Industrial Reboot – Prefab Housing 101

Go Lean Commentary

Is housing just a commodity, available to the highest bidder, or a basic right that everyone is entitled to?

The answer to this question should be obvious: no matter the income level, there is the need for housing – basic needs are cataloged as food, clothing and shelter – so there must be housing solutions for all in society, the rich, middle class and the poor.

Here’s the disclosure: All housing types can benefit from pre-fabricated housing methods – see Photos below.

Prefabricated buildings consist of several factory-built components or units that are assembled on-site to complete the unit. The economic beauty of this method is the requirement for labor in the fabrication site and the assembly site. Fostering that labor means jobs and allows for an Industrial Reboot based on familiar techniques. Already, a popular prefabrication technique is utilized widely in the construction industry with Roof Trusses.

The book Go Lean … Caribbean – available to download for free – focuses on fostering Industrial Reboots for the Caribbean region. The book serves as a roadmap for the introduction and implementation of the technocratic Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU). It identifies the strategic and tactical genius of Roof Trusses (Page 207):

The Bottom Line on Roof Trusses
In architecture a truss is a structure comprising one or more triangular units constructed with straight members whose ends are connected at joints referred to as nodes. Simple trusses are composed entirely of triangles because of the stability of this shape and the methods of analysis used to calculate the forces within them. The planar truss, pitched truss, or common truss is used primarily for roofs.Prefabrication is the practice of assembling components of a structure in a factory or other manufacturing site, and transporting complete assemblies or sub-assemblies to the construction site. Roof trusses are most commonly prefabricated. A prefabricated roof truss system is an engineered shop fabricated wood frame system that is installed on the building at the job site. It is installed on the typical timber or concrete belt beam and typically spans from one load bearing wall to another load bearing wall. Prefabricated roofs are used on almost any type of roof and are preferred when resistance to high wind speed is required because it can be quickly engineered, or when rapid site installation is required.This is the winning formula for acceptance of prefab homes. Despite objections to prefabrication strategies/concepts, no one objects to prefabricated roof trusses; the market acceptance for homes should “build-up” from this “juncture”.

The Go Lean book opened with a focus on basic needs. At the very beginning – Page 3 – the role for the CU was defined:

The CU should better provide for the region’s basic needs (food, clothing, energy and shelter), and then be in position to help supply the rest of the world. Previous Caribbean societies lived off the land and the sea; but today, the region depends extensively on imports …

For industries that depend on providing basic needs, there is an opportunity to reboot the industrial landscape and business model. There is the opportunity to launch a Prefab Housing industry.

Jobs are at stake.

According to the book Go Lean … Caribbean (Page 257) , there could be this many jobs:

Direct jobs in the design, fabrication and logistics for new pre-fab homes: 8,000

The Go Lean book prepares the business model of Prefab Housing for consumption in the Caribbean. Yes, business model refers to jobs, entrepreneurial opportunities, trade transactions, etc. In addition to these industry jobs; there is also the reality of indirect jobs – unrelated service and attendant functions – at a 3.75 multiplier rate would add another 30,000 jobs.

This constitutes an Industrial Reboot.

There is the need to supplement the housing deliveries in the Caribbean region; so factory-built homes should have a place. But, we are not talking manufactured homes, as in mobile homes or trailers. No, we are talking previously-made and fabulous, or pre-fab. Thus these homes can supply the demand for rich and middle class residents. See the samples from Appendix K; of the Go Lean book on Page 289. In addition, there are vast options for prefab homes from recycled shipping containers. These are ideal for affordable housing solutions, or even replacements for  “Shanty Towns”; see Appendix Commentary.

Providing quality housing for “pennies on the dollar” is an ideal objective for the Go Lean movement, or those pursuing the Greater Good. This Industrial Reboot pursues the Greater Good mandate; it is wise to try to please residents, advocates, entrepreneurs, bankers and governmental officials. This is in addition to the roadmap’s prime directive, defined as follows:

  • Optimization of the economic engines in order to grow the regional economy to $800 Billion & create 2.2 million new jobs.
  • Establishment of a security apparatus to ensure public safety and protect the resultant economic engines.
  • Improvement of Caribbean governance to support these engines, including a separation-of-powers between the member-states and CU federal agencies.

