Nov. 24, 2021

The Relentless Pursuit of Innovation with Dave Cooper

Construction has traditionally been siloed, but Dave Cooper is on a mission to make all builders and suppliers better through passion. His relentless pursuit of innovation allows for connections across complex supply chains that lead others into new part...

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Construction has traditionally been siloed, but Dave Cooper is on a mission to make all builders and suppliers better through passion. His relentless pursuit of innovation allows for connections across complex supply chains that lead others into new partnerships while also driving change within the construction industry!


Dave engages in deep conversations about innovation and inclusivity around the offsite construction space. Listen/watch for an inside look at the places and with the people making innovation happen daily across the world of design and construction.


Connect with Dave via

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Today’s episode is sponsored by Bosch RefinemySite. It’s a cloud-based construction platform. Bosch uses Lean principles to enable your entire team, from owners to trade contractors – to plan, communicate, document, and execute in real-time. It’s the digital tool that supports the Last Planner System® process and puts it all together in one simple, collaborative ecosystem. Bosch RefinemySite empowers your team, builds trust, creates a culture of responsibility, and enhances communication. Learn more and Try for free at 


Today’s episode is sponsored by Construction Accelerator. This online learning system for teams and individuals offers short, in-depth videos on numerous Lean topics for Builders and Designers to discuss and implement, just like on this podcast. This is tangible knowledge at your fingertips in the field, in the office, or at home. Support your Lean learning at your own pace. Learn more at 


Today's episode is sponsored by the Lean Construction Institute (LCI). This non-profit organization operates as a catalyst to transform the industry through Lean project delivery using an operating system centered on a common language, fundamental principles, and basic practices. Learn more at 


Today's episode is sponsored by STRUXI. STRUXI is happy to help the EBFC Show fight the good fight for improving construction productivity. Built on 50+ years of construction-tech innovation, STRUXI replaces outdated-paper timesheets and production reports with software that updates you on labor productivity in real time – without disrupting how you already run your job sites. STRUXI does this by providing a simple user interface, so your foreman can accurately allocate time without being stuck behind a computer. This data is also easily connected to Power BI for rich reporting and forecasting. Learn more at


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Dave  0:00  
Even to this moment, there's factories being built, you know, to meet the housing demand, you know, Felipe, we have a three to 400,000 You know, trade shortage, just people in our industry. There's not enough trades to build, right? So we're aging out on that front. And then you add on it, the millions and millions of homes are short in this country. If you live in the big cities, like LA like Austin, Texas, and you actually travel through them, you'll see the homeless crisis. I mean, it is it is beyond recognition. So we have not been able to build the amount of homes that we have needed using the traditional methods, we have not been able to inspire the youth to come into our industry using the same traditional methods that we've been using. So that's kind of spring this, you know, opera, I would think of off site construction and better ways of doing it, and factories coming up and never get a house in a factory. Why would you want your car built in your driveway, it'll probably go down the highway at 50 miles an hour, it probably won't smell as good as if it comes out of a factory. But you can't get the precision and the quality over and over and over again when you're doing it one step at a time on site. So...

Felipe Engineer  1:10  
Welcome to the EBFC Show, the easier better for construction podcast. I'm your host Felipe Engineer-Manriquez. This show is all about the business of construction. Today's episode is sponsored by...

Sponsors  1:23  
Boshrefinemysite is a cloud based construction collaboration platform that applies Lean principles to enable your entire team to plan, communicate and execute in real time is the digital tool that works in tandem with your last planner system process and puts it all together in one simple collaborative ecosystem. This easy to use platform is available in English, German, Spanish, Portuguese, and French and can be used on desktops, tablet and mobile devices. According to Spencer Easton, scheduling manager at Oakland construction, "Refinemysite in my opinion, is the best cleanest tool on the market for last planning.' Here's what our users have to say. We've looked at three other digital scheduling platforms and none compared to the straightforward approach refined my site takes from milestone planning all the way down to daily tasks. This program gives every general contractor and their trade partners meaningful collaboration, accountability and KPIs. Register today to try refine my site for free for 60 days.

Felipe Engineer  2:36  
Today's episode is sponsored by Construction Accelerator,

Sponsors  2:39  
The design and construction industries come up with and build great things. But we also build in waste in how we do those things, in our interactions in our contracts in our logistics. So what does this do for our bottom line, or our next project, the best firms maximize their value by removing that waste, and only doing what's essential to the work what makes them money. Construction accelerator will train you to see the waste and give your teams the Lean tools and experience to remove it immediately. All online. Construction accelerator is made up of three to nine minute videos that can be watched again and again, in the field, at the office and at home. All broken down by topic. Need to learn pole planning, we have videos on the process, how to set up a room and how to kick off a team need to set up a target value delivery project. We discuss all the aspects of TVD especially cost. Or maybe you just need to brush up on five as well. We have videos on that as well. You can download and print reference materials to use on site to immediately translate watching into doing subscribe today at Tri ca Let's build an industry, not just a project.

Felipe Engineer  3:52  
Today's show is also sponsored by the Lean construction Institute. LCI is working to lead the building industry and transforming its practices and culture. Its vision is to create a healthy and thriving industry that delivers outstanding project outcomes every time for everyone. Check the show notes for more information. Now to the show. Welcome to the show, Dave Cooper. Dave, welcome to the podcast man I am so glad to be joining you I did have the pleasure of playing live with you when you were in at a lake what lake where we had or were you were we got together the first time Dave.

