Build your Custom Home with LIVIO

In This webinar, our CEO Navneet talks about how Livio as a General Contractor & Custom Home Builder bringing efficiency to the construction industry.



Navneet Aron


I'm having a lot of fun solving the age-old problems in real estate development and construction with modern technology to help us do things cheaper, better, faster than done over the last 100 years.. We are either using best-in-class technology tools or building our own to solve problems in all 4 core areas of our business.  

We have built Construction Management Platform called Livio www.golivio.com that offers General Contractors simple and intuitive tools to manage subcontractor bids, contracts, budgets, insurance certificates, scheduling, payments, lien releases while also ensuring transparent communication with clients. We've also launched Aron Builders, www.aronbuilders.com that builds high-end Single Family Homes for its clients in the San Francisco Bay Area who would like to hire a General Contractor that lives and breathes technology just like them.


Rob: All right. It looks like we're having some folks trickle in. We'll give everybody just a couple more minutes here to get to your laptops and then we will get started. Thank you everybody who's joining us live and in person. We have an exciting one today. So we'll give everybody maybe just two more minutes and then we'll get started. All right. Well, looks like we're having a few more folks trickle in. For anybody who's joining a little bit later, no worries at all. But yeah, first of all, I just want to thank everybody for again, making the time to join us. Also, if this is your first time joining the webinar series, we've done some awesome topics in the past. Completely unbiased to opinion, I think this probably maybe the best one yet. We got an exciting topic on Building Your Custom Home with Livio. We're joined by none other than our acclaimed CEO, Navneet. So, really exciting to be able to talk not just about some of the really important topics that we've already covered today that are critical decisions and making sure that you're informed as possible during your home building process. We're kind of taking a step back to look at, hey, why choose Livio over so many different general contracting options that are out there in the market? Without further ado, Navneet, thanks for joining us.


Navneet: Rob, thanks for doing this good job and thanks everybody who ever has tuned in. I hope this is informative session for everybody. Looking forward to it.


Rob: Cool. And I'll play the role of the questionable homeowner as best as I can. But for anybody who is joining us for the first time, there's a couple different ways to ask questions. The first is to use the Q&A box up at the top of your screen, where you can type out your question any time during the webinar series. Alternatively, we will have a small window at the end where you can virtually raise your hand and I can actually call on you and pass you the mic so to speak. And you can direct your question either to Navneet or myself and we can answer it there. So, either way. 

We're going to try to roughly sequence this. We've got a lot of topics to cover. Primarily though, at a high level, what we're going to be focusing on is what differentiates Livio and ultimately, why it matters to you as a consumer and how it makes your project run more efficiently. And by efficiency in the general contracting business of building a new custom home primarily focus around two major topics, which is running the project on time and running the project on budget, right? And of course, the third big one is running the project up to the quality standards that you'd expect to building your brand new home. 

You're only going to do it once. We want to make sure we do it right and we acknowledge the fact that's probably one of the biggest financial endeavors and emotional endeavors you'll ever make in your life. So, we're honored that you are even considering us as a part of that journey. So we've got a lot of cover. And what's not shown here is a small Q&A section. I'm going to try to leave about five minutes, Navneet, at least towards the end where we can fill in any questions that folks might have. So I'm jumping right into it. Navneet, do you want to take a stab at kind of summarizing at a thousand-foot level what Livio is, who we are, and we can jump in from there?


Navneet: Absolutely. Welcome everybody once again. Livio is a new age construction company. We are founded on the principle that using technology, by using the advancements in technology by other people as well as what we are pushing forward by combining those two, construction can be made fundamentally way more efficient than it can be. There are two premises, two core principles that we apply. One, whatever can be done off site and can be avoided to be done on any other job site, we do it off site. So, whatever we could do off site, we would like to do it off site because we believe we can make it more efficient, precise, just in time delivery. And we'll talk more about it. So, whatever can be done off site, do it off site. And whatever must be done on site, how can you improve the efficiency and just do it in the most efficient possible way? Those are the two underlying principles of what Livio stands for. Ultimately, those two things enable us to be extremely efficient in the way we execute and deliver a higher quality product on fixed timelines and fixed cost.


Rob: Cool. Navneet, a couple questions. What are the areas of service where we're currently providing general contracting?


Navneet: Good question. Currently we serve primarily only the Bay Area market in California, in Northern California. And most of our projects are on the San Francisco Peninsula, which is anywhere south of San Francisco all the way to San Jose. We do have a few projects in the East Bay, in Fremont, and other parts of the East Bay. But predominantly, in South Bay and Peninsula at the moment.


Rob: If I am a homeowner that's currently exploring maybe a remodel bathroom, kitchen, is that a service that Livio is currently providing? Or I guess, what area of focus is Livio currently focused on?


Navneet: Good question. At the moment we are not focusing on any remodels or extensions. And the primary reason for that is our goal is to guarantee the cost and timeline on every project that we take on. And we find it to be rather an unfair exercise to be able to commit to fixed timelines and fixed cost. The unknowns are substantially higher in the cases of remodel/addition. So, in order to guarantee those fixed timelines and fixed cost, we choose to work only on new construction projects where we can apply our technology, our processes, our methodology to guarantee the timeline and cost.


