The Spirit of Innovation
When you set out to make the home of the future, the spirit of innovation is central to everything you do. The momentum to seek, discover and improve must be constant.
“When we launched H+ME Technology in Ontario a decade ago, we didn’t say, ‘Once we develop the ideal house, that’s how we are going to build it from then on,’” says Tad Putyra, the president of the company. “The idea was to never stop innovating.”
Today we’re a leader in panelization – an innovative factory-built technique of home construction.
Putyra has long believed that home construction should reflect the best aspects of the automotive industry, where the cycle for innovation is relatively short. He asked, why not build homes in a controlled environment of the factory? After all, you don’t build a car on the highway, so why build a home entirely where it will function?
We have engineers on staff who apply their automotive backgrounds to our approach of continuous innovation. “They ask, ‘is there a better material? Is there a better way of connecting pieces of material?’” says Putyra. “They’re hard-wired to always think about tomorrow.”
How does innovation actually take shape? Of course, our overall process of building wall and floor panels in our state-of-the-art 200,00 sq.-ft. facility is constantly under the microscope. But the focus goes deeper: we’re constantly working with partner companies to adopt superior products into our process.
How? We’ll identify a company that, in our opinion, is leading in their particular field, and we test their product – whether it’s insulation for the home’s cavity, or membranes around the window opening that can prevent water infiltration. We’ll send it through our approval process, and implement the product in the near future.
For Robert Kok, our research and development director, it means reveling in continual, practical experimentation. “We build mock-ups in our plant, get architects and people to come in to do a peer reviews and we get different trades in to do different finishes, different window systems, for instance,” says Kok. “It’s about creating a better building. We have that ability to do it, whereas most home builders out in the field don’t have that opportunity.”
At the end of the day, the spirit of innovation at H+ME Technology is all about making the living experience healthier, better and more worthwhile. It’s a job without end.
“It’s exciting because it’s kind of like a grassroots type of thing,” says Kok. “There are no boundaries on where we’re going. It’s about finding the best way, the smartest way.”