Courtesy SH Residential Holdings

Earlier this month, SH Residential Holdings, the U.S.-based residential home operation of Sekisui House, appointed Toru Tsuji as CEO, succeeding Rick Robideau, who will be transitioning into the role of chief financial officer.

Tsuji steps into the position having most recently served as head of the business strategy office of the International Business Department (IBD) since 2019, as well as the position of deputy head of the IBD, where he also served as CEO of both Australia and U.K. business.

As the company's new CEO, Tsuji will oversee the Sekisui House U.S. portfolio, which has seen significant growth in the last six years and now includes Woodside Homes, Holt Homes, Chesmar Homes, and Hubble Homes. As the brand continues to grow and evolve, he will also help integrate Sekisui House technology, philosophy, and innovation to each of the brands.

BUILDER had the chance to speak with Tsuji about his new role, his goals for the company and its brands moving forward, and more on Sekisui’s signature construction process SHAWOOD coming to the United States very soon.

What do you see as the next chapter for SH Residential Holdings?

Sekisui House is focused in further investing in the United States and filling out the geographies in which we’re not currently represented. The United States provides opportunities to grow and expand our Sekisui House technologies and bring innovation and new product to the U.S. customer.

In the role of CEO, where would you like to take the company moving forward?

The potential to bring our purpose statement to life, ‘Make Home the Happiest Place in the World,’ is very exciting for our team. We are able to apply learnings from SHAWOOD and our research and development facility in Japan along with the insights and data-driven team here in the U.S. to further improve the design, product, and customer experience for all of our subsidiary brands.

What separates SH Residential Holdings from other major U.S. home builders?

Most builders design homes that work for them that also work for buyers, we build homes that work for buyers that also work for us. Our insights team in Japan and here in the U.S. are hyperfocused on learning what makes homes happy and healthy and incorporate those learnings into every design decision we make.

What are the biggest lessons you have learned about the U.S. market compared with other countries?

We have learned the strength and the depth of the U.S. market during the past few years. The market is resilient and comes back strongly compared to other markets where we invest. Also, having strong subsidiary brands created collaborative platforms between Japan and the U.S. We learned that more communication means better synergy.

Courtesy SH Residential Holdings

Can you share any details on the most recent acquisition of Hubble Homes?

This has been part of our Woodside strategy to continue to grow into opportunistic markets. We have found great alignment with the culture and organization in Idaho and has integrated quickly with our Woodside team. They remain excited about the opportunity to continue to learn and grow from Sekisui House as we continue to roll out our technologies and systems.

What will happen to each of the brands in the future?

We have no plans in the immediate future to consolidate subsidiaries into a single brand. We do, however, plan to share best practices from Sekisui House and each subsidiary to operate more efficiently and grow profits. As we continue to grow and evolve, we are looking to build a center of excellence for key functions that can serve all of the brands in the portfolio.

Does the company have any other U.S. expansion goals?

SH Residential Holdings is very interested in continued expansion in the United States. The Southeast is of particular interest as a geography we would like to be doing business in, although it isn’t the only region we are exploring.

What is SHAWOOD and when will it roll out in the United States?

We have been working on establishing the SHAWOOD brand in the United States. Our first full SHAWOOD community launches in November at Sommers Bend in Temecula, California, with 57 homesites and seven plans.

We have fully immersed the construction staff and trade partners in an education program on how to build SHAWOOD. It is a new framing system in the U.S. that is engineered for strength and precision to protect against natural disasters. It has a strong relationship to protecting you, your family, and the planet.

Every home will be equipped to be net-zero as our standard and included in the base price of the home. This gives future homeowners the ability to run off the grid in case of power outage for up to six hours. The homes also use a proprietary ceramic tile called Bellburn, that is heat-resistant, fire-resistant, and colorfast.

We’ve also been expanding the understanding of how design affects the people that live in our homes. Our homes are designed to provide well-being, peace of mind, and lower stress levels through mindful connection to the outdoors and research-based design elements such as storage, interior connectivity, and privacy.