Unity Blog

What Is Montage?

On Site Assembly Wall Panel

Unity has developed a three-part solution that solves several big problems with modern building. Most construction today is done on-site, where raw materials are delivered and workers then custom-cut each piece to build a home. This laborious process is not much different than it was one hundred years ago.  We’ve developed a whole different method of construction that we call “Montage Building,” (a term derived from the French word meaning “Assembly.”)


1. Build it Virtually

By using 3D modeling software, Unity’s team of designers is able to completely create a structure virtually, before the lumber is even ordered. This 3D model acts as a reference throughout both design and construction, allowing us finer control over budget, material allocation, and design.  As we begin construction, all pieces are checked against the 3D model for accuracy. Additionally, the software we use for modeling communicates directly with our CNC machines, reducing or eliminating human error. This technology is a crucial element of our Open-Built® system.

2. Create Components in a Controlled Environment

Much of the work on a Unity home happens in our shops, protected from the vagaries of the weather and site conditions. Work in our shop happens “in parallel,” meaning that your frame, walls, and roof are all being constructed simultaneously, by small teams of knowledgeable workers. As components are finished, they are bundled together in the most efficient order for on-site assembly. The bundles are then wrapped to protect them from weather and are stored until ready to ship. Our shop work flow allows us to scale up for large jobs, or to work simultaneously on several smaller jobs, meaning that your project will not be “bottlenecked” by our shop capacity.

3. Assemble on Site

All of the virtual design and shop assembly really pays off on site. The typical Unity home will go from a prepped foundation to a weather-tight “shell” in around a week. If you visit a Unity job site, you will be struck by two things: The relative silence of the site (the loudest things are usually the crane motor and the cordless impact drills that the crew use) and the lack of a large dumpster (most material Unity brings to the site is recyclable and is removed by our crew as part of the job). Since much of the “construction” work has been taken care of in our shops, we are able to send smaller crews on site. A typical Unity job site will have a crew of three to five plus a crane operator.

What we do is way beyond “pre-fab” or “modular.” In fact, it is so different that we felt it needed this new name:  Montage. It’s incredibly efficient, minimizes waste, and makes it possible to deliver high-performance homes in a fraction of the time of typical construction.