A factory that builds houses

On Friday we visited a factory in southern Germany to see the place where the components for our house will be built. I plan to start writing more about our house building project here soon but for now I wanted to share some details and pictures from our visit.

The purpose of our trip to the Schwörer Headquarters was for us to undertake a process called “pre-sampling” where we would get the opportunity to see the many options that we have for the details of the house both exterior and interior. As part of this visit we were given a tour of the factory in Oberstetten where eventually the components of our house will be constructed.

We learned that the factory can build 800 houses a year and that each one is custom made and no two houses are the same and that in normal operation 4-5 houses leave the factory per week. The factory is also producing wood products in addition to houses, but we found out that the huge stock of wood in the photos was only enough to last the factory for 4 weeks.

Logs to planks

First we got to see the incredible amount of wood that they have to hold in stock, this was all held outside firstly as tree trunks that slowly became planks of wood and other wood products.

a lot of wood stacked up with a car driving along The front of the wood store at Schwörer HQ in Oberstetten, enough for only 4 weeks

even more piles of wood disappearing into the distance perhaps 600m away Even more of the wood, still part of the stock that only lasts for 4 weeks!

The biomass from the plant is all kept and there is a power station on the site that burns all of the biomass and creates enough energy for 60,000 houses, another impressive number! massive pile of wood chippings with people stood in front to give a sense of scale The waste biomass that is used to run a power station that generates enough energy for 60,000 houses.

Planks to walls

Next we went to see the factory floor where our house walls, roof and other components will be manufactured, this was a real surprise for me to see how much of the work is manually done.

many piles of various sizes of plank inside a building Incoming wood products ready to be made into a house.

a view of a factory with a 3 metre wide conveyor belt with the walls of a house lying on it Here you can see wall pieces lying on a conveyor belt to be manually built.

A man is kneeling on a wall piece with an electric screwdriver in his hand. The wall segment is itself on a conveyor belt. An Electrician working on a wall segment for an upper floor.

walls lying on a conveyor belt as men work on them Here you can see the thick insulation being added to a wall section.

many walls lying on many conveyor belts These wall segments are having the window frames fitted ready for the windows to be added.

many walls lying on many conveyor belts Wall segments are hung vertically for the windows to be fitted and other work to be done.

Putting walls into trucks!

After this we saw the loading area.

4 truck trailers positioned in sucken pits to make loading the walls easier 4 trailers are normally needed to transport a house to the building site, they are packed in this hall.

a view into a single truck trailer it is full of walls, and other pieces needed to assemble a house. A trailer being loaded with a house - it is the same as IKEA but on a different scale!

An exit tunnel from the factory with a big garage door at the end. This is the door that all houses leave through on the way to the relevant building site - our house will one day travel through this door on the way to Serrig.

I found the whole process really fascinating especially the level of detail that is done in the factory. It would be really great if we could visit the factory when they are building the walls for our house. We have a lot work to do until then!