TRAVERSE CITY — Rome wasn’t built in a day.
But Inphastos was able to put together a fully-framed three-story house in a day.
A crew from the Traverse City-based Inphastos began at 6 a.m. on a bare foundation. Inphastos installed a 2,600-square-foot home from factory-built components at a job site in Ada and had the roof secured about 12 hours later.
“It was big for us,” said Craig Wesley, vice president of business development at Inphastos. “We’ve talked about that for a long time. It’s been an internal strategic goal.
“It’s what people see because it’s the visual. But it’s really a representation of all the work we’ve been doing in the background to make it happen.”
Corey Mason, the vice president of analytics and process management, said a crew of 14 — nearly three times normal — put in a long day to hit the milestone.
“That allowed us to do it in one day,” said Mason, who was at the build east of Grand Rapids. “It was a 12-hour day, but we did it in one day.”
The components for the residential build came from the Inphastos facility in Grand Rapids. But the same components could have come from Traverse City or the former Camp Pugsley site east of Kingsley, which the company is converting into a manufacturing facility.
Fife Lake Township and Grand Traverse County approved a redevelopment agreement for the 179-acre Pugsley facility southeast of Kingsley. North Bay Capital Group, LLC will purchase the property from the Michigan Land Bank.
Wesley said the former correctional facility has been serving as a research and development site for Inphastos. He said the company has been doing some work on converting the site and expects the process, including rezoning, to be completed in November.
“The transfer of the title is working through the pipeline,” Wesley said.
“We’re hoping to breathe a breath of fresh air back into Kingsley,” Mason added.
Mason estimates the same house construction would have taken a crew of five working 10 hours a day 10 days to complete, comprising 500 total man hours. He said Inphastos did the same in 345 total hours (168 on site, 177 in the plant), a 31 percent reduction.
Mason said the Ada build included 47 exterior and 36 interior wall panels and seven floor sections. He said four trucks delivered the materials to the site.
The roof was built on the ground at the construction site and then cranes lifted it into place.
“The speed is great, but with the roof sections, it’s a safety factor,” Mason said. “If we would have built with the traditional roof trusses it would have been five guys working two full days to roof it in the air. We were able to that on the ground with six guys in four hours.”
Mason said Inphastos tries to de-emphasize the cost component and instead stresses the quality of building its panels inside, as well as the speed of the framing. He did say the speed of the build can reduce a customer’s holding costs and save money.
While the one-day build was a company milestone, Inphastos wants to trim the 12-hour mark when it does another build in Ada in a few weeks.
“The cool thing is there’s plenty of room for improvement,” Mason said. “There’s a long list of things we can do better. We know right now we could do significantly better.”