Gerry McCaughey, a trailblazing figure in off-site construction and the founder of Century Homes passed away peacefully in the USA on 18 October. From Monaghan, in 1989, Gerry co-founded Century Homes with his father Brian, brother Gary and business partner Jim McBride.
With him as chief executive, the company evolved from a small Monaghan start-up with four employees into Europe’s largest producer of off-site built structures. During his 17-year tenure at Century, he and his team achieved various industry firsts, including the construction of the first off-site six-story structure and the construction of the UK’s first Level 6 carbon-neutral home.
In 2005, Century Homes was acquired by the Kingspan for €98m. Gerry continued as chief executive of Kingspan Century for the following three years. However, with the cessation of house building after the financial crash, he relocated to the United States with his family. At its height, Century employed 650 individuals across five manufacturing facilities, producing 8,000 units annually for markets in Europe and Asia.
In 2007, he was heavily involved in the development of The Lighthouse Project, a zero-carbon house built as a model on the grounds of the Building Research Establishment testing centre in Watford, England.
In 2009, he set up Infineco, a construction consulting firm based in Los Angeles that promoted off-site timber frame building in the American market, serving as chief executive of the business for seven years.
In 2017, he co-founded Entekra, an off-site house construction company in California, with the goal of replicating his European success in the US off-site building industry.
Entekra produced off-site timber frames rather than the more popular on-site timber frames or ‘stick builds’ in the US. While it delivered pilot houses to many of the top 10 US builders, following a fall-off in house-building, the company encountered difficulties and majority shareholder Louisiana-Pacific announced earlier this year that it was winding down operations.
Gerry McCaughey is survived by his wife, Sophie, his four children, his mother, Theresa, and his sister and brother. His father Brian predeceased him.