Rob: Awesome. Custom home construction, permitting process can take a long time. It's a long-life cycle and journey. What phase can Livio help me on if I'm a homeowner and I'm building a new custom home?


Navneet: Great question. We are a licensed general contractor. Our goal is to primarily work with as many architects and firms out there. We love working with architecture firms in order to bring their vision to reality. So, we would love to come in when the clients are working with their architects already. And we can bring in however structural engineering, we have in-house structural engineering, both if you're considering to build with wood framing or even if you'd love to build with steel. We will talk a lot more about steel today in this conversation. But irrespective, we would love to structurally engineer. There a lot of advantages to keep your structural engineering in-house with the general contractor because there are a lot of surprises and issues that could come down the road can be eliminated. 

We also offer other engineering services mechanical, electrical, plumbing engineering services, which are not necessarily always required as a part of submission to the city as a part of building package. However, they are highly, highly, highly recommended if you want to not have start and stop during construction process and want to build a higher quality product. Ultimately, MEP drawings, MEP plans are great. In many cities they are required and of course, in bigger projects they are a must have to be able to submit. So, we can come in in the engineering phase as well as can we can come in just as a general contractor later on as well. There are many people who come to us even at the beginning of their project when they have just bought a lot and say, "Hey, can you design and build our house for us?" We have a great team of partner architects. We closely work with those partner architects. They're fantastic. They're phenomenal. And we work in close collaboration in taking on the complete design build contract as a result of that.


Rob: Awesome. Yeah, we have some great webinars for anybody who's listening, who's just tuning into this one. We've got some great webinars throughout the kind of course all the way starting. They may not be in sequential order, but we've got some great webinars on different topics all the way to how to choose a perfect lot for redeveloping if you're even at that stage. I encourage everybody who's listening for the first time, go through, listen to our webinar series and hopefully, it helps you through this journey. Navneet, obviously, you mentioned Livio is a bit different than the other general contractors on the market. Certainly, I don't know many who have an office in India. Can you describe kind of at a high level how the team is organized and distributed? 


Navneet: Yes. Technology has made the world a smaller place. And our execution and our operations fully take advantage of that improved communication methodologies and so on. Bottom line is we have an amazing team based out of our India office and Pune. A team of engineers of all disciplines, project managers, in-house architecture, structural engineering, mechanical, interior design, software development, you name it, project engineering, project management, and so on. As a result of our entire team, we are able to do pretty much 95% of execution of each project. Thanks to the team that we have in India. A highly talented group of engineers. Most of them have at least a bachelor's in engineering. More than often they actually have a Master's degree and worked on extremely challenging projects in their past projects and so on, the past companies. And many of them have worked for employers who are US companies and so on. So, an amazing group of talented people and they enable all our projects that are happening here in the Bay Area right now.


Rob: For sure. Yeah. Just to harp on that. Yeah, I think most of folks on the team probably have a more impressive resume that either Navneet or myself. We are a small representation of the team as a whole, but certainly it wouldn't be able to happen without everybody working in the background. So, a huge thank you to them. Navneet, you come from a unique background. Certainly, a lot different than I think a lot of the other RMOs or owners who are also a licensed general contractor. Would you mind at a high level giving everybody a brief overview?


Navneet: Sure, yeah. I'm an electrical engineer. I grew up in India. I have an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering in India. I worked for Cisco Systems in Bangalore for a year and then came to Stanford University here in the Bay Area 20 years ago. I have lived in the Bay Area within five miles of where I am right now for the last 20 years. And I have been very, very fortunate to build products from scratch, whether in high tech, whether it is mobile apps or software products very, very early on in my career. And as a result, fell in love with building things and love that I learned a lot of things about myself, primarily that I love operationally challenging businesses. And construction happens to be the epitome of those operationally challenging businesses where you need to build amazing team, but also have processes, methodologies, and systems to be able to manage all of that. So yeah, I have been involved with real estate development and construction for the last nine years, since 2013 and so on. So that's essentially a quick background.


Rob: Awesome. And you touched on something actually that I forgot to ask you about. The other I think kind of unique differentiator is the fact that kind of the origination of Livio actually stems from doing development projects and building, I mean, what was spec homes but what were highly intricate and custom in nature. Can you tell us a bit about that journey from [inaudible 00:13:55] builder?


Navneet: Yes, absolutely. Back in the day, we were simply a real estate development company. We have a real estate development company. It's called Aron Developers Inc. It's a C Corp. Today we pursue their high-density large projects, underutilized pieces of land where our goal is to entitled permit, develop, build, and hold ideally income generating assets for the long run. But back in 2013 when we started, we were acquiring underutilized single family lots to build them. And we have built a lot of beautiful single-family homes in the Bay Area that were spec homes for us which we bought the land, we put a team together, hired general contractor, hired the architect. And our role was primarily as a money manager or as an asset manager or risk manager for our investors. 

