Modular Construction Leader Adds Tesla Executive

Originally published by: Construction DiveJanuary 13, 2021

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Dive Brief:

  • Gonzalo Gonzalez, former senior director of manufacturing and engineering at Tesla, has joined New York City-based modular developer iBUILT as chief manufacturing officer, the company announced.
  • Gonzalez worked for Tesla for nearly three years. Prior to joining the Elon Musk-owned electric vehicle and clean energy company, Gonzalez spent 20 years at manufacturing services company Jabil, including nine years as vice president of engineering and optimization.
  • Gonzalez will head offsite manufacturing at iBUILT’s prefabrication facility in Pennsylvania, where he will oversee day-to-day operations. 

Gonzalo Gonzalez

Gonzalo Gonzalez. Permission granted by iBUILT

Dive Insight: 

iBUILT launched in November 2020 with over $150 million in signed deals, and, since then, has increased the number of new deals in negotiation to $1 billion, according to the company announcement. 

The end-to-end developer aims to construct more sustainable buildings by using technology and prefabrication to build cheaper and faster. Part of the company’s ambitious goals include fully designed buildings in 30 days and a commitment to never put forth a change order unless it’s requested by a client.

“iBUILT is disruptive,” Gonzalez said in the announcement. “Although the construction industry is one of the largest in the world, it’s the least digitized and has lacked innovation for decades. Joining the team presents an opportunity to be a changemaker and to create better and more efficient ways to build.” 

At Tesla, Gonzalez led the engineering teams responsible for manufacturing the firm’s battery pack, drive unit and energy storage systems and spearheaded automation solutions for the optimization of the manufacturing process. Streamlining the battery production and assembly saved Tesla millions of dollars, according to iBUILT.

Before that, while working for Jabil, Gonzalez led a $2.6 billion operation and 15,000 employees working on jobsites across Asia and the United States.

“Gonzalo is a leader in manufacturing and we are thrilled to have him join the iBUILT team,” said Ayall Schanzer, chief strategy officer at iBUILT. “We are bringing together all the critical pieces to transform how buildings are built, and Gonzalo will play a lead role in streamlining our design and manufacturing process.”