“The result? Successful projects like last year’s construction of 78 emergency housing units for the city of San Jose, which was completed in just 90 days.”

Amit Haller is tackling a job many people consider impossible. Haller, the CEO and co-founder of Veev, hopes to change how Americans build housing.

Veev’s plan is to use new materials; including steel and High-Performance Surfaces and construction methods, to make home building faster and cheaper. Other plans at Veev include embedding technology in walls and deploying the Home Operating System, a platform that will operate the home.

So far Veev’s results have been impressive. A recent project shows that Veev can build housing faster and at a lower price than traditional builders, Haller says.

“Veev recognized that homes could be built faster while still maintaining the highest level of quality by centralizing all aspects of the homebuilding process and has followed this approach accordingly,” Haller says. “The result? Successful projects like last year’s construction of 78 emergency housing units for the city of San Jose, which was completed in just 90 days.”

“By controlling each step of the homebuilding process, we’re able to build homes at four times  the speed and more cost effectively than traditional homebuilding,” Haller says. “Our design and engineering teams have developed an algorithm and proprietary design software that automates up to 70% of building design across Mechanical, Engineering, and Plumbing (MEP) functions. By eliminating standard, repetitive tasks in the home design process, our teams can optimize their time and focus more attention on the design tasks that matter.”

Veev CEO explains Housing Plans

To see how Veev’s team hopes alleviate to America’s housing shortage, we interviewed Haller. Here are his responses to our questions.

Question: “Why the name Veev? What does it mean and why did you choose it?”

Haller: “It is a play on viva or vive, both referring to life and living. Veev represents our vision of exceptional living for all. “

Haller thinks Veev means: “Exceptional: superior, deviating from the norm

Living: affecting all aspects of human life for All: considering people, pets & planet.”

Why Steel?

Question: “Why steel? How is it better than wood? How is your steel construction revolutionary? People have been constructing steel building frames for 130 years or longer.”

Haller: “At Veev, we believe that steel is superior to wood for three primary reasons: quality, sustainability, and waste. In terms of quality, steel is a much more precise, dimensional stable, non sensitive to water damage, pests, mold & fire.”

“The quality of steel is very well controlled and consistent. Lumber is also far more sensitive to environmental factors (for example, it’s much harder to maintain production during periods of snowfall) – that’s in addition to it being a generally unsustainable building material given the carbon footprint associated with its transportation around the country.”

“In contrast, we’re able to use forty times less in volume when constructing our frames out of steel, which also helps to alleviate emission-intensive supply chains. We’ve also calculated that for every square foot built with lumber during new home construction, 4.5 lbs of waste is created.”

“By using steel, we’re able to significantly cut down on waste (our ultimate goal is zero waste) because we can efficiently cut it to our desired lengths from long steel rolls and repurpose or recycle whatever remains. Overall, steel is a durable, dynamic material that’s more suited for building modern homes.”

A Low Carbon Footprint from Steel?

Question: “How do you get a lower carbon footprint from steel? Steel is made from iron which has to be mined. The steel making process generates enormous amounts of greenhouse gases by burning coal or gas.”

Haller: “We need to look at sustainability on a full life cycle basis. It is true that steel production generates greenhouse gases, yet, transporting the steel in rolls consumes forty times less volume that translates to forty times less trucks. Furthermore, steel plays a major role in the circular economy.”

“Steel is infinitely recyclable without losing strength or durability. Various steel mills throughout the US actually only use scrap steel to produce new steel due to its unlimited life cycle – unlike materials like plastic or wood that significantly degenerate in quality in each lifecycle.”

Electric steel production is also an added layer of sustainability that utilizes wind, nuclear, and solar to conserve greenhouse gas footprint and reduce waste. Throughout the production process, carbon capture methods can also be utilized to recapture emissions and reintegrate them into the process in the form of coke, which can be used as a chemical reductant, furnace burden supply, and reused as fuel.”

Question: “How do you build homes four times faster than ordinary builders?”

Haller: “Our main difference is our ability to build a fully closed wall in our fabs. The closed wall is structurally sound, fully insulated, and cladded and includes all MEP components built-in.”

“Such a system allows us to plug-and-play the walls on the sites with minimal intervention of finishing crews. This provides major time saving as the MEP and finishes are the aspects that take the longest.”

“Furthermore, our vertically-integrated approach allows us to control the entire homebuilding process and supply chain end-to-end, from the design, materials, and manufacturing. This approach addresses key inefficiencies that have historically plagued the homebuilding industry – namely, uncoordinated and highly specialized vendors with competing incentives that drive up costs while needlessly slowing down the time it takes to complete projects.”