Dave  4:27  
Yeah, we were outside of Los Angeles. I don't remember the name of the lake but it was it was a beautiful place But boy did the internet was horrible. It was horrible. But fleetly thank you so much for inviting me onto your podcast. It's awesome watching you and and seeing how you're growing and and you're having amazing guests. So it's an honor to be here.

Felipe Engineer  4:46  
Thank you Dave. I really appreciate the work you're doing when I heard about you. I said here's somebody who has the same exact mission that I have. It has mastered live streaming and just live streams like multiple times a week. Please let the audience know A little bit about yourself, who you are and what you do?

Dave  5:03  
Sure how far you want me to go back from birth, or you want me to start a little further in life here.

Felipe Engineer  5:07  
Let's start with construction and then work our way towards today. That's a good question though.

Dave  5:13  
By trade, you know, I've been in, I've been in the trades for, you know, over 20 years started out as a modular home builder, that's ended up that's how I ended up getting into the video side of this. So as a modular home builder, we had three locations in New England and I was showcasing our homes on selfie videos just walking around like Bob Vila, you're old enough to probably know about villas, right? And I'd walk around selfie style, showing, showing, showing our houses to get people you know, involved in to obviously sell more homes. And one of the things that came out of doing that was people started walking into our sales and design center and talking to me as if they knew me, right, you do a lot of shows now and you go places. And, you know, I'll never forget the first time somebody walked in a husband and wife, and hey, you're that guy on YouTube, my wife and I love that white house with the white subway tile dot dot, dot, dot dot. And we we went from the first meeting to the third meeting. And I didn't even know who they were. And it was a little uncomfortable at first. But that's what I realized the power of video. And that's when I realized, and I said, You know what, I've been an off site construction for a long time, I spent 20 years of my life explaining and selling modular homes, and explaining why they're better, where the quality is, and what they're what they're all about. Now, this isn't New England. So I'm talking first time homes, to multi multi million dollar homes, you know, in Greenwich, Connecticut, Block Island, doing homes for the DuPont family and so forth. So with that said, that's when I learned the value of the video. And my wife to me one day said, you know, Dave, you know, when you go to some of these events, because I started being asked to speak at places, she said, why don't you take your video and interview people? You know, your camera? And I said, All right, well, really, she's Yeah, just interview people. And so I did that. And my first event was in Maryland, it was in Maryland, I think it was at a housing Innovation Alliance event, so to speak. And I just started interviewing some some really big names in the industry, talking to them about innovation and change, and telling them how I've spent 20 years explaining to people that there are better ways to build and how we've been doing it for 150 years. It's the only industry it hasn't changed. And as you can tell, it sparked the fire. You know, because people were really willing to talk about it, they were willing to share their stories. And they were willing to ask questions. And when I realized this, I said, You know what, this is something that I want to do, I want to help change an industry. I want to take it to the next century, if not the next millennial, whatever the case is, but we need to go forward. Cutting a two by four across the tell your booth the same way on site is not efficient, when you can do that same two by 4000 times over in a factory, and it'll be perfect each and every time. This is kind of where my passion came for talking about innovation off site. How do we do it better? And that's what our show is about?

Felipe Engineer  8:07  
No, you have a great show Dave. And if those you don't get a chance, we're gonna put links in the show notes so that you can find where to connect with Dave and I believe it's Dave, right Dave?

Dave  8:17  
It is Dave Cooper dot live is our website. But you can search that on YouTube, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitch, Felipe I know you're on Twitch now.

Felipe Engineer  8:25  
Right? You know, I'm on Twitch. I got on Twitch because you were on Twitch, Dave, all the cool. You inspired me to get on Twitch.

Dave  8:32  
We need more younger people in our in our practices, you know, with these great ideas. And yeah, which is awesome. I'm glad to hear that.

Felipe Engineer  8:39  
Now remember, a couple weeks ago, you had somebody on the show, and you were interviewing someone in a large factory. And you asked the person you said, Hey, why are we on Twitch? And he knew and I said yes, I'm making the right choice, not do it. Dave Cooper says the place to be I'm gonna be.

Dave  8:55  
That was I know exactly what you're talking about. You were talking about Galliano from Box double fold the folding house, right. That was in Las Vegas a couple weeks? Yes. Right. Well, he's young enough to understand, you know, Twitch and what have you. So I total admiration for those guys. They're really changing how we build things.

Felipe Engineer  9:12  
The housing Arena in construction has been left unchanged. And for a long time, people could build their own homes by first house Dave was built in 1947. And you could tell like, things were just like, added and done at different times. Like the house was like a time capsule right? And it just wasn't necessarily the best, you know, overhead lighting wasn't a concern at the time. And with the type of work we do and, and that was in the Midwest where it does. It does get dark early in the winter, like for sure. So we had to have lots of lamps and then later things have changed very slowly. But you've seen some amazing things working in modular construction for residential like you said for a long time. Aside from those types of customers, where can people like the everyday person find modular or houses in different markets? Is this something really seeing in big cities? Or is this happening even in rural America?

Dave  10:05  
It is growing across the country right now. And for people wanting to find, you know, a modular home or panelized home or sips, or mass timber, which are all forms off site construction now, it's as easy as a Google search in your neighborhood, and people pop up everywhere. It's a great thing.