Our goal, our thesis original thesis was we would be able to expand that business and keep on doing that in high quality neighborhoods and locations with great general contractors. But we started realizing very quickly that we were running into challenges with general contractors that we were hiring again and again and again. And it was similar challenges, no transparency, behind schedule. We were constantly chasing them with respect to timelines or costs and we were being surprised left and right. We started putting some band aids on top of it to manage the risks that were there. And it got to a point where we were so frustrated with how the residential construction is done in the US, and at least for sure in the Bay Area that we had to put an end to that madness. And we decided to do it our way to streamline and bring construction to the 21st century. And that was the origin of Livio building systems about five years ago.


Rob: Awesome. Moving on, so one big and kind of the backbone I think of what Livio offers is the technology piece, which you've already harped on a couple times. But would you mind to kind of describe to everybody how Livio is organized and how it differentiates from other general contractors?


Navneet: Yeah. So there's several aspects of Livio that differentiated. I think in this talk today we'll talk about four or five extremely unique and differentiated pieces that set us apart and then we can talk about how each one of them impact. So, one is our own proprietary construction management software platform that we have been growing, building, developing as we speak over the last four and a half years or so. And that is the backbone of everything that we do. From our customers being able to see essentially weekly dashboards, to seeing live camera feeds, to seeing a repository of drone footages, historical drone footages or open space 360 cameras, essentially, revision history etc. to tasks for the customers. So, customer facing set of tool chains and dashboards etc. to our internal teams from budgeting and forecasting, contract management, vendor management, cash flow management, bidding, receiving bids, lien releases, insurance certificates, project scheduling, materials management, tracking exactly where the materials will go and so on. 

These are a variety of different modules plus pieces which all interoperate very, very tightly in order to facilitate the lifecycle of each project that goes on, including pieces which have to do with post completion, allowing customers to easily file customer support tickets, upload videos, pictures, and them being tracked directly to the subcontractor who worked on it in the first place, seeing all the history of what was done, where it was on etc. and being able to resolve them timely. It's a construction management software platform which is differentiated from most platforms out there because it tries to solve each of these pieces of the problem in a siloed way, which clearly doesn't work when you want to solve the problem end to end as a builder. And that's why we built it homegrown to solve the problem end to end. And that's one of the core pillars that enables our entire team, both in the US and India and our customers and subcontractors and everybody to work together to make projects be successful. Do you want me to talk about other pieces right now or later on when we go to the slides?


Rob: Yeah, I guess one quick follow up to that, you know, I see a lot of these. Obviously, a lot of the features here that are listed on this screen are kind of more backend related. But from a client perspective, what of these pieces do I have kind of access to and information on throughout the course of construction?


Navneet: Right. So let's talk about what does the customer care about, right? Customer cares about the schedule number one, right? So, our schedules are absolutely transparent. Our project engineering team maintain the schedule in Livio and Gantt views of those are available in real time to our customers. So any of our customers can log in anytime throughout the day into their account, into their portal and see the real time view of the schedule. They are not padded or anything. They are just real time schedules, what our internal teams are seeing. And they can see that anytime and ask questions about it. That's number one. Number two, seeing the material decisions or a bunch of decisions that customers need to make. All of those decisions, material decisions, etc. throughout the lifecycle of the project, they are all made available to the customer. Or if the customer wants to upload their own choices of finished materials and so on, they can upload them seamlessly and they will show up in the right place in our material tracking etc., which is all facilitated. 

I talked a little bit about all the different cameras and drones that we fly. We use highly sophisticated cameras and imagery every single day on our job site. These are a combination of drone flights which happen early about the site every single day. And a historical playlist of that is available to the client. Also, live camera is available to the customer to see what's going on as well as both exterior and interior open space camera logs are available which allow the client to see the space as it gets developed. So, for example, at a particular location on the first floor, you will be able to see foundation and if you see the newer version of it, you will see the framing up there and then you will see the insulation and the drywall and the painting and cabinets and so on, right? So you will see and you can compare and contrast at any point of time using these tools, how the space got developed etc. 

This is just simply a small list. I also said there are tools for tracking issues after the project is completed and reporting those issues and getting timely resolution amongst several other tools that we are also developing as we speak to just further improve the payments part of it as well. Some customers choose to work with fund control and banks and so on. So, we have tools to facilitate that. We have tools to facilitate lien releases and so on, which are also customer facing. That's a subset of tools I just wanted to highlight that are very, very useful and key part for the users throughout the process.


Rob: Excellent. Yeah, the next topic we're going to talk about is the IFC process, which before I move on to the next slide, I think encapsulates a lot of what you just mentioned in regards to, of course, schedule being an important piece, but also the material selection process and kind of how that data is all aggregated in one location and how it's visually represented to the client. All of these kind of play a key role in that process. So, IFC process, issue for construction, probably a little bit wordy but it's an important piece to making sure that the project is running on time and on schedule. Certainly, something that I, you know, having worked with other general contractors throughout the Bay Area, saying it's definitely unique to Livio. Navneet, can you tell us a little bit about what it means to the end consumer?


