Bellevue-based Intellectual Ventures is working to give prefabricated housing an upgraded look and feel for the technology age.

Prefabricated homes have been around since the early days of Sears Roebuck catalogs, but the company is utilizing new technology and materials to build housing faster, cheaper, and in a more sustainable manner.

Intellectual Ventures announced in September it would join forces with Seattle architecture firm CollinsWoerman to form Innovative Building Technologies LLC, with the goal of mass-producing mid- and high-rise housing in a more efficient manner.

The new approach to construction, using prefabricated components in a “kit of parts” can construct a building using half the resources of traditional building methods, including wood, cement, plaster, water, and other materials. The design of the building required fewer internal walls, and each unit has a large external facing window, Director of International Marketing Nick Gibson said to 425 Business.

The company reported a 50 percent reduction in time spent on design and construction, a 20 percent lower cost to build and a 20 percent reduction in operating and maintenance cost compared to traditional building methods.

The group’s first local project is a  24-unit, six-story building located in Seattle’s University District. Construction began in August and will be completed by the end of the year.