Felipe Engineer  10:21  
Oh, my God, that's such a beautiful thing. And we're seeing that same need Dave, in commercial construction. We have over 1 million underwriter jobs right now and 2021. And you just added to it 400. You said 400,000. On the high end?

Dave  10:34  
Yeah. 400,000 is where they're seeing on the high end right now.

Felipe Engineer  10:37  
So we're almost let's just call it 1.5 million on answer jobs in construction today. 2021, we have to find easier, better ways of building and you are definitely leading the charge and bringing some awareness to those areas and people that are innovating, tap into some of the different segments that you do your show so that people get an understanding or a flavor of what kind of shows you offer in different days of the week?

Dave  10:59  
We start the week on Mondays, Mondays are expert interviews, and I need to say this upfront, everybody on our show is invite only there is no pay to play for our regular shows. Now we have events where we're on location at factories, and we have sponsors. But our regular shows, I mean, it's invite only and you better be doing something better. You're not coming on my show. It can't be well, I'm the CEO of Toll Brothers and we just build a new plant community, blah, who cares? It's not getting us anywhere for us. So if you're if you're the CEO Tober I was no offense Monday, expert interview. You know, we have we have people, architects, designers, heads of state government officials, people that are forward thinking that are talking about how do we do it better, whether it's something from a blockchain perspective, or whether it's through regulations, codes, or architectural and design, augmented reality, all of these fun things. You know, today was a great show on augmented reality and virtual reality and we even got into implanting you know, computer chips into people's brains and there's people allowing people to do this to them. But how does that tie in to housing you have to watch the show, Wednesday product spotlight so it's all about people that have a better product. It doesn't matter if it's flooring like hemp flooring is a big thing right now hemp is coming onto the market strong with the lumber prices so high, people can't afford to build anything to include by flooring because of the lumber so high. And this Wednesday, we have hydronic shell company coming on, which is a HVAC system, which is different than any HVAC system you've ever seen before. So Wednesday's Product Spotlight 1pm. Eastern Time, tune in for that if you want to see what's happening in the world that's new and exciting and innovative. And then Friday, Friday is a fun show. It's called BS Friday, it does not stand for the BS, you think it stands. And it doesn't stand for it doesn't stand for building systems either. It stands for Building Science. So I have a co host on on the show with us mark Willie marks a big bearded looking guy, right, he looks like he came straight from the woods with a hacksaw and a chainsaw. But he's one of the world we're known energy efficiency, Passive House leaders that are out there. And we have guests on our show, talking about all the things you can do to your current situation, your houses, your buildings, whether residential commercial, to make it healthier, to make it better to make it stronger, all the way through, you know, if you are building something, what are some of the best practices to achieve that passive house that net zero? A lot of people don't understand that we had a lady on Cheryl SICO, that most of the time your kids don't have allergies, most of the time, you don't have migraine headaches, because the doctor said you have migraine headaches. You'd be surprised what 1970 year old ductwork is doing to you that hasn't been cleaned, or the chemicals that are used and I use asbestos all the time as an example. What was a great product when it came out? Well guess what? Now there's lawsuit after lawsuit on the health advocate, you know, implications because of it. So, Fridays, we talk we bring experts on and we talk about building science. And it covers everything from your personal health all the way through what are the simple things you can do today to make your home healthier and more energy efficient. And then Saturday morning is coffee with Dave That's just where I sit down. That was a show you you were able to join me on and wherever I'm at wireless, you know, usually not in the studio, I just like to sit down, enjoy some coffee. Have a fireside chat, so to speak with everybody. Talk about what we discussed the week prior and what's coming up. And that that's what led us here.

Felipe Engineer  14:34  
That's the week. That's a powerful week, Dave. No, thank you for that. And you definitely already gave me how you came to be a live construction storyteller. I got to thank your wife, and your wife is a pleasure. I had coffee with Dave. And she was uh, you know, sending notes in the chat putting me a total ease. So by the time we went live, I was totally relaxed. So thank you for that and let her know that I appreciate what she does and and helps out, it's nice to have good help and encouragement.

Dave  15:03  
Yeah, you know what it is. And I always say, I am not the brains of this operation. I'm just, I'm just the bird chirping on and on the big screen here. But she does a lot of work behind the scenes. And, you know, just like you and we talked about, you know, you have this whole dashboard of things going on. And when you're doing these live shows that you got to monitor, and you got to see the chats and the comments coming in. So there's quite a bit of work that goes into doing this. But it's only work if you're not having fun. And I love what I do.

Felipe Engineer  15:31  
It comes through Dave, for helping to make the industry better comes through every show you do. And I've been catching your shows all week, since we first tangled up. And the way that you handled yourself on that on location, with all the places you go, you're constantly testing yourself. And I see you pivoting and adapting with the relationships that you create. And I noticed on your profile, that you listed yourself as an advocate for change. And I want to do just to unpack that a little bit more. Tell people why we need change advocates in construction.