Navneet: Right. So, we are probably the only company which practically builds your house or your project two times. So, the first time we build it in a software model entirely, 100%. What we are doing is we are building the building or the entire project layer, by layer, by layer, by layer all the way from grading, foundation, framing, electrical, plumbing, HVAC, insulation, drywall, cabinets, finished fixtures, finished materials, painting, everything in a software model. And each of them is a layer by itself. As a result of the software model which we call VDC model, virtual design and construction model, in the VDC model, using the latest set of tools and technologies out there as we take the architectural plan, and structural plans, and MEP plans, and civil plans and as we build them, we find consistently that there are gaps and clashes. 

They're called clashes between, like what you're seeing in the third picture here on the top right. The plumbing drawing might be showing the plumbing pipe going through a structural beam or electrical and plumbing all going through essentially in a way that is causing ceiling drops. Or the structural beam being shown by the structural engineer on top of a door which causes a conflict where the door cannot be the height that the architect wanted it to be. So there are hundreds and thousands of clashes that potentially exist in any project, which are not caught. The government, the city process, or the county process does not catch it. They are looking at each of these pieces separately to make sure structurally, does the house work? Are all the sheets present and code compliant? But they're not looking for conflicts between any of these. 

As a result, what happens? In the traditional residential construction, all of these issues, all of these, 100% of these issues are found during construction. What does it mean? Stop, start, stop, start. The subcontractor is confused, subcontractor is stuck, he has more questions. Most of those questions need to be answered either by the customer or customer's consultants, which might be the architect which might be the structural engineer. What does this do? This causes more cost and more time. Because the decisions that are then made, they're of course costing your time but they are not costed in advance, they are not planned in advance, and they are also suboptimal decisions because a lot has already been done. It's more like putting a band aid. So, inferior product, more time, and more cost. And this is the reason why construction projects systematically run behind schedule and over budget historically. 

So, what does Livio do? Well, we build the entire building layer, by layer, by layer in a software model and identify hundreds and thousands of these clashes and the decisions that would otherwise be made on the job site, which style? How big? Where will it go? How high will it go? What is the exact size of the sink? And thousands of decisions that you will need to make. We work with the customers. Our team works with the customer to make all of those decisions not on the job site, not after the fact, not as band aid, but well ahead of time as a part of this process. And as a result, what we generate are clash free models. We resolve all of those clashes in partnership with the customer and their consultants using the RFI process, request for information. And ultimately, as a result of it, what gets generated are individual plan sheets which are proprietary plan sheets, we call them IFC, is issued for construction to each trade. To the electrician, so there's an electrical IFC, there's a plumbing IFC, there is a tiling IFC, there's a countertops IFC and so on. 

These IFCs are clash-free and are a result of a three-party agreement, if you will. The subcontractor, our engineering teams, as well as the client. And therefore, the project goes without hiccups. The subcontractor is able to execute on site very, very quickly and efficiently. And the quality of the product itself is higher because the issues are not solved in the form of band aids but solved properly right from the beginning, while taking into consideration all other aspects in the model that exists. So, as a result of it, the client gets a better product, no surprises, and the timeline also remains fixed that we promised in the beginning.


Rob: Navneet, you mentioned engineering services that were provided either during the entitlement or at any phase of the construction early. But as a consumer, is the IFC process only offered if I were to work with you from an engineering perspective or you're only modelling what your team engineers? Or what's ultimately the input of that model? 


Navneet: Yeah, great question. Great question. The answer is no, you don't need to necessarily choose our engineering services to model. You can come to us with a fully ready to build set of plans from an architect's, structural engineering, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, civil, soil engineering. You can bring us a full set of plans including interior design plans if you have them as well and we will build a model as a part of our construction contract with you. Our teams will identify these issues. This is not an extra cost to our construction customers. This is part of our construction cost, construction proposal that we give to our customers. And we will find these issues and work with your consultants to resolve these issues as quickly as possible.


Rob: Awesome. The next slide we're going to transition a little bit from kind of what's happening in the background to ultimately how a lot of that information is brought to the field. I want to iterate before we move on to the next slide that all of this IFC information is presented in a way to the subcontractors that are ultimately going to be performing the job in a language that they're used to already reading and they're well accustomed to looking at. 


Navneet: Yeah. Ultimately, these are 2D set of plans which are delivered to them as 24 by 36 sheets on the job site as well as through Livio mobile app, which Rob, I just want to talk about. We'll talk about it. But bottom line is, we want the most accurate, precise, exact information for the subcontractor and their guys to be able to do their job efficiently.


Rob: Yeah, and I think a big piece of that is making sure that the guys have the technology in their hand and the information available to them when they need it at the time of installation. Livio mobile app obviously plays a critical role in that. Navneet, can you tell us a little bit more and expand upon what you were destined to mention about what the mobile application is and what problem it solves from a consumer standpoint? 


