Sunday, June 14, 2020

Modular Manufacturer Plans 35 New Factories Across America

S2A Modular has launched a nationwide search for locations to build a reported 35 new MegaFactory facilities that will drive positive economic impact for regions, cities and municipalities.



With two S2A MegaFactories already under construction, they’ve begun the process of selecting the next additional sites to build eight facilities. 


They say it will create hundreds and eventually thousands of jobs and help stimulate local, regional and state economies.


Green Lux Homes blend high-end design and materials, fast construction speeds, net zero energy capabilities, and custom and smart home features using modular technology. Users can choose from 35 pre-designed floor plans or create a custom plan, which is then constructed in S2A’s climate-controlled 100,000-plus square foot facility.


Below is an Interview with S2A's Brian Kuzdas


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Self-sustaining renewable energy smart homes: 

An interview with Brian Kuzdas of S2A Modular


An article in Renewable Energy Magazine 

Tuesday, 19 March 2019 by Robin Whitlock



S2A Modular is the creator of the first-ever electrically self-sustaining custom luxury home, utilising high-end design and materials, faster construction speed, premium appliance features and smart-connected living. Self-sustaining power utilising Tesla Powerwall technology and solar panels, along with many other features enables surplus energy income to be generated by exporting power to utilities. The company is currently building a new MegaFactory with a floor space in excess of 100,000 square feet. This will enable it to build homes in a controlled environment with the latest state-of-the-art appliances, smartphone-controlled settings and other components already pre-installed.


REM talked to the company’s CEO Brian Kuzdas to find out more.


Tell me more about the company and what it does?

S2A Modular basically builds modular renewable energy smart homes, and not only homes but commercial as well. Apartments, homes, hospitality, we’re involved in all of that. I have a partner in John Rollins, he’s the President of the company and he’s been in real estate and construction for about 30 years now. His background is mainly construction. I’m 55 and I’ve been in real estate since 1985. My background is condo conversion and development as well. We came together as a team about a year ago to go 100 percent modular and to build a factory.



Where are these houses being built?

We’re starting in California, where both John and I live. We’re building a factory here, in southern California. I think initially the first 200-500 homes are going to be west coast based. We already have orders for about that number, California mainly, I would say about 90 percent of the homes. Then we have an order for 62 homes in Montana. It’s funny though, we’re getting orders from all over now, and we’re also getting orders in different countries. Instead of shipping those orders, we’re looking simply to build a factory in those and oversee them, almost like a franchise concept.


That’s interesting you mentioned other countries, which countries in particular?

We have three, actually four people in front of us wanting to do this, but three countries. China is number one, there are some people there who approached John and I asked if they could take the identical concept and put it in China. We would oversee all that. There’s someone in Mexico that wants to do the same, and we’re in very interesting talks right now with a company that wants to do this in Pakistan. We’ll see how it develops but right now John and I are focused on getting the factory running and moving forward in California and the west coast for now.


Who will be able to afford these homes? What is your target market?

First of all, modular, as opposed to the traditional way of building, because you are building in a factory there are a lot of efficiencies that are in play, which cause you to build about 20 percent cheaper than the traditional route. You’re still using the same roofing materials, the same dry wall, the same labour, but there’s just efficiencies you’re saving money and time on. Because of that, it’s about 20 percent cheaper than the traditional model.


In reference to who is our target market, we have the Mom and Pop who want to build their dream modular luxury home of about 2,200 square feet, there are people putting in orders for ADUs – Accessory Dwelling Units – which are tiny granny flats that sit behind a home, there’s self-sustainable and covering 600 to 800 square feet, apartment buildings, hotels, developments – in other words entire neighbourhoods, so it’s across the board.


Why did you choose Tesla Powerwall to support the whole design?

There’s a combination of things. It’s not just simply the Powerwall, it’s the solar roof tiles, the Tesla Powerwall batteries, a lot of the renewable energy smart home components inside the home, special geothermal heat pumps – either LG or Mitsubishi, we’re using specialised windows and doors and insulation, things that ultimately add up to a net zero effect to the homes. No particular reason, just a combination of many elements coming together.


What kind of smart devices are you installing in these designs?

Just exactly as I said. We haven’t made any final decisions as to who we’re going to choose. We’re in talks with a lot of suppliers who are coming at us right now, including Tesla.


I am thinking that you are partnering with a lot of companies on these projects...