Dave  16:05  
Not just myself, but you are as well. And anybody else out there that's sharing, you know, posts and blogs and information to do it better. Again, this just goes back to to be an advocate of change in construction means we got to do it better. There are too many people without houses, there's too many kids sick in homes, you know, too many families that can't afford to pay their bills. You know, with everything going on globally, right now, it doesn't make any sense for us to keep building the way we've been building, it makes zero sense whatsoever. And there's nobody that can argue me on this. Now, does that mean you can't have what you want to have? If you're going to do a custom home? No, it does. You can have anything you want, even in off site construction, even with better ways of doing it. But for me personally, we need to be better at what we do. We should not be in last place. I say this all the time. Tesla should be charging our houses or our houses should not be charging Tesla cars. I mean, their wheels, right? They're like windmills going down the road? Why aren't they creating energy and bringing it home to us? I mean, that's just my two cents. Elon Musk, if you're out there, give me a call, we'll talk about it. But the reality of it, the reality of it is, it's the only industry that hasn't changed in that 100 plus years. So there's only one way to go. And that is up. And it's a prime opportunity for it. It's a prime opportunity to bring younger people in, you know, the trades don't realize they don't need $100,000 education from a university and get a degree on something they're never going to use. But you can become a trades person right now I can name three HVAC, mechanical contractors that have $80,000 internship jobs for people think about that. They can't get people they're paying big money to get people to help them because what are they doing? They retire if they don't have anybody to take over for him? You know, think but think about what that has waterfall effect on us in society. And for the average consumer out there. And this is this is where being an advocate for change. And what I believe is, you know, you Felipe, myself, even if you don't want to do what I do, or do what you do, or be a writer, you can still push the message. We're all on social media, we're more connected today than we ever have been. So it makes it easy for us to get it out. And guess what, it's free, right? For the most part unless you buy all this fancy software and stuff.

Felipe Engineer  18:20  
And advocates for change. If you're a young person thinking about a career, construction is a great career high paying job, you don't have to go into debt, you can get started. And a lot of high schools teach craft work in shop, right in high school. I know that there are some carpenter union shops that have partnered with high schools across the United States. And they're they're trying to bring carpentry skills to 16,000 plus high school students. And they're offering them apprenticeships. So they can start at level two when they get out of high school, which is a phenomenal leg up and some of the other unions as well. I've done some inroads and even an open shops. There are opportunities to partner in and get in the industry. We need people to build the future for us. We need people so Dave and I, Dave, I promised you we went live, that no matter what happens, I got your back. And we're gonna continue to advocate for people to join our industry. It's a great industry. You've been in the industry for over two decades. And now I'm learning from you. You're learning from me. We're having a great time. There is no limit to the genius of the people working every day to build homes, buildings, infrastructure, off site, industrial construction, you name it. We need creative, intelligent people. And we want all of you we want your creativity. Come on in and join it is a great place to make a living. So Dave, you tell a lot of amazing stories. Could you share something that stuck out to you over just the last two years?

Dave  19:55  
What sticks out to me the most from doing the show in the interview is the culture Collaboration in the willingness for all of these people that we have on the show to talk to other people. Now, I'll give you an example. We have Greg Ugalde, who's the immediate past chairman of the National Association of Homebuilders on the show, once a month, he updates the President in the Oval Office a couple times a year on housing with Secretary housing and all that. So we have on the show. Now, this is somebody if you went to a trade show like international builder show, you wouldn't get within 10 feet of there's a million people in line to speak to him. But what the show has allowed is for the average person, whether you're a consumer or student, you know, Felipe, yeah, you can you can put a comment and he'll take the question, answer the question. But I've also learned this offline. It has built this community where somebody goes, Hey, I saw your show on this, I have a question for you. And before you know it, there's a dialogue going. And I can name several people just from our show, that have gotten jobs, just from the dialogue that's happening. And I think that you don't really see this in other industries. Our industry is so willing to share knowledge. And they're not worried about oh, I can't talk about that my intellectual property dot dot dot, right. They're just not they're willing to share the knowledge. And to go back on what you were saying about the youth in the younger generation. We have every single job in our industry that you have in every other industry, Google doesn't have as much opportunities we have here. Because we need it. We need programmers, we need digital twins, we need virtual reality, augmented reality, right? We need people on the ground swinging hammers and framing and working in the manufacturers. And guess what? There's fully robotic manufacturing facilities out there building homes, we also need the great minds running those manufacturing facilities. So sorry, I went off on a tangent there. Oh, that's perfect. I think collaboration is where it's at.

Felipe Engineer  21:53  
I mean, it's just incredible to think that your show is helping people to get jobs, and create powerful networks and bring more talent in. That's exactly what we need to help solve this problem. I mean, right now, I mean, I'm handy God, Dave, people contact me on LinkedIn, when they see that I live in this area of California, realtors, and say, Hey, would you consider selling your house, that's how bad it is that people are contacting me on LinkedIn to try to buy my house.

Dave  22:24  
That's incredible. It is incredible. I don't know the current stats, Philippe. But a lot of people do not realize that small businesses, for example, aren't on YouTube. I think it's one out of every three people frequent YouTube daily in the world, and the world. Right. But I but I believe it's, it's not even a 10th of the small businesses even use the platform to get their message out there. So when you when you have so many people using the platform to find who I mean, come on, who out there, raise your hand, me included, I need to fix something or I need to do something or I'm researching a new bed or whatever. You go to YouTube or the social media, but people aren't using it. And that's what's really so powerful about what you're doing, or what I'm doing is unexpectedly you put it out there, people find you. And that's even though you it's kind of weird, they're calling you to want to buy your house. It's also flattering. It's also well that's pretty cool.

