The groundwork is already being laid by the next generation of homebuilders. Clayton Homes, Entekra, Katerra, and ICON are big players disrupting the homebuilding process. Dvele, another budding company, recently raised $14 million to build single-family homes. After touring Dvele’s production facility in California we provide an overview of this emerging player in the industry.
Fast Facts On Dvele
A new company with a foundation. The company was founded in May 2017 when the owners purchased an existing modular homebuilder that had constructed over 11,000 units
Experienced in the market. The co-founders ran a modular home company in Canada before selling to a publicly traded firm and starting Dvele in the US
Direct to consumer. Unlike some modular companies that just provide the structures to existing homebuilders, Dvele is consumer-facing similar to Clayton Homes
Set to grow. The current factory has the capacity to bring 120 homes to market a year and the team has expansion plans for additional factories
Dvele’s current portfolio leans luxury with a modern aesthetic. The fully modular homes arrive pre-wired for electric, plumbing, fire sprinklers, and HVAC and are assembled on-site. From approved permit to completion, Dvele’s total construction of a home takes about six months (as short as three), six to ten weeks of which are factory time, and tend to be priced similarly to those traditionally built.
Source: Dvele.com, Hoyde product rendering.
Great Design With High Performance
Dvele’s building science is driven by its attention to quality, durability, health, and wellness in order to perfect the home. This focus adds value to the home both through what you can see but also what you can’t. The homes enjoy the quality control of being built inside and are engineered to withstand not only earthquakes but also the vibration of the roads during shipping.
Dvele believes owning a home does not mean compromises. The company wants its buyers to expect the highest level of quality with eco-benefits:
Prevent problems before they occur. Dvele uses continuous exterior insulation for durability and energy efficiency, but also to help prevent leaks, mold, rot, and decay.
Reduce the footprint. The company follows Passive House standards to limit energy use for heating and cooling. All of their products use electricity, not gas.
Enjoy the fresh air. Dvele installs ventilation ports at breathing zones to bring in fresh air to living spaces in each of their homes.
Thinking Differently About Consumers
Dvele’s customer focus is exemplified during the building process, at the delivery of the home, and potentially for life. The company is creating an effortless consumer experience. Some notable consumer trends include:
Remove choice overload. Dvele’s team of designers curates a handful of finish packages and palettes for buyers to choose from.
Offer full-service option. Not only does the team build cabinets, countertops, and doors in-house, they also offer custom furniture packages to keep with the toxin-free standard of the home.
Ensure benchmarks are hit. Before handing over the keys to their homeowners, Dvele brings in a third-party consultant to test air quality (dust, formaldehyde, mold spore count, etc) to ensure the homes meet the target benchmarks.
Customer for life. Dvele wants to improve the customer experience after the sale. The company is exploring post-sale maintenance, quality checks, and education to build long-term relationships with its buyers.
Robots Coming Soon
Dvele’s building process relies heavily on manual labor, but the team is looking to phase in automation. Over the last few years, the company has been working with robotics engineers deconstructing the homebuilding process and training computers. The executive team is scheduled to tour Japan and Europe, two regions in the world where experts are already using automation in homebuilding successfully, to learn best practices and look for ways to improve what is already being done. Shifting to full automation is still a bit out, but is in-line with the firm’s longer-term growth plans.
Dvele and other homebuilders making a move in the space face a slight headwind of overcoming preconceived notions of modular/prefab housing. The stigma around modular homes, however, is gradually easing as the world becomes more tech-centric and the benefits of factory-built homes are realized.
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