This Industrial Reboot is badly needed in the Caribbean region as our current economic landscape – based on Tourism – is in shambles!

Tourism is under assault in every Caribbean member-state due to the fact that many visitors shift from stay-overs to cruise arrivals. This means less economic impact to the local markets. So as a region, we must reboot our industrial landscape so as to create more jobs … from alternate sources. What options do we have?

This commentary has previously identified a number of different industries that can be rebooted under this Go Lean roadmap. See this list of previous submissions under the title Industrial Reboots:

  1. Industrial RebootsFerries 101 – Published June 27, 2017
  2. Industrial RebootsPrisons 101 – Published October 4, 2017
  3. Industrial RebootsPipeline 101 – Published October 6, 2017
  4. Industrial RebootsFrozen Foods 101 – Published October 6, 2017
  5. Industrial RebootsCall Centers 101 – Published July 2, 2018
  6. Industrial Reboots – Prefab Housing 101 – Published Today – July 14, 2018

The Go Lean book stresses that reforming and transforming the Caribbean economic engines must be a regional pursuit. This was an early motivation for the roadmap, as pronounced in the opening Declaration of Interdependence (Pages 12 – 13):

xxiv.  Whereas a free market economy can be induced and spurred for continuous progress, the Federation must install the controls to better manage aspects of the economy: jobs, inflation, savings rate, investments and other economic principles. Thereby attracting direct foreign investment because of the stability and vibrancy of our economy.

xxvi.  Whereas the Caribbean region must have new jobs to empower the engines of the economy and create the income sources for prosperity, and encourage the next generation to forge their dreams right at home, the Federation must therefore foster the development of new industries, like that of ship-building, automobile manufacturing, prefabricated housing, frozen foods, pipelines, call centers … – impacting the region with more jobs.

Accordingly, the CU will facilitate the eco-system for Self-Governing Entities (SGE), an ideal concept for Prefab Housing with its exclusive federal regulation/promotion activities. Imagine bordered campuses – with backup power generations, extra wide roads, railroad lines and shipping docks. The Go Lean movement (book and blogs) details the principles of SGE’s and job multipliers, how certain industries are better than others for generating multiple indirect jobs down the line (or off-campus) for each direct job on the SGE’s payroll.

This is the vision of an industrial reboot! This transformation is where and how the jobs are to be created.

The Go Lean book provides 370-pages of turn-by-turn instructions on “how” to adopt new community ethos, plus the strategies, tactics, implementations and advocacies to execute so as to reboot, reform and transform the societal engines of Caribbean society. One advocacy in rebooting the industrial landscape is to foster a Prefab Housing industry; consider the  specific plans, excerpts and headlines from the book on Page 207 entitled:

10 Ways to Develop a Prefab Housing Industry

1 Lean-in for the Caribbean Single Market
This treaty allows for the unification of the region into one market, thereby expanding to an economy of 30 countries, 42 million people and GDP of over $800 Billion (circa 2010). One mission of the CU is to enable the region to facilitate its own shelter (plus food & clothing). A successful campaign to repatriate the Diaspora, and attract Retirement/Medical Tourists creates a new demand level for housing. The supply of housing will be met with different solutions, including Prefabricated options. In terms of demand, Pre-Fab homes are becoming popular in the EU and North America as they are cheaper compared to many existing homes on the market. The 2007-2009 Global Financial crisis, however, deflated the cost of regular houses in North America and Europe, so the “cheaper” benefits was not so valued during/after this crisis period. But the CU is a different market than the North America or Europe, resembling the Third World more so than the developed world, so a lot of the current housing is sub-standard and need to be replaced anyway.
2 Fashionable Design
3 Energy Optimizations

To minimize the cost of energy, the CU will encourage design inclusions of solar panels, solar-water-heater, Energy-Star appliance in the Pre-fab-ulous homes. The CU region is also ideal for home “wind” turbines. The design of well air circulated ceilings, so that ceiling fans and the trade-winds alone, can satisfy artificial cooling needs (most of the times).