Felipe Engineer  23:24  
And I've made I've made sure how I sort of made friends with a couple of them because they're really good people. But I think you're right you know, as a homeowner, because I went to school and studied electrical engineering, I did not have the opportunity to take shop and learn a craft luckily for me, I had family members that were able to teach and coach me but when they're not around, I go to the University of YouTube I go to the web and companies that put information out like how to change a toilet or a sink. I mean I'm going to give them my money. I saw a video from a big name company plumbing company fixtures company and their video was so well done what I went to the store to go buy replacement garbage disposal, I said I'm giving my money to them because they're making it easy they're enabling me to do it and the only reason I'm doing is because I got challenged by somebody in my house to can you do it? Can you turn a skirt? Can you turn a wrench? Can you unplug that? 

Dave  24:26  
You're laying under the cabinet all worked up going what in the world and I say I do.

Felipe Engineer  24:32  
Yeah, I was like what do you know what manual page Am I back on again?

Dave  24:37  
You know that that is it though but this this is this is the power and and you hit on something you know that video was well done. But I'll tell you what I've learned and why I love the live and I told you today my monologue. I got to fly some in my throat. I couldn't finish you know, here I'm live it's just me. My guess is in the fish tank. We call the fish tank when the holding tank, you know the green room with the m&ms and I couldn't get out like, Ah, here comes dance, can tell us about yourself, click go to full screen, right? Drinking some water. But what I love about what I love about the video in the live is you make mistakes. It doesn't matter, nobody really cares. In fact, it's the opposite. You're now a real person. Maybe they start feeling sorry for me who knows. But the reality the reality of it is, and just like yourself, if you're thinking about doing this, and you're thinking about, you know, being somebody who wants to help drive change in an industry, whether it's construction or others, you just got to put yourself out there, you'll be surprised that people aren't going to be all negative on you, if you go negative, they're gonna go negative. That's right.

Felipe Engineer  25:41  
We're just trying to build each other up. And, and people like Dave saying, if you're thinking about putting something out there, we're both encouraging you go do it, people will give you some leeway to grow. I keep my first videos on YouTube, as a reminder to me to show the growth and I had someone just recently Dave told me like, I had one person asked me like, why don't you just take those down. Because some people find value in them. I was like, for and for me, it's just just to show me the growth. And so that I keep iterating. And then somebody else contacted me recently and said that they really appreciate that I take, you know, feedback from people and make little changes. And I say, Yeah, we got to get better. I mean, I want to get better every day that I wake up, I want to be a little bit better. That's the enthusiasm that I bring to everyone that I work with, too. And just like, learning from you, Dave, we went live with the coffee. I mean, you were like, so serious about just one thing. And that was that I better have coffee when we do it. Everything else was pretty relaxed, but you're like, hey, just make sure you're gonna have coffee. Right? That's it? 

Dave  26:50  
Yeah, that was that was a good show. And you're, you were a good battle buddy, as we call it during that show, because I was having all kinds of streaming issues and switch into phones and this and that. But I mean, but that's what it's about. That's why it's alive. You just can't predict these things. And, you know, there's so many different plans, you got YouTube, Facebook, Twitch, right, you got LinkedIn, you got to deal with all those platforms. Alright, this is why you need coffee. But then you got to deal with streaming software. And then you have to make sure that you know, Chrome was working and you have internet service. Right? So when you start adding all these things up, if there's one glitch, and you don't have your coffee, it is horrible. And Saturday mornings are my toughest mornings, because when it caught it's my funnest show to me because it's so relaxed. But it's the toughest show because I'm winging it, usually with my Wi Fi versus being in a studio.

Felipe Engineer  27:37  
I know Wi Fi is so tricky. Like, just to make sure I'm hard plugged in right now.

Dave  27:42  
Right? There's a lot that goes into really wanting to do it right. And you do all that because you care if you didn't care. You wouldn't stress about it. You wouldn't spend all that time up there.

Felipe Engineer  27:52  
In off site construction, there are so many options that people still have. You're doing custom. I mean, you can do and you've seen custom homes and off site construction. Can you talk about that because... Hey, real quick...

Sponsors  28:03  
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Felipe Engineer  28:54  
There might be a misconception with people thinking that all I can get is the same vanilla box.

Dave  28:58  
Listen, every house is a vanilla box. It's just how you dress it no different than if you're going to go play baseball or you're going to go to the corporate boardroom. It's how you dress you know what you're putting on but all homes are boxes some way or another. But the reality of it is you know, it's come such a long way. You know, we're using digital twins now. So it's a digital twin virtual reality a our BIM software, right, 3d modeling, Jerry Mackay from a tech or says it's best said it best. And this is this hopefully will drive home why it can be so customizable. Think about NASA, they are the best off site construction professionals in the world or universe for that matter. So if you're in construction and you're listening to this, every plan on it somewhere says field verify. Now could you imagine being an astronaut taking a huge chunk of space station up to add to the space station and when you get there it says field verify. Okay, that's ridiculous. Well that's it and that's kind of the point so we are so precise on how We can use offsite construction manufacturing methods today, that, you know, change order should not even be happening anymore. Maybe within the dirt because you don't have X ray eyes, you don't know it's underground. But the reality of it is change order shouldn't be happening. So when it comes to customizing and building the home of your dreams, or the hotel, or whatever the commercial structure is, is there some give and take? Sure there is. But that's understanding the system. And if you understand the system, then you can build anything you want to build. And you know, hey, sometimes you want that luxurious 5000 square foot home with barrel ceilings and all those things. Well, you can have it. But some of this stuff would still be better built on site with a trade to bring it all together. But I always tell everybody, you can mix or match. But you can still get pretty much the home of your dreams, anything you think of out of manufacturing facility. Now, the caveat to this, Felipe is where you live, when you live in the East Coast. You live on the west coast. So you live outside the big metropolis, you know, the big cities, there's going to be more options and the manufacturers that will do that highly customizable approach versus right. Because there's there's a car just like any customized build, there's a cost associated to it, depending on where you live is going to dictate what level you can get from a manufacturer, but anywhere across the country, you can get what you want. It just depends on how much you have to do locally versus at the manufacturing facility to gain the values and the efficiencies of the assembly line. Did I answer your question?

