Jasmine Palmer and her two daughters were once homeless, living in their car. That's until she started a journey toward home ownership and building a better life for herself and her children.

It took commitment to volunteer 500 hours of work, and along with time donated by volunteers from nine churches, she now has a place to call home. That, she told an audience gathered recently for the launch of an ambitious program to turn out many more new homes like hers, provides strength, stability and independence for families and changes neighborhoods and communities for the better.

Having announced plans to construct 60 new homes a year and doing so largely in a factory in Rohnert Park, Habitat for Humanity Sonoma County is revealing some of its game plan to get there.

In short, much use of technology — and donated labor. Creation of the center was reported in a Business Journal story in June. At that time, officials said the center was modeled after similar Habitat for Humanity manufacturing operations in Georgia, Colorado and Edmonton, Canada. Habitat’s new component factory will have an estimated annual budget of $500,000 and could be self-sustaining in about three years.

John Kennedy, Habitat’s interim Sonoma CEO who worked at Marin County’s Autodesk developing software for the design side of construction, said the nonprofit will rely on new technology to expedite the building process and make it run efficiently, including computer-aided framing design and 3D tablets at construction sites to help volunteers put the pieces together.

“Change is hard," Kennedy said. "Habitat expects to build 15 homes this year. Our main concern is how to scale housing production using today’s small talent pool to meet our goal of building 600 homes in 10 years. Having more volunteers and utilizing computer-aided technology tools are part of the solution.”

For labor, Habitat for Humanity’s goal is to recruit up to 1,000 volunteers locally by 2020. The nonprofit will also need equipment to produce homes, expressed in the form of a wish list.

All of it is geared by Habitat’s leadership team plans to have its Habitat Center at SOMO Village for industrialized manufacturing and construction up and running by August.

“We are all Habitat, and there is a special role for each of you to fill here,” Habitat Sonoma Chairman Tim Leach said to over 150 people attending the June 21 preopening celebration at the center. He invited them to sign up at one of the orange tables to volunteer in the 33,000-square-foot indoor production facility.

Angie Moeller, chief development officer, emphasized the key role volunteers play.

“To build more homes, we need more volunteers, who are at the heart of all we do," she said. "If you want to help build an affordable home in Sonoma County, there is a place for you at Habitat.”

To gear up production, here are some items on the nonprofit organization’s equipment wish list (habitatsoco.org/get-involved/donate): computer-driven Hornet PMMC wall framing part cutter from iN4 Solutions in Marysville that digitally prints exact nailing and anchor post positions on lumber, marking precise drilling/cutting points and giving volunteers other vital data, such as the project’s name, assembly instructions and where to place headers, tie-downs and window cutouts.

In addition, two trucks and two forklifts are also needed, along with four gooseneck trailers and six utility trailers to be used for delivering finished frames and other materials to and from construction sites.

These machinery and vehicles are needed to build, move and transport housing frames, according to Larry Arrington, senior procurement and operations manager for Habitat.

Arrington described the computer software from Simpson Strong-Tie that will be used by volunteers to design and transfer marking specifications to the Hornet cutter for each piece of wood.

“People might think volunteers cannot perform at the level of seasoned construction workers," he said. "However, using advanced systems — like the Hornet iN4 — takes a lot of the guesswork out of designing and building wall panels, while lowering costs and increasing our ability to complete homes in weeks instead of months.”

Based on the success of Habitat’s computer design project, such a process could become part of a central hub in every state to supply premarked and precut lumber for a number of Habitat organizations in the surrounding region, Arrington said.

Simpson Strong-Tie is donating 25 software seats for Santa Rosa Junior College students to learn wall component design in the Habitat Learning Center. Use of the software can be learned relatively quickly, depending on the student’s familiarity with basic framing methodology, Arrington said.

The cut sheet and shop drawings will be generated by the Simpson software, then transmitted to the cloud and downloaded to the Hornet for printing instructions on lumber and positioning the lumber for exact cutting. A volunteer will then be prompted by the Hornet computer to cut and remove the material to a build station where the wall will be nailed together by volunteers.

“This technology can reduce or eliminate mistakes, and cut costs, while accelerating fabrication productivity by those with little or no carpentry experience,” Arrington said. “Of course, we always welcome skilled volunteers, but the learning curve for others can be dramatically reduced. We’re not abandoning traditional construction methods, but we also need to adopt effective new technology that can be used by everyone to help provide affordable housing.