Navneet: Yeah, absolutely. This is all about again, bringing efficiency to the construction industry and ultimately, the construction results and better product, tight timelines, and no surprises on the job site with respect to the cost to the end customer. And Livio mobile is an app for field workers. Essentially, anybody who's doing work on the site. Usually it is not the subcontractor, the boss of the subcontracting HVAC company or the plumbing company, etc., but it's their field workers who are going to the site, right? And many times, they are fluent in English, but many of the times they're not fluent in English, they speak Spanish. And our goal is to make sure that they have absolute clarity of what tasks they have at hand. What are the milestones that we have pre-agreed with the subcontractor to execute these tasks? What are all the supporting documents and necessary technical details to complete each of the tasks? 

All of this information is provided to the subcontractors as a part of the Livio mobile app. And this information is coming right from the construction management software platform that I was talking to you earlier. So, it's all tightly integrated into one ecosystem and it enables the subs and the subs' guys to be as efficient as possible. Livio mobile app also enables the subs and their guys to upload pictures and videos or use text chat built-in to communicate directly with the project engineer who's essentially responsible for making sure the work is executed precisely and exactly like the plans. And that is available to them at fingertips to both call the project manager as well as to communicate with them using these other channels that I just talked about, text, video, and messaging etc.


Rob: Awesome. Yeah, the more resources and tools and ultimately resources that the guys on site who are actually performing the work have to keep them efficient, obviously, the faster your home construction happens, less communication gaps there might be and having all those resources and all those decisions that you've so carefully made available to them at their fingertips. So yeah, super important. Navneet, we're going to transition on to the next slide, which is going to talk a little bit more. We talked about working with subcontractors. 

One trade that we actually do in-house and that's light gauge steel. You spoke briefly about it at the beginning. We're going to talk a little bit about the manufacturing process of that. It's a big topic in and of itself. We have a webinar series for anybody who's interested just on light gauge steel versus wood construction. But Navneet, if you could give kind of that thousand overview of what is this trade that we offer in-house and how would it differ if you're looking to or considering to build a new custom single-family home.


Navneet: Right. First, let me just talk about what is light gauge steel before talking about the manufacturing aspect of it. In America, most of the framing is word framing. Wood is a great material. It's been used for centuries and it will be used. And we have active projects right now where we are building with wood and it continues to be a great building material. No problem with that. However, the building methodologies and techniques that have been practiced in framing with wood, predominantly remain archaic and remain to be inefficient, extremely inefficient. Even today, on most job sites when we are framing with wood, the framing is done all on site by field workers who are under pressure to finish the job. They are getting raw lumber delivered to the jobsite, which they have to measure, cut, build, and assemble. 

Sometimes they're standing and working and doing all of this work in extremely hot conditions. Sometimes in rainy weather, sometimes in snowy conditions or whatever it might be. So, they're working under extreme weather conditions as well as site conditions. And as a result, what ends up happening is the structure is imprecise. Many at times there is an explicit step in wood construction called straighten the walls. I mean, think about it, you build a product and then you spend three days to straighten the walls. On top of it, wood inherently is a natural product. Besides the environmental aspects of wood that are just construction related aspects, wood is susceptible to mold. Many at times the lumber that gets delivered already has blemishes on it, significant blemishes on it. Given the fact that this wood may still be wet or has moisture, is bent, is curved, is twisted. There are many, many, many blemishes when you get a truckload of lumber and so on. 

So ultimately, we find building with wood to be, relatively speaking, an inefficient way to do construction. And essentially, it's also a flammable material. Wood is food for fire and makes it highly combustible in just the structures' ability to withhold fire and so on. We believe that light gauge steel is a great way to build precise structures which are machine cut, highly accurate model precisely for all of the MEP and other forms of... MEP stands for mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and any other forms of services that needs to run through the building is highly efficient primarily because it can be designed. And engine in a precise way ahead of time and can be built and manufactured in the form of panels, panelized construction and can be delivered to the jobsite just in time as the foundation is ready so that as soon as the foundation is ready, the panels can be erected extremely quickly and therefore can save a significant amount of time. We're talking about almost 60% time saved in framing. And that is months of time I'm talking about on lot of projects. So, it could significantly cut down the time. 

But beyond that, steel is not combustible. It is a renewable material. It has way better performance with weather conditions and mold etc. So, it's just a much more better, more precise accurate product with all of these other benefits that I just talked about. So that's why we choose to build with light gauge steel. We have several active projects of all different sizes which we are building with steel, with light gauge steel. And we have our own manufacturing that I'm happy to talk about as well.


Rob: Awesome. Yeah, I mean, we talked a little bit about the IFC in the last slide. But ultimately, what enables this whole manufacturing process to be successful is really that backbone of being able to model everything in 3D right from the get go utilizing this architecture, Revit primarily as kind of the backbone of everything that is ultimately going to be manufactured. So kind of this cycle that we see on this slide here, starting with the IFC process and all of those inputs that Navneet already discussed, once that model is fully coordinated, everything is completely squared away including a lot of the material finishes that you'll be selecting in a virtual environment. Ultimately, all of that information from that 3D model gets transferred into panels, right? It ultimately gets broken down. We're not talking about, I guess, Navneet, would it be considered prefabricated? Would it be considered modular? You mentioned panels, what sort of panels are we talking about? How big are they what can we expect?


