Offsite Construction News & Articles
The Offsite Construction Expo (OSCE) features exclusive articles and interviews from the leading voices in the offsite construction industry. In addition, OSCE features news and headlines from around the offsite industry, including modular construction, prefabricated buildings, tiny homes, and more. Check back often for updates.
Exclusive Articles & Interviews
A start-up called Vantem is committed to addressing the global need of affordable housing with its new “cementitious board” panels and is planning 15 new factories in the US alone.
Building Sustainably with CLT: How Apex Plaza Became the Largest Mass Timber Building on the East Coast
Built to six stories with carbon-sequestering CLT, the Apex Plaza harvests daylight and energy from the sun, and is powered by 875 roof-and canopy-mounted solar panels.
Commissioned in 2018, the New River Train Observation Tower project challenged graduate architecture and design students to source, design, and build an environmentally-friendly, handicap-accessible modular structure for public use.
The need for affordable housing has never been greater, and a company called G-SONGUO is redefining construction with a worldwide modular housing initiative.
Geene Alhady, president of California-based Clark Pacific, talks about the past and future growth of prefabrication in the construction industry.
Modular construction offers huge advantages in a rapidly evolving industry. A-LINX Building Technologies is taking it to the next level.
Looking for offsite construction news delivered straight to your inbox? Sign up for the Offsite Construction Expo's e-newsletter, The Offsite Weekly, and receive the latest news, interviews, articles, and resources from the offsite construction industry's most influential manufacturers, contractors, designers, suppliers, and more.
Latest Offsite Industry News
Modular builder and developer Tide Construction has received full approval for plans for a 48-storey student housing tower on the edge of Canary Wharf set to provide 1,068 bed spaces.
The scheme at 30 Marsh Wall, which will rise to 159m in height, is to be built out by Tide’s modular housing sister company Vision Modular Systems. Read more.
Pam Schurman Montgomery, CEO of Habitat for Humanity P.E.I., said the costs are similar to a traditional build. "It will [also] allow us to get our partner families into these homes faster. Having a modular build helps secure pricing and timelines, so we're pretty happy with that." Read more.
Clark Pacific, a leading provider of prefabricated systems that are transforming building design and construction, today announced CARBONSHIELD, a proprietary concrete mix with 50 percent less embodied carbon. When combined with the benefits of offsite construction and efficient design, CARBONSHIELD has a significant impact on construction's carbon footprint. Read more.
Continue scrolling for more offsite construction news...
Don't Miss Our In-Person Events!
Join the leading companies and professionals from across the offsite construction industry at each of this year's Offsite Construction Expo in-person events. With events taking place in Sacramento, Washington, DC, and Denver, it's never been easier to connect with and learn from offsite construction manufacturers, designers, builders, and suppliers from across the country.
More Offsite Industry News
Rows of tiny homes have started popping up in a vacant parking lot in Sacramento County. The tiny homes are at the site of a new "Safe Stay Community" being assembled by the Sacramento Regional Conservation Corps. Read more.
nVolve Technologies was hired by Casata Corporation to build 1,000 units to be delivered to Casata rental communities around Texas.
NVolve’s College Station factory manufactures both customized Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs) and complete architected and prefabricated micro housing units which are deployed on-site for rapid installation. Read more.
Though the tower won’t be fully completed and a grand opening celebrated until September, co-developer New Land Enterprises held a gathering at the 25-story tower Wednesday to celebrate the fact that the building – constructed of cross-laminated timber atop a concrete base – was officially named the world’s tallest timber-construction building in the world. Read more.
Local homebuilder and housing developer team up to deliver by truck an entire apartment complex made of old shipping containers to Phoenix by the end of May.
Low-income renters could snap up the apartments for $1,000 a month each, but when government assistance is applied to the rent, individuals would pay $300 a month out of pocket. Read more.
So far, Agorus has completed building around 100 units across Southern California and Arizona, but according to investors in a recently announced funding round, the company has the potential to be an industry-wide disruptor in homebuilding.
Agorus CEO Garrett Moore has set a high goal for his construction technology company. “At scale, our vision as a company is to be the largest builder in the country by the end of the decade,” he said. Read more.
As one of the first companies in North America to apply automation and robotics to the design and manufacturing of prefabricated mass timber buildings, Intelligent City plans to scale operations, commercialize its Platforms for Life (P4L) building solution, grow factory automation, and expand its footprint across and beyond Canada.
Earlier this year, the company completed testing of its building systems and is now verified to work within the new mass timber high-rise building codes in Canada and the US. Read more.
REVIVAL is an architectural design concept that uses a block system. Each block has a collapsible design that starts with a steel frame. REVIVAL blocks have wall slabs that are made with an aluminum frame and filled with insulation like mineral wool. Blocks can be designed with specific purposes in mind, like lodging, medical, dining, sports, or classrooms. Read more.
The new annex, which currently under construction, will be the first commercial structure ever built from eastern hemlock that has been processed into cross-laminated timber, or CLT.
While the hemlock CLT has generated plenty of buzz across the construction industry, no one has taken a chance to build with it before now. Read more.
Vantem is a startup construction company manufacturing high-efficiency, net-zero homes at competitive costs and low embodied carbon. The company recently raised a Series A round of investment from the Bill Gates-founded firm Breakthrough Energy Ventures.