“For example, a typical BOM (bill of materials) for a project contains around 10,000 items on it. Veev’s only has about 500, drastically improving the time and cost of project completion.”

Question: “What is the High-Performance Surface (HPS) and how is it better than other materials?”

Haller: “In much of traditional construction, drywall is used because of its ease of installment and customization capabilities. However, it tends to be a poor building material because it’s fragile and needs to be layered. It also can’t be exposed to moisture as it risks becoming soft, weak, and susceptible to mold.”

“However, Veev uses High Performance Surface (HPS) material to bolster each of its homes with walls that are designed for exceptional performance and streamlined construction. This “super” material is more alluring, durable, and healthy than any traditional finish on the market and provides superior strength and quality to surfaces.”

“The material is a jack-of-all-trades within the home: it’s pleasing to the eye, certified hygienic and non-porous, which makes it mold, bacteria, and odor resistant, ultra-smooth to the touch, and possesses incredible strength. Its uses are similarly abundant. From hanging and installing items with ease to custom painting and wallpaper options, HPS provides the foundation upon which each home can be made unique.”

“HPS also offers weather and UV protection, does not fade or degrade over time, resists stains, and does not absorb odors, making it equally-versatile for combating common sources of depreciation in and around the home. It’s also a win-win solution for Veev and its customers in the form of efficiency and cost savings.”

“Veev’s in-house supply chain and optimized panelized wall system utilizes HPS to significantly bring down the cost of installation when building homes; these savings are in turn passed onto the consumer in the form of lower upfront costs and long-term savings derived from the strength and quality of HPS.”

Question: “Is the sensor ecosystem vulnerable to hacking and surveillance? People will say it lets Big Brother into your home.”

Haller: “Our sensor ecosystem and entire smart home solution is built from the ground up with security best practices in mind, including multi-factor-authentication, encrypted communication on all interfaces, monitoring, and auditing.”

“We use security audit & consulting companies to periodically certify our security measures and uncover any weakness that may arise. Also, any user that is hesitant on privacy or security can opt out of remote access and isolate their home from the outside world completely.”

Living as a Service

Question: “Will Americans accept living as a service? Or become a nation of renters? After all, home ownership is part of our national culture.”

Haller: “The decision to purchase or rent a home varies widely across the country, with a number of factors playing a role in that choice for each individual or family. At Veev, we’re focused on improving the quality of living for all – renters and homeowners alike.”

“We currently build single-family and multi-family homes, town-homes, and ADUs at scale as part of our effort to help develop and support communities. Our goal is to leverage the benefits of our innovative home building process to help alleviate the widespread shortage to create housing that’s built with quality and is more accessible.”

Will Veev build outside California?

Question: “Do you have any plans for projects outside California? Do you have any plans for projects outside the United States?”

Haller: “We’re currently focused on serving our surrounding area. With a state-wide housing shortage of three million units in California alone, we have much work to do locally.”

Veev and REITS

Question: “Do you plan to work with any of the large established home builders or REITS (real estate investment trusts)?”

Haller: “Yes. Veev has a design-build service where we can take any development plan and convert it to the Veev System. Infact, Veev is probably the only company that can convert any approved design by others into a modular system.”

Lennar Corporation and Veev

Question: “What is your relationship with the Lennar Corporation (NSYE: LEN)?

Haller: “We’re partnered with LenX, the VC (venture capital) arm driving Lennar Corporation’s technology and innovation strategies.”

“We’re humbled to receive their continued support as they too believe that the housing sector is in critical need of innovation across the board in order to scale. With our digital design and fabrication process, we’re able to accelerate construction timelines and meet those market needs.”

Veev Raises $100 Million

Question: “What do you plan to do with the $100 million you raised through TASE UP?”

Haller: “At Veev, it’s our vision to bring an exceptional living experience to all. Our latest round of funding gives our team the capital needed to continue our expansion, bringing our innovative home building approach to communities impacted by the national housing shortage.”

Question: “Why did you raise money through TASE UP?”

Haller: “TASE UP is the only platform of its kind, which made it a natural fit for Veev. TASE (the Tel-Aviv Stock Exchange) is home to some of the world’s most innovative companies and investors, and now, they’ve built an innovative platform that enables even broader investor participation.”

“TASE UP gives us the flexibility to raise private capital rapidly and efficiently to accommodate our growth. We’re opening the door for like-minded investors in Israel to join us in realizing our vision.”

Can Veev build in San Francisco?

Question: “How do you get projects built in the San Francisco Bay Area? Popular wisdom says that is impossible.”

