Unity Blog

The View from Inside the Covid-Jolted Housing Industry

The housing industry has been dramatically affected—in both negative and positive ways—by the Covid maelstrom that has been upending every aspect of our lives. Back in February, before we really began to feel the effects of the virus here in […]

Choosing the Right Foundation

Installing wall panels for a Xyla on a slab foundation The choice of foundation type—slab-on-grade, full basement or walkout (“daylight”) basement—is critical to the design […]

Financing Your Unity Home

Although Unity is continually striving to make the design-build process simpler and easier for our clients, there are certain aspects of each project that are outside of our control. Project financing is one such aspect. It can be a complex and time-consuming process even for conventionally built homes. […]

How Will COVID Change Home Design?

With most Americans being impacted by stay-at-home orders in the past two months, our ideas about what homes should be and how they should serve us are evolving rapidly. In general, new homes will have to be more resilient, more flexible and more efficient to better accommodate crises like the one we’re living through. Fortunately, we build these qualities into every Unity Home. […]

Unity From A Distance

Responding to the coronavirus pandemic has been challenging for everyone, but fortunately at Unity we have strong leadership and a team that is dedicated, resourceful and creative. As COO Andrew Dey said recently of the Unity team, “If I’m going to be working through a pandemic, there’s no team I’d rather be working with!” […]

Build More Walls – that Store Carbon!

In combating climate change, reducing carbon emissions from building operations is critical, because they represent such a large percentage of global CO2 emissions. […]

The Affordable Housing Crisis Hits Home

Anyone who follows national housing trends knows that insufficient affordable housing and a lack of skilled labor are two of the industry’s biggest challenges. These issues are related because without enough workers to build new homes, housing starts have lagged behind historical norms and current needs. Given the limited options for getting homes built, builders and developers have understandably been focused on more profitable higher-end projects, as opposed to affordable housing. […]

Wood Stoves In High Performance Homes

Yes, it’s the holiday season, and you’d have to be a Grinch not to like the idea of cozying up to a fireplace or woodstove with a cup of hot chocolate while snow drifts outside. More than a few prospective Unity clients have this image in mind when they come to us. We try to let them down easy! Fireplaces simply don’t make sense in a high performance home, and woodstoves have their own particular set of considerations. […]

The Art and Science of Project Scheduling

For years, Unity’s clients have benefitted from accelerated construction schedules made possible by our off-site fabrication, which shaves months off of a typical construction schedule. […]

Unity’s Design Expertise

Through the experience of designing over 100 Unity homes, Unity has developed and refined the design system to optimize its flexibility and efficiency. […]

Local Builders on Unity Projects

When a project is too distant for Unity to general contract, we and our clients team up with a local builder who preps the site for Unity’s arrival, and finishes the high performance shell that Unity assembles on site. This scenario allows Unity and the local builder each to do what we do best. […]

Going Electric

No, we’re not referring to Bob Dylan’s iconic “electric” concert at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival, when he first performed live with an electric guitar. That performance was reportedly greeted with boos from folk music fans in the audience. When Unity (or other home builders, for that matter) “go electric,” we think the move is worthy of cheers. […]

New Homes for 250-Year-Old Schools

During the past several years, Unity has worked with two educational institutions to build faculty housing: The Governor’s Academy in Byfield, MA, and Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH. The schools chose to work with Unity for similar reasons, and both have been pleased with the process and the homes. […]

A Semi-Custom Design for a Unity Shell Package

How can Unity provide an efficient, streamlined design-build process for our clients, when every site is unique and every client has different needs? Some building […]

Indoor Air Quality: Breathing Easy in a Unity Home

A Whole-house Approach We rarely hear anyone these days arguing for drafty construction because “buildings have to breathe.” Building scientists have known for decades that […]

Looking to the Future at NESEA’s “Building Energy” Conference

Tedd Benson’s presentation at NESEA’s Building Energy Conference . “Yes, we are failing, but there is still time to turn everything around—we can still fix […]

Are Robots Eliminating Jobs?

In the recent Ask This Old House segment that featured Unity and Bensonwood’s new production facility, show host Ross Trethewey asked Tedd Benson whether the robotic equipment in the facility was taking jobs away from workers. The question is understandable, given that much of the manufacturing in our new facility is done by computer-controlled machines. […]

A Cost Comparison of Three Xylas

Unity recently estimated costs for three different projects that have two factors in common: they are based on the Xyla platform, and they are located […]