Navneet: Right? So, we have a very opinionated approach to construction. It is neither modular because modular is a term that has come to be synonymous with essentially, you know, one or two options or maybe 10 options and selecting from them. Option A, B, C, D, E.


Rob: Sure, a catalogue of either.


Navneet: Right, kind of thing. And prefabricated generally has meant a lot of different things. For the most part, we are closer to what you would say is prefabricated. But in this case, we have only shipping panels. However, our panels will get richer and richer with time and I'll talk about it in a second. But the panels that we're talking about is essentially any architect's vision. Any architect who's designing any custom building, it could be a beautiful 10,000 square foot house in Los Altos Hills, it could be essentially a much simpler architecture or it could be a hotel with five stories or it could be an apartment complex or it could be a townhome project with 20 units. It doesn't matter really. Any of those custom projects can be designed into panels structurally. So, our structural engineering team and our engineering teams design panels in such a way that... and these I'm talking about floor panels, wall panels, ceiling panels, awning panels. Essentially, you can think of any wall or roof panels. 

So, you can take any surface and break it into sort of like these wall panels essentially. And they are of course designed to bear all the strength. They are structurally engineered to be fully up to code compliance etc. But bottom line is any building can be broken down into panels. And those panels are then precision engineered, so the architectural and structural plans go through our proprietary software and team and process methodology to using tools like MWF and other tools to go through Livio manufacturing software. We acquired assets from a company in Tennessee who had 10 plus years of manufacturing experience all across the United States, hundreds of projects in 28 different states and so on. And that is their team and their software tools as well as the machines and equipment became the basis of our manufacturing. So, all of this setup is part of our India operations. 

Our manufacturing plant is in India. We are the only company to our knowledge who is certified by IAPMO to ship to the US, our panels. And this allows us to be completely building code compliant here in California and rest of the US to provide panels. These panels are sized for a variety of constraints, of course to meet the architects' vision and be precisely exactly what the wood framing otherwise would have been. But more importantly, they have to fit in shipping containers. We ship in standardized shipping containers. We have several other constraints to make sure that there's a lot of efficiency. And all of those constraints are super imposed in our building design and in our panel design and then manufactured by our team in India. And, of course, go through a pretty rigorous amount of QA/QC and ultimately shipped to the job site directly and then assembled using Lego like instructions which I'll talk about as well.


Rob: Awesome. So, consumer I purchased a lot, hopefully I worked with Livio, gone through the entitlement process, got my building plans, ultimately built my home in a virtual environment in 3D. Those 3D plans and 3D model essentially gets broken down into these panels, which incorporate all of the previous decisions that I had made when it came to things like ceiling heights or electrical fixtures. And ultimately, what gets sent to my home site is a panel. And the panel is what we're looking at here. Navneet, can you briefly describe kind of what we're looking at here? And you mentioned Lego like construction. Certainly, this looks a lot like Legos. Can you give us a little bit of info on this?


Navneet: Right. Our team was given an extremely challenging job to make our building panels and panelization and erection of those panels on the job sites to make it as simple as Legos. You know, just like how five-year olds can open a box of Legos and start following the instructions and assemble. Our goal internally is to make framing a building something which is as simple as assembling Legos. As you can see, these are actually precise pictures from our instruction sets that gets shipped to the job site along with the panels in the container. And each panel of course goes through rigorous QA/QC, but also has detailed information using QR codes etc. that is all transferred along with where does each panel go? What connectors will be needed to install and install this panel correctly to the foundation or to each other? Which particular floor panels and how will the floor panels be connected and sitting on top of the first floor and second floor and third floor? The entire building is sort of broken down into action sequence by our amazing group of talented engineers and to Lego like instructions which we create to simplify and therefore remove time delays and make the whole process extremely efficient on the jobsite. I was talking earlier about saving 60% time in framing and that is thanks to this panelization. But on top of it, very precise panelized erection sequence drawings and diagrams that allow our teams on the field to erect extremely efficiently.


Rob: Excellent. Ultimately, we made our way through framings, completed on my custom single-family home and now we're kind of in the midst of construction. Progress is happening, a lot of the operation is happening remotely and a lot of that execution work and monitoring is happening via technology. Navneet, can you tell me a little bit about how does the team keep up with and stay in tune with exactly what's happening on the site when a lot of that workforce is ultimately operating and managing it remotely?


Navneet: Yes. Great question. We are the only company who is executing in this way, which allows extremely high quality using a combination of on-site resources and off-site talented pool of engineers and project engineers and managers and so on. Clearly, there are tons of boots on the ground, subcontractors, subcontractors' workers. But also, Livio team members, Livio employees go to the job site to meet with the customer, to meet with the subcontractor on a weekly basis, and as and when needed to stay ahead and problem solve. But in addition to that, like I mentioned at the beginning of this conversation as well, that 95% of execution throughout the entire phase of our projects is conducted by a talented group of engineers from India. 