4 Raw Materials
5 Assembly Plants
6 Supply Chain Solutions (Contractors)
7 Transport/Logistics
8 Showrooms and Marketing
9 Mortgages – Retail and Secondary Markets

Traditionally, manufactured homes do not qualify for mortgages; they are treated as auto loans, not home mortgages. The CU will provide a secondary industry as an inducement for the retail mortgage firms to supply the direct demand.

10 Homeowners Casualty Insurance

Pre-Fab-ulous houses will be built with the structural integrity to withstand typical tropical storms/hurricanes. The CU will facilitate the Property Casualty insurance industry by offering Reinsurance sidecar options on the capital markets.

The subject of housing needs and deliveries is not new for this Go Lean roadmap; there have been a number of previous blog-commentaries by the Go Lean movement that referenced economic opportunities embedded in the housing industry. See a sample list here: Leading with Money Matters – As Goes Housing, Goes the Market Robots Building Houses – More than Fiction Righting a Wrong: The 2008 Housing Crisis Science of Sustenance – CLT Housing Pre-Fab Housing and Elder-Care Conjunction The Crisis in Black Homeownership

Prefab housing is a subset of the general housing industry; but there is a different kind of art and science for this economic endeavor! See the best practice and prospects for prefab manufacturing described in the Appendix VIDEO below.

The Caribbean has a lot of dysfunction when it comes to housing; this is indicative of our near-Failed-State status. We need all the help we can get! We have a constant risk of natural disasters (think: hurricanes and earthquakes) that consistently impact the homes in the region. There is always a need to build and rebuild. This creates the demand for Prefab Housing.

Even successful communities need creative housing solutions. Consider the sad experience of the working class in Silicon Valley, in Northern California (San Francisco Bay Area). People there cannot afford local homes on minimum wage jobs, even two or three jobs. So imagine some of the Prefab homes, discussed here-in, being offered in the Silicon Valley area. While this seems viable, the scope of the Go Lean movement is limited to the Caribbean, not San Francisco. This is just a lesson-learned for us. See more on the Silicon Valley problem in this Youtube VIDEO here:

The demand is there. We now need to be a part of the supply solution.

In summary, our Caribbean region need a better job-creation ability than is reflected in the regional status quo. If we are successful in creating more jobs, then boom, just like that, our homeland is a better place to live, work and play. With this success, we should be able to retain more of our Caribbean citizens, as one of the reasons why so many Caribbean citizens have emigrated away from the homeland is the job-creation dysfunction. Prefab Housing can also be a part of the housing solution for inviting the Diaspora to repatriate to the Caribbean homeland.

So rebooting the industrial landscape is necessary and wise; we can contribute to a reality where we can prosper where planted in the Caribbean homeland.

Yes, we can … do this: reboot our industrial landscape, and create new jobs – and provide better housing solutions, for our people, the rich, the poor and all classes in between.

We urge all Caribbean stakeholders to lean-in to this roadmap for economic empowerment. 🙂

Download the free e-Book of Go Lean … Caribbean – now!

Sign the petition to lean-in for this roadmap for the Caribbean Union Trade Federation.


APPENDIX Commentary – Bahamas Blogger Monte A. Pratt


The Government has issued a July 31st deadline for all Shantytown persons to vacate their illegally built homes. However, there seems to be no planned relocation program to assist these persons. They are pretty much on their own.

These Shantytowns are a disaster just waiting to happen… they have been very lucky so far that many persons have not been killed in any of these Shantytown fires. Not to mention the health hazard these places are to the many surrounding residences.

Considering all of the above ‘negative’ factors, as a solution to this unwanted ‘vexing problem’, Government should seriously consider allowing the development ‘Container Home Parks’ to relocate and properly re-house these persons.

