ALH Company History
ALH Building Systems was originally formed as Affordable Luxury Homes Inc. and represents the evolution of three generations of building experience. Our Company is owned by David and Kevin Cossairt, and was founded by our parents Karol and Gloria Cossairt in 1973.
Our Father learned how to build by working with his father and uncle who learned from their father. Building has just been a way of life for as long as we can remember.
Beginning in the late 1960's our parents ran a building materials supply business that grew into a commercial overhead door and commercial steel building business. In about 1969 our father became interested in what we now call Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs). Back then they were referred to as "sandwich panels". The use of expanded polystyrene (EPS) insulation laminated in between two layers of what was then called waferboard (now called OSB) made a very strong panel with great thermal properties. From the steel building experience, our father got the idea of bolting these panels over steel frames to create the structural shell of a building. This made a very energy efficient envelope and the first Affordable Luxury Home was born.
The early Affordable Luxury Homes were A-Frame, modified A-Frame and Chalet models. Innovative for their time, they were featured in several cover stories in various trade publications. We built hundreds of these homes throughout the 70's.
In the beginning we bought all of our laminated panels from an outside manufacturer. As our designs evolved, it became apparent that we needed to build our own panels. By 1979, we had begun to experiment with combining conventional framing with EPS insulation laminated inside the stud cavity. We eventually perfected this process and phased out the steel frame skeleton in lieu of a more custom designed product.
In the 80's, interest rates moderated and the building business began to recover. Our expanded scope of ability made it possible for us to panelize almost any wood frame structure and the totally custom Affordable Luxury Home materialized. Our experience in steel design and strong engineering and design capabilities went full speed into the custom home and commercial building market.
We shipped custom residential building packages all over the country. From Southern California we designed for seismic needs, to the Florida Keys with Hurricane design needs, to the Northeast and Rocky Mountain states with their snow loads, and everything in between. We became proficient at the art of packaging and shipping for long distance, with clients as far away as Japan.
As design technology evolved, we were able to introduce computers into the design process. Advances in technology brought about the first wall panel and roof truss design packages. We were still hand drawing all architectural renderings and adding panel and truss plans created on computers. Believe it or not, that was cutting edge for the time.
We kept a plan book of standard plans and offered options on those plans. As the CAD design technology improved we reached a point where we could design from scratch as efficiently as re-hashing an existing design. The stock plan books faded away by 1991.
We made the decision to operate as ALH Building Systems beginning in the late 80's to better suit our multi-family and commercial building industry segments. As our systems evolved it became apparent that our systems, technology, and fabrication abilities offered a broader scope of possibilities to our customers. Consistent with the possibilities that technology had thrust upon us, we began the 90's thinking of ways to build more of what we could design.
Throughout the 90's, our package house business was growing fast. However, we continued to get more calls for wholesale framing packages in the form of roof and floor trusses and wall panel packages. As we continued to supply the needs of those contractors and developers we could see that we needed to revamp our production facilities. In 1995, we moved our plant to our present location and diligently pursued the expansion of our fabrication abilities.
We continued to fine-tune what had evolved into one of the finest truss and wall panel plants in the business. More truss lines, more wall lines, more saws, new automated cutting technology, and computer technology became daily parts of our routine. As our package house business remained steady, we emerged as one of the toughest competitors in the panel and truss business.
Today we own and operate one of the largest truss and panel operations in the Midwest. We are set apart from other "truss companies" by virtue of our experience and ability. Our in-house engineering and design staff can handle any set of design criteria including: seismic, hurricane, wind, and snow. No job is too large or small and every customer is important to us.
When we come to work every day, we think about the things we have been through to get to this point and wonder what lies ahead. Looking back over the last several decades creates a sense of excitement about how new information technologies will affect the way we think, design, and build for years ahead.