And part of that is using technology in a way that simplifies it. So, today we do daily site inspections, daily video site inspections right in the morning when the field workers come to the site. We have built our own version of on-demand field workers similar to Uber drivers and so on. I mean, they are specialized people who have knowledge of construction and can do specialized tasks. They are individuals who fly drones on our job sites. These individuals are on our job sites and our engineers from India are able to use tools like Oculavis for video site inspections and daily meetings with the subcontractors and inspecting the work every single day. We also use specialized cameras like open space which capture day, over day, over day footage of the jobsite, both inside and outside of every single nook and cranny and space to see how that space got developed so that later on if you want to see if an electrical wire is running and where exactly it's running. You don't need to tear up the wall. You can just rewind the clock 30 days or whatever and see where exactly is that electrical wire running or the plumbing pipe is running etc. even if the drywall is closed. 

So, using the combination of daily drone flights, specialized camera tools like open space as well as video conferencing and specialized video conferencing for jobsite surveillance and inspection tools like Oculavis, our team in India is able to stay on top every single day, file ticket. There's a separate QA/QC team which is besides our site execution engineering team, which does spot inspections and validates for quality standards on a daily and weekly basis as well to ensure that every single project is adhering to our quality standards throughout construction.


Rob: Yeah, I mean, when it comes to the job walks with clients, from my perspective, if I signed a contract with Livio to build my new custom home, you mentioned job walks. How is kind of my experience throughout the course of construction as far as interfacing with maybe the project manager that's assigned to me. What can I expect throughout the course of construction as far as communication to Livio throughout the course? We were to talk about the dashboard a little bit, but more the human interface? 


Navneet: Yeah. So, we believe in swift communication and swift problem solving and proactive problem solving, and so on. So, when you choose Livio and the project goes into construction phase, there's a single point of contact who's assigned to you. And that single point of contact is a highly qualified engineer who has field experience directly. And their role is to really look for any and every question that is coming from the customer and really making sure the customer is happy every single week. And that's what their performance is measured on internally. So that's the first and foremost. Our customers, current customers probably are exchanging probably five to 10 messages with that person throughout the day on any given day. Sometimes less, sometimes more, but there's a lot of communication that happen. And this person internally makes sure working with procurement team, with site execution team, with finance team and whoever they need to, to really make sure the project is moving forward, questions have been answered, and the complete accountability for customer satisfaction on a team rests with this individual. 

In addition to that, there are weekly meetings which are project review meetings with the client online where several members of the team from India as well as our project team right here in the US are available on that phone call as well to meet with the customer and review what was done, what's the plan, what are the upcoming payment milestones, what are some open issues etc. So, weekly checkpoint. In addition to that, there is a weekly job walk with somebody. It's a physical job walk with somebody on Rob's team or Rob himself sometimes to review the progress, what's happening on the job site. It is also a way to think ahead, look ahead, ask open ended questions and so on. Because our goal is that the execution is already hopefully flowing smoothly, thanks to the relentless amazing work that has been done by the team in India. So, this is an opportunity to sort of like think beyond and talk about more issues and so on. 

In addition to that, in order to have an extremely swift and rapid communication, we create a WhatsApp group. We have found it to be extremely meaningful and successful tool with each customer along with our team and several members of our team are part of that group. That enables questions to be answered at an extremely rapid pace throughout the day. These are the variety of tools and ways by which the human interaction is happening on a daily basis between the customers besides the dashboards and other tools that I talked about earlier.


Rob: Excellent. So just as a reminder, we're about to get into the Q&A phase of the webinar. Just as a reminder to anybody who hasn't already asked a question, you have the option to type question up top using the Q&A bar there. Alternatively, you also have the option to virtually raise your hand. I'll try to keep an eye on the participants list and do the best I can to filter through them. Before we jump into the questions, if there's any questions that we're not able to get to during this Q&A session, certainly feel free to reach out to us directly as well and we'll be happy to answer any questions you have. I'm going to leave this information up while we go through the Q&A section. And Navneet, I can go back to any slides that might be relevant to help address any of the items that come up. One question that came from the audience is, what is the ballpark dollar per square foot for a new single-family home in the Bay Area with LGS? Maybe we can start with that one and then there's a couple follow up questions to that. 


Navneet: Sure. The construction cost I will caveat my answer by saying, construction cost is always a function of a variety of things including site condition. Site conditions probably single handedly determine what the cost would be in terms of the wildcard factor that is associated. Today, assuming no basements and assuming no hillside projects and complicated foundations and no complicated driveways like you know, retaining walls etc., I'll just caveat and saying let's keep all that out. Just assuming flat lot with slab foundation or perimeter foundation and it's a two-story structure or one-story structure above ground, our cost, we are able to offer starting as low as $275, $285 per square feet on the fixed cost side along with an allowance which is... so there are a set of allowances which we offered to the customers. They can choose to spend more or less and that typically would be in the range of $50 to $75 a square foot on top of it. So, $275 to $285 on the lower end of fixed cost and about $50 to $75 per square feet for allowances that we are seeing now. This assumes the several things, right? But this is the starting point. As you get into the details, depending upon how exhaustive and detailed and fancy the specific implementations are, this cost can vary and go up from that. 