Yes, absolutely, it’s not just one. It’s Amazon, Google, Tesla, Mitsubishi, LG, it’s a combination. There’s so many people coming at us wanting us to use their products, so we’re investigating everything as the factory gets built as to what eventual suppliers we’re going to be using. Those names I mentioned, most of them are very much in front of us and we’ll probably end up using all of them.

I also got that you’re building in an ability to export excess energy to the grid, is this via a Feed-in Tariff or some other mechanism?


It’s all based on the combination of components we’re using in the house, that allow us to not let energy to escape. Better doors, better windows, all that matters. That will allow us an abundance to actually sell back to the electric companies so that’s all in place.


How are the homes being constructed?

A lot of people think that modules are of a fixed size – you get the four walls, the ceiling, the floor. But many modules also come in parts and are built on the site itself. Everything gets trucked in. A bit like Lego. You might get panels or parts of a module fitted in place simultaneously. It’s all based on the need. Let’s say I get a 20 foot foyer. You walk into a home and look up and want to see 20 feet. You would put two modules together and have a fake ceiling on one of those so that you can open it all up. So you can pretty much do anything you can think of or conceive of on the traditional side, you can do that on the modular side.


Right now there’s a need in the construction industry to be able to move faster than the traditional model does. In the traditional model, you stop at night, stop at the weekend, stop when it’s raining, it’s just start-stop, start-stop. In the modular industry, you’ve got first shift, second shift, third shift. It really doesn’t stop.


Because of that, speed is so important. If you take a 2000 square foot home, on average, and build it traditionally, it takes you about a year to get that thing from start to finish. In the modular, you can do that within about three months, total. It’s about a week in the factory – that’s about 90 percent of the home – and then it gets transported. It only takes a day or two to actually set and then you’ve got the final 10 percent of the building materials to actually finish the home off, so we tell clients about a three month timeframe.


Then there’s the cost. If you’re a homeowner and you’re looking to pay $700,000 to have a home built and you can save 20 percent, that’s $140,000. That’s huge. And if you’re a developer, sometimes deals can be done instead of not doing the deal, the investment side is really important.


Then we’re integrating all the smart home renewable energy on top of it and that’s what’s causing an extreme interest at this point.


That’s what I like about it, as it seems to offer a way in which renewable energy can be much more accessible.


A lot of people with all this great new technology out there that could create Net Zero, it’s difficult for the average consumer to go out and retrofit their homes with special windows and insulation and doors and all the special components and everything, because the home was built in the 1950s. Even if you’re putting the stuff into a home, you’ll capture some of the energy but there’s also a lot of the energy you will lose. It’s simply because it’s a 1950s house. Think of a Tesla car and taking that Tesla battery out and putting it into a fuel-injected Ford Fusion. It’s never going to work. So our concept is that if you’re going to start with the concept of running a home off a Tesla Powerwall battery, you’re going to need to surround that with specialized home components to capture as much energy as possible. So we’re starting with that concept and that’s the game-changer.


A lot of people with all this great new technology out there that could create Net Zero, it’s difficult for the average consumer to go out and retrofit their homes with special windows and insulation and doors and all the special components and everything, because the home was built in the 1950s. Even if you’re putting the stuff into a home, you’ll capture some of the energy but there’s also a lot of the energy you will lose. It’s simply because it’s a 1950s house. Think of a Tesla car and taking that Tesla battery out and putting it into a fuel-injected Ford Fusion. It’s never going to work. So our concept is that if you’re going to start with the concept of running a home off a Tesla Powerwall battery, you’re going to need to surround that with specialized home components to capture as much energy as possible. So we’re starting with that concept and that’s the game-changer.


14 comments:

  1. Great sounding sales pitch but not sure the numbers work for the average home buyer. As a builder of single family modular homes, the modular component averages out to account for 50% of total construction costs. The other 50% covers sitework, foundation, utilities, and all the other trades to finish the house once it has been set, including my profit margin. So on that sample $700,000 homeowner's 2,200 sqft building budget, $350,000 will be paid to the modular manufacturer. Using S2A's 20% savings claim ($70,000) plus the $350,000 balance of construction costs, the new total construction cost should be $630,000 or $286/sqft before adding in the cost of the land at say $150,000 to $200,000. What part of this is affordable? In my market area,(northeast) 1st time home buyers and retiring boomers can't afford to build a new home.