Container Homes (pictured below) are built from discarded (old) shipping containers is fast becoming a housing solution around the world… even in America. Not only as a clear solution to this problem, they can be a ‘quick solution that is ‘cost-effective’. These houses will be highly fire rated and they can withstand hurricanes.

In fact, once they are properly cleared, the government can give the same Shantytown ‘landowners’ to properly plan, install proper utility infrastructure and erect such ‘low cost’ container homes on these same site locations. Renting the same.

In fact, once they are properly cleared, the government can give the same Shantytown ‘landowners’ (and others) permission to properly plan, install proper utility infrastructure and erect such ‘low cost’ container homes on these same site locations. Renting the same.

This offered solution is by far better than the current situation. This move by Government is the first attempt by any administration to deal with this ‘decades’ old plaguing Shantytown problem throughout the country. (Click on photo to enlarge).

Source: Posted July 7, 2018; retrieved July 13, 2018 from: )



It is interesting to see the many ‘negative responses’ from so many Bahamians to my Part-1 proposition for the building of Container Home Parks to replace Haitian Shantytowns. We, Bahamians are too ’emotional’ and that is why we are so easily ‘politically manipulated’. We are not analytic in our thoughts.

That being said, we should also look at the BIG PICTURE of the immigration dilemma that we are now confronted with. That is the ECONOMIC IMPACT of this ‘vexing’ immigration situation. The old saying: ‘When life gives a ‘lemon’ make lemonade. Can we turn this problem ‘lemon’ into ‘lemonade’?

The fact is, many of these (illegal or not) persons are essential to the development of our economy. Don’t be fooled, the fact is, our already fragile construction and agricultural industries will collapse without these KEY WORKERS … that’s because they are more reliable and are also willing to work hard.

Many of these persons are taking the jobs that Bahamians are NOT prepared to do – working in the ‘hot sun’ – especially in construction, agriculture and the landscaping business. Some are making more money than many Bahamians.

By taking on these jobs, they too are making money and many can afford to pay the rents charged. Many live in Shantytowns for economic reasons. That is to SAVE their money to send it home. Estimates are, Haitians send annually some $15 million dollars back home to Haiti from The Bahamas.

Haitian Shantytowns are a ‘fixture housing lifestyle’ that they are accustom to! Shantytowns will not change unless these persons, the residents are forced to change this LIFESTYLE… and/or they are educated about the dangers (fire and health hazard conditions – see pictures below) that they are now living in these clustered and poorly built ‘housing shacks’.

These folks ain’t going nowhere, the Government December 31st deadline has come and gone, and no one has left the country… Since government[s] seem not to have the inability to get them to leave the country, then we should regularize them and properly integrate them into civil society. As there are properly integrated into civic society – make them adhere to the ‘LAW’ of the land.

As most of these folks are already working, once regularized, they can now have ‘bank accounts’ and do business in a right and proper way. By letting them work legally, they can contribute by paying work permits, national insurance and other taxes – that which not now happens – just like everyone else, and the country’s economy will be positively impacted. It will grow to the benefit of the government and the country.

So based on my proposition concept, the creation of Container Home Parks is beyond JUST HOUSING these persons, it is far more. And that why it is more important to resolve this vexing problem in eliminating these Shantytowns and thereby improving these persons lifestyle, at the same time growing the economy via their too; also making their tax contributions.

The TRUTH is, any such ‘massive deportation’ loss will most certainly hurt the country’s economy. More importantly, these people are already a burden on our Medical and Education Systems. So why not regularize them and properly integrate them into the civil society and make them ‘Tax Payers’ too?

Footnote: In qualifying the above, I am not including those ‘illegal persons’ that just came in the last 5 years or so – they should be sent back home. But rather those persons that have been living in The Bahamas for decades, and persons that were born here and only know The Bahamas.

Source: Posted July 8, 2018; retrieved July 13, 2018 from:


Appendix VIDEO –  BBC News at 10 – 17.11.16 Prefab houses could solve housing crisis –

Kieran Simmonds

Published on Nov 17, 2016

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