Tech start-up Katerra aims to optimize all aspects of development


Most of the building services provider’s $1.3-billion-plus bookings have come in multifamily construction.

By Craig Webb | MFR

Trevor Schick can’t stop the urge. “Whenever I walk by a construction site, I look in their Dumpster,” the former Hewlett-Packard executive in Silicon Valley admits. “Fifteen percent of the wood from a job site is thrown away! In a factory, if we’re not down to 2%, you’d get a better guy to run that factory. It’s the inefficiency of the [construction] industry that makes you really open your mind. I come home every night with 10 new things to go after. My head is spinning.”

Schick’s indignation wouldn’t matter but for the fact that he basically regards you as part of construction’s problem and his employer as part of the solution. Schick oversees the materials, construction, and renovation parts of Katerra, a fast-growing company led by Tesla’s former interim CEO that thinks it can disrupt much of how American residential construction operates.


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