Felipe Engineer  31:29  
Absolutely did I'm going to be spending some time on a search engine this evening. Looking at just what's out there, my creativity sparked? And my curiosity is well awake. 

Dave  31:38  
Yeah, well, you're out if you're out in California, and you got some really great companies doing some work out there.

Felipe Engineer  31:43  
I'm excited to see what's available. I wanted to come back to something I saw on your website, David, Dave Cooper dot live. And one of the things that really stuck out to me is that you're so intentional with where you're going. And I just want to read to everybody, what I caught as your mission. It said Our mission is to make all builders and suppliers better through passion. And the relentless, relentless emphasized pursuit of innovation, sharing one conversation at a time. I think that that's something that what I saw it resonate with with me. And I see that every time I talk to you and we interact, your ability to just pivot and adapt and innovate, I think it really shows through and nothing holds you back. You've been at a trade shows. You've been on location all over the United States. Where's the furthest you've gone from your original home base?

Dave  32:34  
Before COVID, I mean, we were over in Europe, but with COVID. And with the live show, I mean, I've already been all the way up to the top corner to Washington State to Laos Trust Company up there, near Camano Island. I mean, we've been all the way across Montana, Utah, Texas, Arizona, California, Pennsylvania, Florida, all the way across the Panhandle. I'm sitting in Biloxi, Mississippi right now. Big Thunder, boom, we're getting ready to happen. I just saw a lightning come down. So you might hear that. But yeah, we've literally have gotten coast to coast since starting this journey on the road, Felipe. I guess seven months now it's been we've just about hit 13,000 Miles driving across this country to showcase people doing it better.

Felipe Engineer  33:18  
That is incredible. And you've already gone overseas to how far where have you dropped in on Europe before? COVID?

Dave  33:25  
Yeah, so I'm we're looking at Germany, Spain, Sweden. We also we do live shows from there without even go in there. And we have people at the factories and camera crews that go there and interact that way as well. But yeah, I mean, all over Europe. Now. When it comes to the show and the innovation of what we're doing that's going to get even bigger and better. We get a grip on this COVID Because we do have a European tour scheduled Well, it's been scheduled, but it's been changed a lot. 

Felipe Engineer  33:52  
The resources are there so that you can travel the only caveat is that you might catch COVID and have to be quarantined, which just make you stay in your for an extra two weeks. Oh, that's That's horrible. I know. It's like such a price to pay the price. The innovation is happening worldwide. Your shows been all over the pandemic has only caused you to pivot but you put 13,000 miles under your feet going all over the United States. Yeah. Where do you see yourself going next with your show?

Dave  34:23  
Yeah, I mean, so Right. Well, so there's there's next as in like next week where I've had in which is gonna be South Carolina. But then there's next is where we're going with the show. So right now we are working with a producer for a TV series. So that's something that we have an opportunity, we're shooting a pilot, so maybe that goes somewhere. But in regards to the Dave Cooper live show, we are going to continue just driving the conversation forward it is still going to be invite only moving forward. But some things have changed. So we've been invited to speak at a lot of the big trade shows will be at you know bcmc and some of the other ones international builders show and and speaking there, but For us, I don't think we're going to stop until we drive the industry where it needs to go to. And even then I don't think we'll stop because I think change is imminent forever and ever and ever. And I will say this, you know, one of the things that in this industry that has to change along with what we're doing is the association's coming together, there's too many associations, everybody has their hands in the pie for this, this, this or this, you know, and what we say is, that's all good, have the associations, but let's have a guiding voice that drives us forward. Let's be like a pharmaceutical company, let's get the consumer to ask for that better product. Why? Why not? The consumer goes in and ask for the purple pill, right? Ask your doctor for this purple pill, or, you know, whatever pill you like, flipping, but they never, they're not really going to the doctor anymore. Our industry needs that same mindset, we know, we want the consumer to have a healthier, better place to live. And that's just not a residential, you mentioned, you do a lot of commercial, right, I spent a ton of time in the commercial space, you know, we're doing, you know, TDE, top down building, and we're doing, we're doing what they call pop up manufacturing facilities on location to speed up the efficiencies of these big builds. And I think, if we can bring all of our industries together, the unions included, we need the unions to be on board for change, then then we can have a real driving force. And instead of being the last place in innovation in an industry, last place, construction below agriculture, agriculture is more advanced than construction, right? The average person doesn't get that. And it should be because we're eating all that stuff. And I get it. But we're still in last place. But we shouldn't be because we got the best opportunities in the world. We just need a way of getting it out there to everybody. And hopefully this helps.

Felipe Engineer  36:41  
For those that don't know, but don't nerd out all over YouTube, like we do, Dave, what is your top down construction? I think top down construction is fascinating. I've seen a couple things on it. But could you describe it from your your perspective?

