our construction team members. I refer to the process as a dance because each member knows each step and how their step correlates with the other members on the build team. The building materials play a significant role in the choreography. Materials from plumbing to roof sheathing are pre-assembled and precut to size respectively at our factory, then delivered onsite in a just-in-time (JIT) manner.
Q: Explain JIT?
A: For example materials like plywood sheathing are stacked per purpose. The top layer is always the next in line to be installed. There is no guesswork or hunting around for materials during the build process.
Q: What is the difference between your homes and pre-fabricated ones?
A: The New House is definitely not a pre-fab home or mass produced modular home. It is a high quality home built utilizing the same trades as a traditional custom home with substantial improvements for higher consistency, quicker build times, reduced waste from our specialized methods, all resulting in a much lower cost to the customer. The New House by RSI is an industry changer. It meets and in many cases (depending on location) exceeds many of the required building and construction codes and standards
Q: What about quality?
A: While cost is always important, RSI refuses to reduce the value proposition to our customer by sacrificing quality in order to save a few pennies here and there. We also offer a number of high-end features such as full granite countertops, stainless steel name- brand appliances and more. RSI and The New House heavily depend on the quality of workmanship and materials. It’s what separates us from the rest.
Q: Can you call yourself “green?”
A: RSI and The New House design utilizes eco-friendly and “green” thinking in every aspect, including the building process. From deconstruction where RSI extracts all recyclable materials if the property owner requires demolition to the construction where virtually zero waste takes place. With The New House, an average of three yards of waste is generated consisting mainly of packaging material that is often recycled. There is also little noise pollution, dust and construction-related traffic in the neighborhood (e.g., no saws are used on the construction site).
Q: How does The New House help improve the area and surrounding communities?
A: It provides homeowners of older, dilapidated homes in valued areas to replace the home with a brand new, more spacious and efficient home. The larger square footage home provides more tax revenue for the city while upping the appeal of a new home in the neighborhood, particularly if it was an open lot previously. This in turn improves the value of the surrounding homes. The added equity enables neighbors to then invest in their own homes.
Q: How affordable are the homes?
A: RSI builds homes at a fraction of the cost when compared to traditional new construction. Where a traditional built home can cost a homeowner up to $400 per square foot, The New House starts at $57 per square foot. It ranges from $89,000 for our smallest 1,232 square foot single story model up to $148,000 for our largest 2,548 square-foot, two-story model. All in all there are eight floor plans to choose from. Lot preparation costs are not included in the house prices and exclude the lot purchase. The final price also depends on a variety of selections we offer. The range of exterior designs and interior selection combinations are endless.
Vice President of Sales and Marketing
RSI Development LLC
The New House