Homes roll out of North Bay factories

[caption id="attachment_51128" align="alignright" width="350" caption="Blu Homes shifted production of its seven models of fold-out homes to this huge Vallejo factory in January."][/caption]

NAPA and VALLEJO -- A new phase of North Bay home manufacturing is rolling out of factories in Napa and Vallejo.

Manufactured homes are nothing new to the North Bay, including production at now shuttered GV Custom Modular in Healdsburg and Codding Steel Frame Solutions in Rohnert Park. But now, Napa-based Healthy Buildings Technology Group ( and Blu Homes (, based in Boston and San Francisco, are producing homes with largely finished light-gauge steel--framed panels and including dozens of above-code environmentally friendly features.

[caption id="attachment_51227" align="alignnone" width="220" caption="Healthy Buildings Technology Group's OHome 640 in the factory (click to enlarge)"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_51228" align="alignnone" width="214" caption="Wall and ceiling panels without drywall and insulation (click to enlarge)"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_51225" align="alignnone" width="220" caption="After two hours of installation (click to enlarge)"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_51226" align="alignnone" width="220" caption="At the end of day two of installation (click to enlarge)"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_51224" align="alignnone" width="220" caption="Nearing completion (click to enlarge)"][/caption]

Healthy Buildings Technology Group last week completed its first of two showcase OHome dwellings in Napa. Blu Homes has been rolling out  the first 19 of its novel folding-panel construction homes from its 4-month-old Vallejo factory, and 50 are on order.

Last month, mostly finished wall and roof panels for a 640-square-foot, one-bedroom home left the company's south Napa factory and were trucked by flatbed to a site at the end of Darling Street in north Napa. Five days were scheduled for moving the panels into place by crane and screwing them together on the previously poured concrete pad, but assembly was done in two days, according to Chief Executive Officer Bob Massaro, LEED AP.

A second demonstration OHome unit, this one with 1,260 square feet and three bedrooms, will be built next to the first one. Both will share a garage on the property.

"The showcase models are demonstration homes designed to introduce our technology, green features, and materials and finishes to prospective buyers," Mr. Massaro said.

The company, launched early last year as an outgrowth of Mr. Massaro's nearly 13-year-old Healthy Buildings USA green-oriented construction business, is finalizing contracts with several single-family clients in areas from San Diego and Los Angeles and four in the Bay Area, according to Mr. Massaro. He said several developers also in discussion for projects that combine panels together for multifamily dwellings.

"They are interested in our speed of construction and the numerous green and net-zero energy features," Mr. Massaro said. 

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