Research Project Information

Research Project Summary Information

Manufactured Housing Research Alliance(ST10623)

Manufactured Housing Research Alliance


Lean manufacturing is a strategy in which production processes are critically evaluated to eliminate waste and inefficiencies. Lean manufacturing techniques have been demonstrated to improve production efficiencies in several industries, such as the automotive industry. Under previous NYSERDA agreements, the Manufactured Housing Research Alliance (MHRA) and US HUD introduced these practices to Capsys Corporation, a manufacturer of steel framed modular buildings located in Brooklyn, and Chelsea Modular Homes, a manufacturer of wood framed modular homes located in Marlboro. MHRA would like to continue this work by teaming with Titan Homes of Sangerfield, NY to apply lean production techniques to the manufacturer-builder process of a manufactured housing operation. This step occurs after the home is completed in the factory, and is shipped to the site for final assembly and finishing by the builder. The step is critical in the process to ensure that the buyer receives a home shell that is properly air sealed and the final HVAC connections are of high quality (e.g., ducts).

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Project Description

This project’s objective was to apply lean production practices at Titan Homes, Inc. of Sangerfield, NY to demonstrate how these practices can improve the manufacturer-builder interface for a manufactured/modular home builder. MHRA trained lean advocates from key builders. Cross organizational value stream maps were be developed for Titan and these builders to identify areas to improve the productivity of finishing a home at its final site. Lean production exercises were conducted to improve the processes identified in the value stream maps as wasteful or inefficient. These exercises documented and evaluated to determine the degree of improvement achieved. The project's results were shared with other housing manufacturers in New York State.


Modular homes offer the potential to have higher quality and energy efficiency than site-built homes because all the design and assembly occurs under a more controlled environment. Lean production methods also offer the potential to reduce waste and product defects, lowering the embodied energy in the construction of homes.

Project Results

Dozens of small changes were identified that could improve quality and lower cost with minimal investment. These changes included: instituting more structured procedures for ensuring a home’s design is correct before submission to the factory for production; better organizing and securing loose materials that ship inside the home needed for finishing the interior and exterior trim to provide more efficient working conditions and to reduce time spent looking for parts; and improving roof connection points between house sections for some designs to reduce excess on-site labor due to challenges in making a tight seal at this location. It was apparent that communication between plant and dealers related to common tasks could be improved. These improvements could the reduce the current time period from when a home is delivered to a dealer to when a homeowner is able to move-in from 30 days to two weeks. The improvements in the roof connections between home sections of certain designs will also make a much more energy-efficient home due to reduced air leakage.


Manufactured Housing Research Alliance
1776 Broadway, Suite 2205
New York, NY 10019

Principle Investigator

Jordan Dentz

Universities Involved


Project Type:

On-site Process Improvement

Technologies Types:


NYSERDA Contact Information

Robert Carver


R&D - Buildings Research

Contract Details

Start Date: 6/6/2008 1
Project Status: Active
Contract Number: ST10623

Last Updated: 3/6/2012 1