Dave  36:55  
Imagine this imagine you have like a 30 storey building, you know, 10s of 1000s of square feet, each floor, whatever the case is, top down construction basically has a concrete core or sleeve if I could paint a visual picture, think of the elevator shaft in the center of the building. And in that center. Everything else lives and breathes. So they assemble the floor at ground level the roof, and then they they use that big sleeve as the pivot point, they lift the entire floor up, bam, locks into place. And they keep doing that they build the floor underneath that put everything in furniture walls, mechanicals, whatever, and then it gets re lifted in the place. Now we're not talking three storeys, we're talking multi multi storey buildings. And this technology has been around for a long, long time, but you'd never believe it unless you've seen it. And this is where, you know, engineering is just absolutely amazing. And it showcases why the way we do it isn't right. Why have people walking around 40 stories up on scaffolding and on steel beams with a little rope, you know, hoping that they can tie off before they make the next move. We don't need to be doing that anymore. So top down construction is just that we are we are building from the top of the building all the way down, you know, and part of what we're doing is we're coming up with better concepts and better ways to do the manufacturing of these parts and pick the kits of the kit of parts, let's say on site. So it all goes in seamlessly. And it speeds up the timeframe. And a lot of people don't realize this, it can almost cut a construction project in half and half. And when you're in a commercial world leases and heads on beds is the number one thing, how fast can we start returning our money. That's one of the values of it. And it's super safe, super secure. And it's been tested throughout the world.

Felipe Engineer  38:37  
And for I mean, all the people that are building their business case rests on being able to open occupied and beneficially use that construction. Anything we can do to serve their needs faster, is just going to help the serve the greater communities in which these buildings are put together. So that is a perfect example of innovation. Thank you for for taking me down that path. And Dave, I just got to one more time. Where can people find you online and consume all these amazing videos and interviews and coffee talks.

Dave  39:08  
That's it. So the number one place to go is our YouTube channel. So just go to look up Dave Cooper dot live and hit that subscribe and ring that bell. So you get notified when we have new videos. But we do have videos coming out four days a week. I think we're right around 600 videos, and they're broken down by category. So you can watch expert interviews, product spotlights and you can search things so we try and make it as simple as we possibly can for everybody. But that's the best place to find all the videos to catch up on everything. But we are alive each and every day for the most part four days a week now used to be six on LinkedIn, YouTube, Facebook and Twitch. And if you haven't checked out Twitch, you got to check it out. It's a cool platform. And guess what? That's where the young folks are. So if you're in this industry and you're looking to connect with young people that get technology, it's a good place to go.

Felipe Engineer  39:56  
That is perfect. Thank you so much, Dave for reminding us how easy It is to consume all of this beautiful content and it is beautiful. Now, I wanted to ask you one more thing just to satisfy my own guilty. Curiosity, my selfish curiosity. Dave, what's an interesting trend that you're seeing in the homebuilding area? That people that don't work in that space or live in play in that space might not be aware of?

Dave  40:21  
Yeah, build for rents the hot topic right now? 

Felipe Engineer  40:23  
I've never even heard of that.

Dave  40:24  
That's the hot topic. Yeah. So a lot of the builders are switching from doing production builds to build for rent. So they're still building the same products. But they're, they're building Rental Communities, houses, you know, and I always so I watch the trends, just like go away, you know, and everything else. The rental market, huge. A lot of Millennials don't want to own houses they want on their second home, and rent their primary home so they can go away and enjoy those things at the beach, or what have you. So build for rent is probably one of the hottest topics out there. When it comes to the housing market. When it comes to technology, man, it's it's all about generative design, parametric design, and digital twins, the virtual world, the augmented world, is coming into our space in a big way. So if you're out there as a consumer or a builder, and you don't want to change order, let's talk, you don't need change orders anymore. Find a builder that's using the technology that helps you avoid those things. And so those are probably the two hottest or maybe did I say three hottest topics.

Felipe Engineer  41:22  
I'm gonna consider the change order thing. Just you just blew my mind. My mind is just, I can do something and have no change orders. Sounds like not construction.

Dave  41:34  
Listen, you know, when you have to think of a project all the way up front, you know, if you're, you have kids, yeah. Do you ever watch the virtual reality games, they play like fortnight and all this? It is so realistic looking. That's what's happening in our industry, when they build a building. I know where that pipes going. And I know that that HVAC duct works in my way before I even build it. There is no need to draw on paper anymore. Even AutoCAD, right 2d, there's no need for that it's now become more affordable for the average architect and builders and manufacturers to use the stuff that thing like rebuilding the World Trade Center, think about a mass undertaking of equipment that is to build something like that, well, they've been using this technology for a long time. It's now more affordable for those of us that you know, weren't at that level. And you can now start using this with your builders and architects to truly understand the project. And if you're using off site, where's the change order gonna come from shouldn't be any. The only change orders you'll find on our projects when we're doing them is typically in the dirt, right? Because you never know if you're gonna find Jimmy Hoffa. When you dig, you just don't know, right? You don't know it's under the dirt. But outside of that, I know how many two by fours. In fact, I know how many nails are in your house, or in your building. And that's the value of using technology today, we know it down to the last nail so and I'm not going to ding you for a 10 cent now.

