With Construction Workers Scarce, Homebuilders Turn to Robots, Software

A new generation of prefabricated housing that bears little resemblance to the modular homes of old is among several technologies homebuilders are embracing to cope with the worker shortage. They’re also starting to deploy bricklaying robots and software programs that allow them to avoid miscommunication and delays. 

We’re at a tipping point where it’s finally just gotten too expensive to build the old-fashioned way,” says Margaret Whelan, CEO of Whelan Advisory and an investment banker for the home building industry.

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Margaret Whelan
Building Magazine: Change Is Necessary To Propel Housing Forward

...Go to manufacturing environments today, and women on the shop floor and in production management are not rare.

I was on a panel recently at ULI with Margaret Whelan of Whelan Advisory. She noted that Buddy Raney of RCI Construction in Orlando, Fla., employs more women than she’s ever seen on a factory floor, as they deliver their Vertically Integrated Total Solution (VITS) to the national builders in their markets. Raney estimates that VITS reduces the typical framing cycle by 10 days; allowing for their builder customers to close 10% more homes as a result.

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Margaret Whelan
Builder Magazine: Why Disruptive Innovation, And Why Now?

George Casey, principal at Stockbridge Associates, Gerard McCaughey, founder and CEO of fully-integrated offsite solution platform Entekra, and capital advisor Margaret Whelan, founder and principal of Whelan Advisory LLC, joined me for an hour to focus on this topic...

Some guess that 2018 and 2019 are going to be pivotal years for the emergence of integrated factory fabrication of major portions of houses prior to assembly on home sites. Many counter that it's still too soon, and that all the focus on Katerra, Clayton, Entekra, Blueprint Robotics, Unity Homes, Buddy Raney Construction, Blokable, Kasita, Blu Homes, and other players in the modular, compontent, panelization, offsite construction models is mostly hype that gets amped up because of current labor capacity anxieties.

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Margaret Whelan
Housing Leadership Summit - 2017

I enjoyed moderating a panel at the 31st Housing Leadership Summit this week:

"It's rare that big news breaks during a panel conversation in a conference, but just such an event occurred this past week during our session, "The Rising Power of non-U.S. Owners," led by Margaret Whelan, founder and CEO of Whelan Advisory, LLC. "

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Margaret Whelan