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This startup is building post-disaster housing using a giant assembly line

After two of the worst fires in California’s history tore through the state in the last three years, a housing startup by the name of FactoryOS knew it had to do something. The homes of thousands were incinerated by the flames of the fire, and the people who used to live in those homes were still homeless months after the fire.

That’s why FactoryOS, which is based in the Bay Area and builds apartments in a factory, developed a version of the assembly line that it uses to build apartment units, which currently has stations for everything from laying floors to adding appliances, so each unit is essentially complete when it reaches the building site, and can be slotted into a larger frame like a Lego block. This way, they could quickly build homes for those in need that cost 30 percent less than homes made using traditional construction. The idea is to make a simple, standardized unit that can be used for supportive housing, or “could be stitched together to create a small-to-medium to a large-sized building after a natural disaster quickly.”

Currently, the startup can build four to six apartments a day; by 2020, it expects to be producing 8 to 10. When the startup’s “Rapid Response Factory” is up and running, it expects to be able to produce 12 to 16 units a day by 2021. With climate change-inducing more and more natural disasters, startups like FactoryOS are exactly what we need.

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