SOURCE: Champion Homes

August 25, 2006 12:40 ET

New Orleans Developer Uses Genesis Modular Construction to Quickly and Efficiently Supply High-Quality, Feature-Filled Homes in Katrina-Hit Areas

Planetta Custom Homes, LLC Views Modular Construction as Key to Moving Residents Back Into Gulf Coast Communities Faster; Premiere 2,700-Square-Foot Genesis Modular Home Featured in Admiral Isles Grand Opening Today in Bay Saint Louis, Mississippi

AUBURN HILLS, MI -- (MARKET WIRE) -- August 25, 2006 -- Genesis Homes, a member of the Champion family of homebuilders (NYSE: CHB) and the largest nationwide builder of modular homes, today announced its homes have been selected for use in new housing developments in the New Orleans area by Planetta Custom Homes, LLC. Four new Planetta developments, located in Bay Saint Louis and Pass Christian, Miss., will include more than 300 modular homes expected to be completed within the next two years.

"After being hit so hard by hurricane Katrina, modular construction is the key to help us get residents back into Gulf Coast communities as quickly as possible," says Vic Planetta, Jr., vice-president of Planetta Custom Homes, LLC. "In areas such as ours, where new housing is in such unbelievably high demand, Genesis modular construction is ideal because it enables us to supply high-quality, feature-filled homes, that are equivalent to site-built homes, in record time. In addition, modular construction solves the problems we have of an extremely small work force pool from which to draw to build new homes."

A modular constructed home is partially assembled in a factory-controlled environment, but built with the same materials and to the same local building codes that govern site-built homes. Once shipped to its final destination, a modular home can be set on its foundation in less than a day by a small team of workers. Finish carpentry can quickly be completed with the home available for occupancy within one month.

"We are extremely pleased to be part of efforts to supply new housing to an area that so greatly needs it," says Kevin Flaherty, vice president of sales and marketing for Genesis Homes. "And because we can supply homes in a wide variety of sizes, styles, and price points, we are in the unique position to work with Planetta on the company's different projects."

Planetta plans to build four developments in which Genesis Homes will be included:

--  Admiral Isles in Bay Saint Louis will feature 180 modular homes of
    more than 1,500-square feet with an average price of $300,000
--  Also in Bay Saint Louis, Cameron Bay with 77 duplex lots, will feature
    modular homes of 1,400-square feet with an expected starting price of
    $180,000
--  Christian Acres, in Pass Christian will feature 92 modular homes of
    1,200 - 1,300-square feet with prices expected to start at $139,000
--  Also in Pass Christian, Saint Marten Sound will feature 30 modular
    homes of 1,200 - 1,300-square feet with prices expected to start at
    $129,000
    
After Hurricane Katrina, Planetta Custom Homes, LLC dedicated its efforts to the rebuilding and recovery of the Mississippi Gulf Coast. A custom home builder, the company had already seriously considered the Genesis product for its developments because of the homes' excellent design, construction and use of high-quality materials and features. Last year, the companies arranged to work together on future developments to bring homes quickly to the area.

"In the end, they offered us the best, most beautiful product out there," says Vic Planetta Sr., president of Planetta Custom Homes, LLC.

The Premiere Project -- Admiral Isles, Bay Saint Louis, Miss.

A grand opening for the first development, Admiral Isles, takes place today and features a Genesis modular home that quickly dispels any previously-held, inaccurate notion one might have of a modular home.

"Building officials and potential home buyers are pleasantly surprised at the quality, design, floor plan and use of materials in this Genesis home," said Mike Zangardi, vice-president of builder/developer relations for Genesis Homes at Admiral Isles' ribbon cutting ceremony today. "Planetta has chosen for its premiere, a home of strong design and look which quickly communicates that Genesis modular, factory-built homes offer everything and more than traditional site-built homes offer."

This 2,700-sq.-ft., two-story modular home with 3 bedrooms, 3 baths, loft, office, open, great-room style floor plan and wrap around porch is designed by award-winning Genesis architect Roberto Kritzer. Designed in southern, cottage style with open views out the front and back, it includes custom, high-end finishes such as granite counter tops, Brazilian cherry wood flooring and custom woodwork throughout. The home was featured as Country Home of the Year 2005 by Country Living Magazine.

