Island Exterior Fabricator's plant in Calverton NY consist of eight gigantic clear span structures formerly occupied by the United States Navy and Grumman Aircraft Engineering departments. Today, instead of turning out machines of war: engines, wings, and fuselages, the plant is busy assembling the buildings and cities of the 21st century.
A frenzy of activity greets visitors as they walk onto the cavernous fabrication floor: cranes lumbering overhead, buzz saws ripping through metal, the spark and smoke of welding permeating the air, the constant banging and clamoring about of industrial production. However, within a few moments you realize there is a very methodical assembly line at work here. Carefully planned and executed under controlled, optimized conditions, pieces of buildings slowly make their way across the floor transformed from piles of raw materials to finished product ready for installation. Mistakes and waste are minimized and labor time is maximized making this method of building a rapidly growing approach in the construction world.
There are trade-offs: this project trajectory requires a large amount of up front coordination work, and the system is difficult to adjust once in the field. However, just as automation and manufacturing shaped the way consumers buy and use products, so too are they beginning to dramatically alter the way we shape the cities of tomorrow.