Seed Home 2 Production

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In the case of the Seed Home 2 - production aspects include a broad scope:

  1. Production of development event, the XE Hackathon.
  2. Production of training - Onboarding Materials, Build Training, Immersion for Entrepreneurs and OSE Fellows)
  3. Production of product proper - the Seed Home. This includes the Building Package submitted to building departments.
  4. Production of Coffee Table Book, and Seed Home Manual
  5. Production of machines: tractor, pile driver
  6. Production of production: fabrication of helical piers with fab shops, galvanizers, helix benders, and welders

Nice to have:

  1. Production of production machines: hot dip galvanizing machine
  2. Production of supporting product innovation: open source inverter, nickel iron battery

Production Workflow Overview: Fabrication Diagram

The Fabrication Diagram is a visual representation of things that can be done in parallel vs sequentially, and is useful for OSE's Swarm Builds.


Workflow Detail

Just like there is 'construction detail,' there is 'workflow detail' in Housing 2.0. That is - those critical elements of how worlflow happens to enable build-duration compression by factors of 10-100 over industry standards. Ie, by swarming on parallelable build processes - we can build in days as opposed to months.

As such, workflow detail emerges as a technical term for defining a novel economic paradigm of swarm building.

There are several critical elements of this:

  1. Modular wall panels
  2. Utility Channel electrical design
  3. Pre-painting of all materials up front
  4. Floor planking for the second floor - prepared up front
  5. Pre-trimming of doors, windows, and decorative band on top of the house.

The only difficult aspects that remain are ceiling on the second floor.

Build Workflow and Ergonomics

Seed Home 2 Workflow.

Seed Home Manual

  1. Produce the Manual in the framework of a Design Guide.
  2. Each page has 4 parties: designer, engineer, technical writer, editor, and graphics/layout person
  3. Editor may serve for a bunch of pages: section or chapter
  4. For example, Helical Pile Foundation Design Guide
  5. Design Guide enables downstream contributions by people who actually innovate by being equipped with rapid learning knowledge. This provides huge value to entrepreneurs and researchers.

Production Engineering

OSE's value proposition is to enable public production - meaning that e design our products to be built by the user as much as possible. This is responsible, because it encourages a deeper level of product understanding on the part of the user. This in turn leads to improved lifecycle stewardship, and the potential of lifetime design.

Public production engineering is defined as the production method that involves the user in production.

The public production engineering route also implies that the user will need some support. The level of support determines the level of value exchange between the user and OSE. The value exchange determines cost of support. Thus, understanding costs starts with understanding of the production engineering, so that the value exchange is fair.

One must delve into the details of the build method to determine:

  1. Build complexity - build complexity should be minimized
  2. Build difficulty - build difficulty should be minimized, which we do by modular design and human-centered design. We assume that people will be doing the build, and we want to limit the use of heavy equipment (unless such equipment is easily accessible at low cost). We thus design materials handling to be such that any part is under 100 lb of weight per person, and no more than 150 lb for 2 people, in general.
  3. Effort

Assessment of Weights

  • 2x12 lumber - 66 lb
  • P2 anchor - 30-80 lb (from 5-10', with 1-3 helices)
  • Total Panel Weight - 139 for regular and 211 for window:


It is reasonable for a person to make and stash panels. Installing them is harder, as it requires more control over positioning, rather than simply carrying. Installing panels on a second floor is even harder - it would require scaffolding to the second floor, or a forklift, or jigging so the panel can't fall such as stops on the outside wall.

Alternately - a crew can be hired for wall building.

Labor Cost


  • Assume it takes 2 hours to build one panel. For a square house - that is 32 panels. This would take 8 weekends, 4 panels per weekend. The job would be easy if the work were to be done in a well-organized workspace - number of work horses, everything staged out together for assembly-line-like procedure.
  • Wall labor crew would cost 32*$50= $1600 for prep.
  • Cost of 1 day for install - based on ergonomics of Seed Eco-Home - check video: in which 5 panels are installed on day 1 afternoon to day 2 morning session - and second story floor is finished by end of day2! It should be 15 minutes per panel - but it could really be 5 minutes if the panels are delivered by team 2. Take 15 minutes per panel - to do 32 panels in one day with 2 people. That is 3000 lb lifted per person - or equivalent of only 150 CEB blocks. We have documented 1200 blocks lifted per person in 2010, for 24,000 lb/day manual lifting (from conveyor to pallets)
  • Thus, we can do 2 strong people or carpenters - 1 day for 32 panels: $400 install cost.


  • Piles are included. Detail of what is after the pile is critical - to make labor easy.
  • For installing a square platform of 13 2x12s and one 4x6 down the middle ([1]) - 116 lb (
  • I would do 2 of the 2x6x16 instead for easier work, screwing them together, and $10 cheaper, except for added labor.
  • The piles would need nice self-support brackets for the foundation on top, so no lifting into place is required, but only dropping hte lumber into place so the work is as easy as moving a 2x12 into place.
  • With cordless impact for bolts, this is as easy as movign 15 pieces of 2x16 into place. Could be as easy as 45 minutes with 2 carpenters, based on ergonomics of 2 people to make 2x6 squares, 16' on the side - as done in 2011 at Factor e Farm. We double that for 2 hours for conservative estimate, and we get a crew of 2 doing 1000 sf in one day.
  • Day 2 - bug screen and insulation, and OSB floor.
  • Day 3 - final floor, such as vinyl, or wood floor if already prepared.
  • Cost out exact outsourced vs DIY option.
  • Thus, $1200 outsourced cost if wood planks are prepared ahead of time, or if not prepared ahead of time - vinyl or wood panels floor.


  • It takes approximately 10 minutes to generate a (rough) new house configuration using pre-designed modules.