Most importantly, every Genesis modular home used in all Planetta Developments are built to meet engineer approved wind ratings up to 160 MPH, in compliance with the most recent standard, the 2006 International Building Code.

"Since all of our homes are built in a controlled, factory environment, we can ensure that every one is constructed to the most current and rigid of standards," continues Flaherty.

Modular Construction -- Ideal for areas with high housing demands

One of the fastest growing building techniques, modular homes are ideal for areas with high demand for housing because modular homes are:

--  Built quickly, on site and with a smaller labor pool -- A home shipped
    from a factory can be ready for occupancy within a month of being set on
    its foundation. Because the home is partially assembled when it arrives at
    the site, utility hook ups, HVAC, finish carpentry, roofing and siding are
    all that remain to be completed before occupancy.
    
--  Neighborhood-friendly -- Since most of the homes' construction (80%)
    occurs off-site, there is less impact on the local environment. Traffic
    from trucks and cars, delivery materials, subcontractors, and supervision
    are dramatically reduced and the noise pollution generated by site-built
    techniques is reduced. In addition, homes are not left in an accessible
    state during construction (such as with site-built open framing where
    children can put themselves in danger).
    
--  Environmentally-friendly -- Modular homes are environmentally-friendly
    due to their energy efficiency and also minimal construction-site impact. A
    Genesis modular manufacturing plant recycles most waste generated by
    construction. Items such as copper, lumber, cardboard and vinyl are
    collected in the plant for recycling, thus limiting land-fill usage. In
    addition, in a Genesis plant, a piece of lumber that is off-size, can be
    milled to a smaller dimension for an alternate use, rather than thrown away
    as many times would be the case in site-built construction.
    
--  Energy Efficient -- In modular construction, the greatest threats to
    energy efficiency, seams and joints, are minimized because entire walls,
    floors and ceilings are constructed as large seam-free units or panels.
    These pieces are then assembled in a Genesis controlled factory production
    line creating a higher level of "fit and finish" than is possible in site
    built construction.
    
--  High Quality -- All the material used to construct a Genesis modular
    home is stored under roof, eliminating weather-related damaged materials
    inherent in the traditional building process (wet, warped wood, etc.)
    
--  Durable -- Genesis modular homes are constructed to meet wind ratings
    of 160 MPH. In addition, they are built to withstand the delivery and
    installation process resulting in additional structural elements than those
    found in similar styled site-built homes.
    
"It is extremely gratifying to contribute to the redevelopment of areas hard hit by Katrina," continues Kevin Flaherty. "Genesis modular home construction provides long-term, high quality and feature-filled housing quickly and efficiently in areas that need it most. We are proud to partner with Planetta Custom Homes, LLC in their goal to quickly provide quality residential community housing in this area."

About Planetta Custom Homes, LLC

Headquartered in Slidell, Louisiana, Planetta Custom Homes, LLC is a family-owned, third-generation, large builder/developer committed to the highest quality construction, materials and craftsmanship. The company was started by Vic Planetta, Sr. and his father in the 1970s, and is now also run by his son, Vic, Jr. Together they build more than 100 homes from Louisiana to Mississippi per year. In 2005, in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina's devastation, the company committed its efforts to moving residents back into communities as quickly as possible.

About Champion Enterprises

Auburn Hills, Michigan-based Champion Enterprises, Inc. is a leader in factory-built construction, operating 36 manufacturing facilities in North America and the United Kingdom, and partnering with over 3,000 independent retailers, builders and developers, including 900 retailers that are part of the Champion Home Center retail distribution network. The Company produces manufactured and modular homes through its family of homebuilders, as well as modular buildings for military and commercial applications. Further information can be found using the company's website, www.championhomes.com.

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Christine Fisher, for Genesis
    Pushtwentytwo
    248-335-9500 x 30
    Email Contact