Felipe Engineer  42:59  
I've seen the videos of our, you know, what Jerry and tecra has done or he's shown like side by side sites where they're doing off site modernization, and he shows a picture of the dumpster on site and what comes out of their assembly when it's all prefabricated. And then the traditional stick built, it's the difference between one barely used dumpster, a couple of you know, the staging materials for ripping things off of the truck, versus multiple multiple dumpsters of wasted materials and with you know, the sustainability that we all care about living on the one planet, and just the what has happened to wood with the pandemic, and things happening with overseas freight. I mean, it is something that we just have to pay attention to and, and use better what we already have. I love that. Although and man it took to think I'm still I can't get over the no change orders on you know, on home construction. It just sounds amazing, right?

Dave  43:59  
Go back to NASA, think about them. change you want to really in the middle of space when you only have an hour's with oxygen. Not a good idea. You know, and dumpsters wait until I tell Jerry you saw a dumpster on his side he'll lose his mind because you're right 30% of what a builder buys ends up in a dumpster, they're cutting off the ends of the two by fours in the two by sixes and the two by 10s are ending up in a dumpster. You don't have that nice site when they do have to cut things. A lot of times it's either used to reheat the building or for something else. In the manufacturing facilities. They're actually reusing lumber and solved us as part of their heating for their manufacturing facilities. You know, throughout the year of the winters and what have you. So yeah, it makes no sense a dumpster on site. I mean, that's it's a bad idea to begin with. That's half our what is it? I think 70% of our landfills I don't know the number. I'm going to get in trouble for that. But look it up. It's mainly it's mainly homebuilding products that take that fill up our landfills.

Felipe Engineer  44:54  
I just wanted to come back one more time today and just ask you, you know, what's something The knowing what you know, now, you really appreciate about all these live shows that you didn't you have no idea before you get started.

Dave  45:09  
Um, I think it's all the people that we meet, you know, to do to do a lot. It's all the people that we meet. But again, it goes back to that collaboration on how much people are willing to share. And I think when doing the live shows, and live shows only for a week, but I'm doing three to four interviews per show to figure out who's going to be on that show. So that's a whole lot of conversation. But that's a whole lot of people that want to do it better. There's, there's this whole groundswell of people in this industry, young and old, that are really looking to make a change, and to make it better. And understanding that and understanding how it impacts us how it impacts our youth in the environment, and you have so many people that are willing to share that knowledge and come up with better solutions, I think is probably the thing that I underestimated the most. I was scared at first. But now it's just you know, I'm not scared to have these conversations and talk to me because you just like we're doing right. You asked me question and I just spew out of the mouth. It just comes out right? I'm usually in your shoes, asking questions, letting people answer but I think that's what's so much fun about it.

Felipe Engineer  46:12  
Thank you so much, Dave. Everybody, go to Dave Cooper dot live. Go to YouTube. Find all of Dave's beautiful videos, expert interviews, live shows. Have your coffee on Saturday with Dave and he does take live comments on air. So don't be shy. Get at him on Twitch, YouTube, LinkedIn. Where else Dave?

Dave  46:36  
Yeah, Twitch, YouTube, LinkedIn, Facebook. So join us on all of them and enjoying the live conversation. You will be surprised how much business people are doing out of those live conversations. It's just not about collaborating. There's business happening because you're meeting people you otherwise wouldn't meet.

Felipe Engineer  46:52  
Thank you so much, Dave, you get the last word.

Dave  46:54  
I love it. Well, I appreciate it, Felipe, for having me on the show. I think your podcast is absolutely amazing. And I think what you're doing is amazing. And I'm looking forward to having you on our show. When I have better internet we can really get out to the public. But if I were to leave everybody with one thing is don't be afraid to hit that LIKE and SHARE button share what Philippe's doing, share what I do, share what you do. Put it out there let's change how we build let's make it a better world for not only us, but for the future generations.

Felipe Engineer  47:25  
Very special thanks to my guest. I'm Felipe Engineer-Manriquez. The EBFC Show is created by Felipe and produced by passion to build easier and better. Thanks for listening. Stay safe everybody. Let's go build!

David CooperProfile Photo

David Cooper


I help industry experts share their story, their industry insight and forecasts so that others can connect with new partners, find new resources, drive change and grow their business. These conversations are rooted in innovation and inclusivity within the niche marketplace of #Offsite #Construction. It’s an inside look at the places and with the people who make it all happen.

I am a huge advocate of change and #Offsite Construction with 20 years of experience in the world of #offsite #Construction. I believe in strategic planning, entrepreneurship, core values, team building, process, defining and finding success.

At DaveCooper.Live our goal is to engage with industry thought leaders, share their stories and move forward the conversation around disruption in the new home construction industry. With the use of video and in an unscripted, real-life approach, we connect leading experts with new partners and resources to drive change and grow their respective businesses. The conversations are genuine, thoughtful and get to the heart of “why” we do what we do, not just the “what” of what we do.

Within the niche marketplace of offsite construction, Dave Cooper introduces the community of innovators across multiple channels of the housing industry. We invite collaboration to drive change within the traditional methods of construction. Through our work on HerStories in Housing, his goal is to drive inclusivity and momentum. And our series on NextGen Leaders is reaching a new audience of builders, suppliers, manufacturers, and industry experts.

Our mission is to make all Builders and Suppliers better through passion and the relentless pursuit of innovation. Sharing one conversation at a time.

When I am not in the office, you can find me tending to my passions:
Coaching youth hockey, helping others, hiking, fishing, video journalism, servant leadership, refining my focus on “The One Thing” and teaching future leaders the importance of “Grit.” And, I love anything Pittsburgh.