Computer, assembly line redo Japan home building

Japanese home builders have revolutionized the home construction industry with computer control of materials and assembly line production, housing industry and Japanese experts said Monday.

Doyle Stuckey, president of the Texas Association of Builders, said during the National Association of Home Builders Convention that, although Japan has half as many households as the United States, its builders produce nearly the same number of homes per year as US builders in a country a bit larger than California.

Sekisui Heim, one of Japan's top builders, produces 85 percent of its one-, two-, and three-story homes in the factory, where welding, nailing, cutting, and gluing are done on a 440-foot assembly line, on which a typical house is built in 40 minutes. The entire house is assembled on site in four hours with small crews and portable cranes.

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