Rob: Sure. Navneet, a follow up question to that, is the primary cost driver that kind of varies? Is it primarily based on, you mentioned topography and terrain of the existing site or is there additional variances between what area code you're building and whether it's East Bay, South Bay, North Bay, etc.? What's the what's the biggest driver between kind of the terrain factor and also the area factor?


Navneet: Yeah. I think for the most part the driver is terrain. Now, there are sub markets within the larger Bay Area. I mean, subcontractors also know certain markets where they believe they should be able to charge more and there is a lot of construction going on and labor market has been pretty challenging to work with. What I would say is there is variability from market to market depending upon the area code. But that is I would say mostly minor and we are able to work through that quite a bit efficiently most of the times. 

One thing I did not talk about earlier when you asked was price with LGS. And I wanted to add a line to that that, that is a price with LGS, what I talked about earlier on the starting side. And I would say that our prices beat the prices or meet the prices with wood construction on any and every project. Our goal is to do that. Typically, light gauge steel construction has been very, very expensive or any steel construction for that matter in the US and specifically in the Bay Area has been very expensive because of the labor costs involved with working with steel. And to this day, it's an extremely expensive proposition. We are the only company who is able to offer building with steel for the price of wood, primarily because of the completely vertical integration that we have from top to bottom, including engineering ourselves to manufacturing ourselves to creating erection sequences ourselves to assembling on the field ourselves, right? So, because it's a complete vertical integration and controlling the entire value chain, we are able to drive significant amount of efficiencies in the system, which we are able to pass on to our customers as a result of that.


Rob: One follow up question on LGS side of things. Are you able to install any finishes at this time in the factory setting or is that work done on site?


Navneet: At the moment, we're installing all finishes on site, at this very moment. However, we are starting to... So, let's talk about the future of our LGS and manufacturing and how does that play into the future. Our goal has been to bring down the construction costs systematically over the next two to three years in the Bay Area and the rest of the US. And how do we achieve that? Well, we are already seeing significant savings on the LGS side. Like I just told you, it is significantly cheaper with anybody else who can do LGS. And we are meeting or beating the prices of wood already. But there's more to come in our manufacturing. What we are working on is making [inaudible 00:56:55] sections which allow larger and more complicated and complex structures to be created more cost effectively. And we are working on pre-running rough electrical, pre-running rough plumbing, rough HVAC, insulation, interior finishing, outside cladding, and so on. 

Our factory will evolve. Just like an automotive factory where the car manufacturer not just produces the chassis but then also produces and assembles all these other components, the seats, the steering wheel or whatever in order to make the final car and then ships the car. Well, our panels are going to get richer and richer and richer as we go forward with more of these values packed in. And as a result, the labor costs, the amount of labor that will need to go on the job site in California, in Bay area or rest of the US will go down. And as that labor goes down, the construction will get cheaper and cheaper and cheaper. And that's what our vision is and we're working very hard towards that.


Rob: Another question on LGS. Seems to be a popular topic. Again, for anybody who's interested in learning more, definitely, go back, listen to the webinar series on wood versus LGS. But Navneet, one question that came up is permitting process using LGS. Are all cities able to approve off site plans where LGS has been engineered? 


Navneet: Absolutely. 100%. Yes. Also, these counties will approve with LGS. Essentially, all cities derive their building codes from California Building Codes which is a subset of larger set of code. So, LGS and steel is an approved building material for the last 30 years. It's just that it has not been popular or used primarily because of the costs that have been involved and so on. There are homes in Britain that you will see, but it's again a small percentage of the market that you see. We are trying to expand that significantly because we really believe it's a better-quality product and will bring lower prices ultimately than what we are even offering today for a much higher quality product.


Rob: Excellent. Well, with that said, I'm sure there were probably a few questions that we weren't able to quite get to yet. But again, for anybody who has any outstanding questions, I definitely encourage you to reach out directly to our team. We're happy to go through and answer any questions there might be and how to engage with Livio, when to engage with Livio, and answer all those important questions that might be on your mind as you get ready to get going on your new home construction. With that said, I hope this was an informative session for anybody who's joining us either live or online in a recording session. And Navneet, thank you for taking the time to join us and answer all these questions that we had. 


Navneet: Absolutely, Rob. Fantastic job like you always do. Thanks, everybody. Hope you found this session informative. If you have further questions, if you have any question about anything that I talked about today, please just shoot over an email team@golivio.com. Our team would be happy to answer any questions for you. Like Rob mentioned, there is a lot of webinars we have on our website. Our goal is to bring efficiency and that's partly possible because of the education that we bring to our customers. There's a lot of amazing informative content on our website. There's lots more to come. And if you have topics, please don't hesitate to drop a line at team@golivio.com and suggest topics that you would like to hear from us in the future. And thanks again for choosing us and giving us an opportunity and considering us to potentially build your project and looking forward to hearing from you. Thank you.


Rob: All right. Thanks, everyone. Take care. Have a great rest your day.