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  2. Wow, and the media says Trump stretches his facts a little.

    Question on the numbers here! For starters just here locally i.e. in our NEPA-Pennsylvania and Lower New York State boondocks alone here, there are 2 or 3 companies, scattered lot stick NAHB-type homebuilders that continuously build (except until our governors coronavirus requirements caused em to loose three months when they were completely shut downs)..every year, and years after year here, who turnkey more than 100 homes..and.. turnkey.. that is, in SIX 6 months or less; so where did the "year to build 2000 s/f conventionally" number ever come from? Gary, isn't this the Inland Empire chap you featured before? WHOW!

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    1. WOW is one way to put it sit back and watch as S2A Builds Nationwide. S2A Modular has contracts across the US to build and the Team to implement! Best regards!

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  3. Uh ..... we've heard this type of rosy optimism before. I wish them well, of course. But it sounds too much like Blu Homesv2.

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    1. S2A is fortunate to have watched the mistakes made by others and has a much stronger plan! S2A builds everything from Hotels to Homeless Housing making our diversity our strength. Best regards

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    2. Thank you Andy.

      As far as the comment about Blu Homes, I don't really know a lot about them but I do know they raised a ton of money (over $200M) and eventually had to downsize and recently was purchased by Dvele. I had lunch once with the CEO Zephan McMinn about six months ago but couldn't really get a read on what the $200M was used for. They never built any factories with the money.

      I think our business model is quite a bit different than Blu Homes though. Thanks for commenting!

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  4. Every market is different S2A's plan is not a one size fits all however it is a very viable construction alternative not to be taken lightly. The fact that these homes create no gas or electric bill and the money saved in speed of production the numbers are much better than even you show.

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  5. I was on there presentation which I found via a Facebook ad as I do believe in modular construction. As a general contractor - who has built a few modular homes - there presentation to learn about their homes and , pricing and timelines but it was more of a pitch for investors. I tried to ask about construction experience - and it was never directly answered. Who has actually ever built a house - or a subdivision or a multifamily project? I don't see anybody on their team with actual construction experience. This company is presenting as a Super Factory with new technology - yet all they appear to be doing is adding on existing products to their modular homes - solar or smart technology. The number they presented including current customers are "optimistic". I remember the optimism over BlueHomes and this sound same (how many millions was wasted and lost?) I hear the 20% savings but i have never seen that to be true. Buyer/Investor beware.

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  6. To start with cowards post anonymously if you have something to say show yourself! #2 Please visit S2A and visit the executive team many of which have 20 to 35 years in the industry and have been involved in projects yes Modular projects all across the great U.S. All we build Mega factories not super factories and S2A owns it's own IP Technology so know your facts before you speak oh I guess that is why you are not disclosing your identity likely a scared competitor!! Best regards John Rowland President S2A Modular

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  7. Hi John, Modcoach here.

    In the past I've tried to make everyone sign their name to their posts and what I found was nobody was making comments. For the most part I feel many in the modular industry do not want others to see their names at the end of a comment and be called out for it.

    With that said, I do review every comment before it's posted to make sure it's not slanderous to the point of being illegal.

    I hate being the modular police.

    John, I welcome your comments and yes I agree, those commenting Anonymously do sometimes go a little too far. Since I don't know a better system, I'll continue to monitor the comments and if one slips through you wish to have removed, please contact me at modcoach@gmail.com

    Have a great day and a successful launch of S2A.

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    1. Hello John,
      Thank you for posting this, but it's a rather old article (written in 2019). The opening of 35-MegaFactories is 2020 news that just got picked up by several news media outlets. I've attached a link to S2A Modular's "News and Events" page. There's more than 12-articels written since the article you've posted.

      I cringe a bit reading something that is literally over 15-months old. In your heading you have S2A Modular is to open 35-MegaFactories in North America but then there's an old article under it.

      Here's the link to the most updated stories S2A Modular.

      Thank you John!

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  8. Hello John,

    Thank you for your reply! I really appreciate your support and comment. Have a great day I look forward to talking soon.
    Best regards, John Rowland

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  9. I think that John and Brian should do something better with their time than fighting it out with commenters here.

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  10. I wish you all the success in the world !
    It saddens me to hear so much negative pre-judgment.
    You are exactly what our industry needs. Positive forward thinking and up to date informed entrepreneurship.
    Best of luck
    Christine Pitliangas

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