Boise company partners to turn submarine factory into housing crisis solution

BOISE (June 12, 2018) — As communities across the country face an increasingly dire need for affordable housing, a Boise-based consulting firm is addressing the challenge head-on and breathing new life into old factories in the process.

Prefab Logic guides builders & developers through the process of converting existing factories into modular housing plants, where complete apartment units are manufactured and shipped to construction sites for assembly.

Prefab Logic conversion project Factory_OS began life in the 1940s as a submarine factory in the Bay-area community of Vallejo, Calif. Now, the cavernous 256,700-square-foot facility is garnering attention from The New York Times for its goal to produce 1,000 or more modular apartment units a year for clients like Google.

From their headquarters on Parkcenter Boulevard in Boise, the Prefab Logic team led the conversion process to turn Factory_OS into a modular manufacturing facility. Prefab Logic developed the plant design, worked with key Factory_OS staff on management of the facility’s advanced operations, and continues to provide logistical support and guidance.

Modular manufacturing has the potential to reduce cost, eliminate skilled labor shortages, and complete housing projects in a fraction of the time needed for traditional builds. This approach is gaining popularity in high-cost, low-inventory areas like San Francisco, but also in Boise, where apartment vacancy rates sit at just 1 percent.

Since Factory_OS opened its doors in May, Prefab Logic has been inundated with inquiries from companies across the United States — and as far as Norway and Singapore — interested in building new modular housing factories or retrofitting old ones.

“All across the West, housing prices are going up,” Chief Operating Officer and co-founder Rick Murdock said. “Modular construction requires less labor and can save time over traditional building, making it a common-sense way to help solve the housing crisis many areas face.”

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