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Timber Age Systems based in Durango awarded state loan to build a factory

Company granted funding based on environmentally friendly approach to housing
Timber Age Systems panelized homes cost around $70 to $80 per square foot. (Courtesy of Timber Age Systems)

Timber Age Systems has been granted a $3.8 million loan from the state of Colorado to build a factory for “panelized” homes in Mancos.

The company manufactures exterior home panels using wood from wildfire-prone forests and is trying to add more sustainable homebuilding solutions to the area.

The funding awarded is through the Innovative Housing Incentive Program and the Proposition 123 Affordable Housing Financing Fund as part of the Colorado Office of Economic Development & International Trade.

Both programs offer low-cost financing options for innovative housing manufacturing, including panelized homes, tiny homes, kit homes and off-site 3D-printed homes. Timber Age is one of eight recipients across the state to receive funding.

“What we are focused on is not necessarily building the lowest-cost house possible,” said Timber Age CEO Kyle Hanson. “There are other people that are focused on that. The reason why we're not doing that is it feels like it's off-mission.”

Access to a factory would help elevate the company’s building capabilities and its ability to add to the area’s housing inventory.

The company expects to produce 122 units per year, and was previously awarded an IHIP grant of up to $680,000 in 2023.

“Colorado needs more housing now, and these manufacturers will help us build over 4,700 more units per year so more people can live closer to the jobs and the communities they love,” said Gov. Jared Polis, in a news release. “This is an important part of our work to increase Colorado’s housing supply and make sure our state has nice housing for every budget.”

Timber Age’s housing panels are built from timber that is milled and manufactured into cross-laminated timber panels, and the homes are built to passive house specifications using all-natural materials.

Passive houses are homes built for energy efficiency and tend to require little energy for heating and cooling purposes.

According to a 2019 study completed by the Journal of Building Engineering, cross-laminated timber can reduce energy costs by 18%.

“We're really focused on this idea of trying to make sure that our overall embodied carbon footprint is as low as possible. And so that means we need to have high efficiency housing and we want the houses to last, to be really durable,” Hanson said.

From the company’s perspective, if it is not building homes that are durable, then it is a waste of customers’ money.

Because Timber Age exclusively focuses on home paneling and external elements, the customer normally pays $70 to $80 per square foot. That does not include interior elements such as plumbing and electricity.

With the addition of the new factory, Hanson hopes the team can build one of its modular building envelopes in four days compared to taking close to a month.

Hanson did not specify where the factory will be located, saying the company is looking at different options and nothing has been finalized.

“Essentially, our goal is that we're going to be moving into a facility that lets us start production up as quickly as possible,” Hanson said.

Hanson said he would like to deploy the state funding as soon as possible.

“We're going to utilize an existing structure to consolidate and expand our operations,” he said.

The company resides at 278 Sawyer Dr. Unit 5 near Ska Brewing Co. for now.


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