Adobe Stock

A startup company, based in central North Dakota, has developed a pre-built home frame using steel rather than wood. Called Nordic Steel Systems, the company builds its framing panels to match the building plan. Then, the panels are numbered and shipped to the job site for assembly. Reporter Jessica Holdman for the Grand Forks Herald says the panels can reduce a builder’s cost by 30%, as well as decrease construction time.

Steel frame construction has often been reserved for commercial construction because it’s more expensive than wood, but Dominguez and his partner, Jared Stober, say they’ve found a way to make it affordable for the average homebuyer.

Stober said the framers are among the highest-paid workers on a job site because it's a highly skilled position. But with Nordic Steel, he said, they estimate a crew of four could assemble the prebuilt panels in hours rather than days.

Because the learning curve to make Nordic Steel panels is low, the partners aim to employ more at-risk people in the community, giving them a chance at work. Stober said they hope to start with two to six employees. If the business takes off, they may employ as many as 100 people.

Read More