This Certified B Corp is custom prefabricating healthy, high-performance, sustainable homes in half the time of site-based contractors.
“Homebuilding hasn’t changed much in the last 2,000 years,” says Steve Glenn, founder and CEO of prefabricated design and construction company Plant Prefab. “It’s typically a long and expensive process, with a lot of waste.”
The idea for Plant was born out of Glenn’s own experiences with this antiquated process; in 2006 he founded a residential design studio and struggled to find builders that met the company’s standards for quality, sustainability, and cost. “We realized that in order to achieve our goal of making great, sustainable architecture more accessible, we needed a building solution designed for that purpose,” Glenn recalls.
In 2016 the team opened Plant’s first factory, a 62,000-square-foot facility near Los Angeles, and patented the Plant Building SystemTM. Utilizing advanced engineering and a combination of specialized panels and modules, the company is able to efficiently prefabricate just about any design.
A-list architects and designers including Ray Kappe, KieranTimberlake, and Yves Béhar designed high-profile projects with the company, and Amazon joined as an investor. The momentum hasn’t stopped.
“This is the future of homebuilding,” says Glenn. “We’re providing a much faster, more reliable, and higher quality building solution that produces healthier homes in a more sustainable fashion.”
Plant’s rigorous materials and workmanship standards help Plant homes perform an average 30% better than California Title 24 energy standards, providing cost savings for the life of the home and drastically reducing its operational carbon emissions—part of the company’s ambitious goals to achieve net carbon neutrality by 2028.
“Our mission is to build a better world, by design,” says Glenn. “That means simplifying the homebuilding process and creating beautiful, high-performance homes that are healthy for people and the planet.”
Designed for Efficiency
Here’s how Plant Prefab is streamlining the custom homebuilding process:
Clients work with the Plant Design Studio or their own architect to create a design. Many work from Plant’s ready-made plans, called LivingHomes, like the passive house above by Richard Pedranti.
Plant uses digital modeling to determine the most efficient way to construct the design. Then it custom prefabricates the home to the architect’s specifications, working in an all-weather facility, with precision tools and highly-trained staff following strict factory quality control measures. This happens in parallel with site work, shaving months off the construction timeline.
Installation & Finish
The prefabricated components are shipped to the client’s property, where they are assembled on the foundation. Most Plant homes ship 90% complete and are installed in just a few days, sparing the neighborhood from months of disruption.