Prefab Innovations To Revolutionize The Construction Industry
A Conversation with a Prefab Catalyst – Part 1
Greg Goss Featured on The Millionaire Mind Podcast
40 minute episode
This is part 1 of our “Conversation with a Prefab Catalyst” series – where we dive into the journey of Ameris’ VP and Arize Prefab’s Founder, Greg Goss, into the world of prefab construction.
Ameris Vice-President Greg Goss was recently featured on The Millionaire Mind Podcast. In his conversation with Dallon Schultz, Greg hit these key takeaways to listen for in this series –
- Technology and how it aids in the efficiency innovations of constructing
- Why the younger generations must maintain practicing trade labor
- Industrialized construction model: What it is and how it works?
- Reasons for selecting prefabricated steel over wood frames
- How younger generations bring transformation and innovation to the construction industry
PART ONE – WHO IS GREG GOSS, AND WHAT ARE AMERIS CONSTRUCTION AND ARIZE PREFAB ALL ABOUT?
Transcript Below (edited for clarity and succinctness)
Hey, welcome back to another millionaire mind episode where I have some of the most successful business owners sharing what motivates them to get out of bed every morning and how they elevate themselves and their companies to the next level. And I’ve got another great guest joining. Today, if you’re in the world of construction, if you’re in the world of real estate, you are going to want to listen to this episode because we have the one and only Mr. Greg Goss. He’s going to introduce himself here in a minute. [He’s] Going to share with us his journey as a contractor, and really, what’s led to his primary focus is now, which I absolutely love. Greg and I have known each other for probably going on over 2 years now.
Incredible conversation. Just an awesome guy through and through. He has a great team around him and I love where he’s going and how his efforts are – I’m telling you- are going to change the way construction is going to be done. That’s where he’s going and what he’s going to share with us on this episode. Really excited to get into it, Greg. Appreciate you joining us today.
Thanks. I appreciate you. Thanks for the intro and I couldn’t agree more obviously, which is why I’m excited to be here with you.
So why don’t you take the next couple of minutes and just share with our listener a little bit more about you. Who you are, your company, who you serve and what you guys do, and then we’ll talk about the journey and what you’re getting involved in.
Again, Dallon – thanks a ton for having me. I’m honored to be here. I don’t feel worthy of being the guest on the podcast, but hopefully something that I can share will help one of your listeners that makes it all worth it. As you know, I’m on a journey to be a market disruptor in the construction industry. So my history, my background – I’m an engineering graduate with a CM degree. I actually went to NAU. A lot of people don’t know that about me, but I’ve been in and around construction my whole life and have spent my entire career here in the Phoenix metropolitan area with large commercial contractors. I jumped out and started a partnership with Chris Jones – Ameris Construction, about 12 years ago now. Chris called me right after the recession and he had one of the only projects going in town. That was a charter school for Doctor Leo Romero and we jumped into that one together and have just kind of kept going ever since. Chris and I are a great partnership in Ameris because he’s the boots on the ground every day – he’s the guy in the field that is out in 117 degrees – and I’m the guy behind the computer. So I’m on the administrative side of it. So that’s a partnership that really, really works well. And in addition to that, about a year ago, we started another entity, which is an industrialized construction offsite manufacturing facility in North Valley to respond to some of the needs that we have in today’s industry. But the impetus of that was our journey with the Ameris Construction. We’re a boutique general contractor, or a “medium-sized” contractor in this town.
What would you say is a medium-sized contractor?
I think the tier is from 20 million to maybe 40 million. 50 million would be medium and then anything over that is large. Anything under that is small in my mind.
That’s annual revenue?
Yes, that’s an annual revenue basis. So [about seven years ago now] we built the first true net zero energy apartment complex in the nation, right up off of Scottsdale Rd. and Hayden, [just north of] Thomas. It was a 41-unit complex and we’re really proud of that. [In] 2019, it actually generated 7% more [energy] than it actually used and it has no natural gas, so it’s a true net zero energy apartment complex. That project springboarded us into this space of doing urban infill under 100-unit type multifamily product, we just have become really adept at it. We understand tight sites, we understand having to go vertical quickly and not having a lot of area for laid out space and so on and so forth. So it kind of has taken us into this role. It’s been interesting because we did the Modus MZ II project which, [actually], at the time when it sold – this is a couple years ago – it brought the highest price of anything at that point [in the townhome space], or single-family-attached is what we call it. We’re doing a market rate deal right now down in South Phoenix. It’s a 27-unit market rate apartment. So we’re really adept at riding in that space. Anything from luxury – we’re actually building the second phase of the Edison condo project right now on Central just north of Thomas. Great project. So we’re adept at doing that under 100-unit, multi-story, multifamily project is [what] we’ve done a lot in the last 6-7 years.
And what markets do you currently serve?
Basically, anything – we’ve done a lot of F&B, hotel, we do a lot of restaurant stuff…
I’m sorry, locations.
Oh – locations, anything in and around the metropolitan area [of] Maricopa County. We have actually traveled to Texas. We have been in California. But we’ve got [a lot] going on in Maricopa County. We’ve got some developers we’re talking to about going down to the Coolidge Casa Grande, South. So any place that’s kind of in the metropolitan area and outlying areas right now.
Awesome. Love it. So let’s take it back. You said you’ve been in construction your whole life. Was this always something you wanted to get involved in?
[I] grew up in Phoenix, when [Phoenix] had a bunch of empty vacant lots. I had an uncle that was going in and buying all those lots up. And my dad actually partnered with him for a while, and they started building houses. So I grew up literally jumping in and cleaning up on the houses when I was in grade school. They’d pay me a few bucks here there for mixing mortar and laboring. So – it’s in my blood. I love it. If somebody said, “Hey, if you could sum yourself up in one word, what would that be?” [I’d say] – I’m a builder. I love building. I love taking something that’s complicated, breaking it down into its most basic elements, and simplifying it. It all starts from the ground up. In this business we tend to over-complicate things. What we do is really simple. People make it complicated.
And what do you think it is that you’ve been able to implement to make this simple? Because with contracting and construction, there’s a lot of moving parts. There’s a lot of things, a lot of coordination, a lot of things happening, all at one time. What have you done, at Ameris, [to] effectively and efficiently be successful?
That’s a great question. I think the direct answer is we try very hard to leverage construction technology to the extent that we can to simplify our world. There’s a lot there – you could unpack that for a long time, right? But you know, one of the things that we do is we don’t have a central office location, but we spend a lot of money on our IT. [We] work real time together through a VPN tunnel. [Our network] backbone is really sophisticated, more so than most of the contractors that are triple our size. We use Procore. My team is unbelievable. First of all, we have a Super Bowl team. [We] have been fortunate – God has smiled on us and has given us a team that is better than any other – I’d put them against anybody else in the valley – and they leverage that technology. So Procore is one of those things, and other construction technologies. [Obviously] one of the things that we’re in the process of doing [with Arize] is basically converting everything that would otherwise be load-bearing wood structures into cold-formed steel structures. But we’re leveraging the software that we currently have today with BIM technology and some BIM add-ins that basically simplify the process as the whole. So that’s the biggest component of what I see that we’re using, right now to simplify it.
Catch the continuation of Goss’ conversation with DS in Part 2 on our blog, featuring next week.