As blogged on FastCompany.com, six months after a wildfire destroyed the town of Paradise, California, and killed 85 people, some of the survivors who lost their homes were still living in tents. In Florida, months after Hurricane Michael, others were staying in cars and neighbors’ backyards. FEMA is often slow to deliver emergency trailers. Some of this may be due to mismanagement—as Hurricane Harvey made landfall in 2017, FEMA was auctioning off old trailers that could have been reused—but there might also be better ways to supply post-disaster housing than trucking in trailers. A new center called the Rapid Response Factory will explore how to use the latest modular housing technology to construct emergency shelters more quickly and affordably.
The center is part of the Bay Area headquarters of FactoryOS, a housing startup that builds apartments in a factory and whose first customer was Alphabet, Google’s parent company. A new investment from the software company Autodesk is allowing the startup to expand in two ways: A new space called the Factory Floor Learning Center will focus on changing housing policy to make modular housing easier to build, led by the Terner Center for Housing Innovation, a nonprofit focused on finding solutions for affordable, sustainable housing. And in another building, the startup will begin working on solving the problem of disaster housing.
Subscribe to our FREE online news service dedicated to producing essential up to date news for the construction, building, and design community.