Haller: “The City of San Francisco recognizes and feels the pressure of the ongoing housing crisis. Veev continues to work with them and neighborhood communities on our projects. Due to the extent of the current crisis, we continue to partner with each to help alleviate the shortage––building homes that are built efficiently, cost effectively, and to last.”

“The challenges tend to be political and with existing homeowners who don’t want more projects in their area. However, we’re actively in communication with municipal and state officials who want to work with us to streamline the approval process for new projects and modernize the rules and regulations for building to adapt to the challenges we face in 2021 and beyond.”

“Despite some ingrained political opposition to new housing developments, lawmakers and officials know that it’s crucial to provide homebuilders with the right tools and permits to make it possible to solve the ongoing crisis, and to make California a model for the rest of the country for how it can be done.”

“That said, Veev’s portfolio includes completed and in-development homes throughout the Bay Area––including San Jose, Menlo Park, San Francisco, Sacramento, Los Altos, Woodside, San Carlos, Newark, and Palo Alto.”

Meet Veev CEO Amit Haller

Question: “What is your background? Why did you get into housing?”

Haller: “As a 30-year entrepreneur, I’ve long been in the business of figuring out new ways to reinvent how we live. Before I got into real estate, I built my career in tech, first founding Butterfly Communications and then later co-founding and scaling IXI Mobile.”

“Meanwhile, I was mildly interested in the real estate industry as a hobby. And while the tech space continued to innovate by leaps and bounds, I noticed there had been so little systemic progress in the real estate industry. So, that’s when I decided to use my tech background to bring a fresh approach to the industry – one focused on the user experience.”

“It really started with just my good friend Ami Avrahami and me investing in multi-family homes in East Palo Alto, Sacramento, and Fresno. A year later, Dafna Akiva joined us, bringing additional real estate knowledge and expertise to the team.”

“Together, we set out to solve two key industry obstacles. The first, the bottleneck created by collaboration (or lack thereof) among various subcontractors. Because the construction process is so fragmented, it’s plagued with delays and inconsistency, and a lack of quality control.”

“It needed to be streamlined and rebuilt from the top down to improve quality, cost, and efficiency. We also noticed an utter lack of technological innovation – large and small. We started looking for new solutions for different areas, materials, design, framing, and infrastructure to surface finishes and home automation. And so from there Veev was born with a mission to reinvent the homebuilding process completely.”

Can America Solve its Housing Crisis?

Question: “Do you think America can solve the housing crisis?”

Haller: “As previously mentioned, there’s currently a housing shortage of around seven million units nationwide with three million needed in California alone. At Veev, our goal is to build better homes, faster, so we can work to alleviate the crisis and support our communities.”

“At the same time, we refuse to sacrifice on quality. We build homes quickly, but still believe everyone should have the chance to live in an exceptional home. That means that we’re not just setting out to address the national housing shortage, we’re also set on improving the standard of living.”

“But to answer your question, yes. If any nation can solve the housing crisis, it is America. Part of the solution should include long-overdue innovations to homebuilding.”

“That means improving the materials used, optimizing the manufacturing process, and doing each cost-effectively and sustainably. With our approach, we’re capable of building homes up to four times the speed at a fraction of the cost, and all of our waste material is either reusable or recyclable.”

Can Veev Change Home Construction?

Question: “Why do you think Veev can change home construction? People have been making the same complaints about that business for a century. Why do you think Veev can change it?”

 

Haller: “Simply put: we are fundamentally rethinking homebuilding. In the same way that a car, smartphone, or computer is built for the consumer, it’s our mission to “productize” the home.”

 

“Others were trying to fix construction, offsite construction, or bring the construction site into the factory.  At Veev, we’ve eliminated traditional construction and replaced it with assembly. We don’t try to imitate construction in our factory, but instead productize the subsystems, the elements and the building blocks, bringing them all together into a complete structure – a home as a product.”

 

“The finished product is a home that is entirely Veev. Our homes are built with materials of the highest quality and craftsmanship, and outfitting with the latest smart technology. It’s all part of our effort to bring exceptional living to all.”

 

Veev’s results are impressive. For example, Fast Company listed Veev number two in its list of Most Innovative Companies of 2021. Fast Company’s editors praise Veev “for cutting the cost and timeline of construction.”

 

To learn more about Veev, visit https://veev.com/.

Contact

LaunchSquad for Veev
veev@launchsquad.com
415-625-8555 

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“Simply put: we are fundamentally rethinking homebuilding. In the same way that a car, smartphone, or computer is built for the consumer, it's our mission to "productize" the home.”
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