The company plans to build 15 factories in the U.S. over the next seven years, each capable of producing a million square feet of homes each year. Read more.
Assembly OSM, a modular construction startup that has compared its process to putting together Ikea furniture, raised $38 million in Series A funding.
Assembly calls its construction method “post-modular” because it is more akin to a car or aircraft assembly line than a traditional modular build-out, where the structure is put together on a single factory floor. Read more.
VESTA Modular, a portfolio company of Kinderhook Industries, LLC, acquired California-based Performance Modular, Inc. The acquisition is VESTA's fifth since partnering with Kinderhook in December 2020. Read more.
These reports contain a compete overview of the commercial modular construction industry—both permanent and relocatable—and includes exclusive data from member companies around the world. Read more.
Based in Vancouver, Nexii Building Solutions has been described by The New York Times as “a rising star in the expanding green building industry,” combining a patented modular system with a reliance on 3D modeling software and third-party verification of its sustainability metrics.
Nexii’s patented building system involves the mass production of prefabricated panels for use in walls, floors, and roofs in an off-site factory, followed by rapid on-site assembly. Read more.
The building is made up of modular student housing units grouped around a purpose-built central atrium. Inside, it houses a large cultural space, 108 student beds, two hotel suites, an elder suite, six shared kitchens, two collaboration areas, a computer lab, an Esports room, a maker space, and bike storage.
The structure integrates 36 prefabricated modules. The central structure was site-built, allowing for a unique cultural expression and creating a seamless transition between the modular construction. Read more.
A plan from Texas A&M University researchers to 3D print new resilient buildings using hempcrete has the potential to lower the environmental impact of traditional construction methods and make housing more affordable and available.
Hempcrete has already been used globally in residential construction and prefabricated modular construction. Read more.
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced seven local government and nonprofit organizations across the state will receive nearly $1.4 million to construct seven modular build/modified technology homes. The grants will reduce the typical single-family homeconstruction timeline and allows housing to be made available for immediate occupancy. Read more.
Stelling Properties, which specialises in modular construction, has used its expertise to design and build transportable accommodation inside shipping containers to help house those living in dangerous and freezing conditions in refugee camps across Europe.
Dubbed project Re:Haus, the endeavour runs as a separate staff-led charitable initiative and was started by the team just days after news of the war in Ukraine broke as a way in which they could put their expertise to good use. Read more.
Technology research managers from the UK-based Flood Innovation Centre recently had the opportunity to see the prototype of one of the innovative products that they’ve championed in action - a house that’s designed to rise above the water when it detects flooding. Read more.
The recent McBride Fire in New Mexico grew to nearly 6,200 acres, burned more than 200 homes and left two people dead earlier this year. Now Mayor Lynn Crawford of the Village of Ruidoso, a mountain town of about 8,000 residents, is stepping up to bring back affordable housing to the area.
Crawford said more money is needed to build out affordable housing developments and he and the village have reached out to modular home manufacturers and are in the process of putting out requests for proposals. Read more.
The all-electric, modular property in Chantilly, Va., produces more energy than it uses and is a prototype for Van Metre Homes, a regional home builder based in Northern Virginia.
Van Metre Homes recently completed its second “POWERhaus” model, a modular constructed townhouse in Chantilly, Va., which the company is using as a prototype for future townhouse development. Its first prototype was a single-family home. Read more.
US homebuilder Palari is collaborating with Singapore’s SML Group to expand a pipeline of master-planned, net zero energy, sustainable communities across California.
Palari Villas are built using modular construction methodology, including the use of 3D-printing, allowing Palari to build high quality homes that are better for the environment and affordable. Read more.
For traditional "stick-built" homes, conflicts over energy-efficiency standards tend to play out in local communities, not the highest level of the federal government.
The final federally-creating rules created different standards for single- and multi-section homes, setting looser requirements for the smaller units. U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said the separate policy approach is designed to ensure the cheapest manufactured units stay affordable. Read more.
Factory-produced homes can produce up to 45% less carbon that traditional methods of residential construction, according to new research by the University of Cambridge and Edinburgh Napier University.
A study found that two modular housing schemes designed by HTA Design, consisting of a total of nearly 900 homes, saved a combined 28,000 tonnes of carbon. Read more.
The units to house those transitioning out of homelessness are built from a pre-fabricated modular system made from high-density polyethylene.
“This is beautiful, this is what it’s all about,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis. “And we need to get more cities to join us, confront this issue of homelessness." Read more.
The all-aluminum balcony system is primarily targeted for multifamily residential construction, with orders anticipated to range from 30 to 200 units, says Dan McGee, Vestis general manager and co-owner.
The prefabricated product also will minimize the number of subcontractors needed to build a balcony on-site, he adds. Read more.
The product, called X-press PODs, has been developed by KeyPlants, the Sweden-based provider of modular prefabricated facility solutions.
The new, portable on-demand (POD) facility will help pharma companies dramatically reduce the time it takes to set up new production, speed the development of cutting-edge therapies, and increase production flexibility. Read more.
The housing industry is now host to various methods of construction beyond the traditional timber frame, bricks and mortar building. Modular construction and pre-fabricated solutions are easing the strain on firms to erect homes at such a fast rate while minimising the environmental impacts at the same time.
Organizations like Veev, a pre-fab innovator developing vertically-integrated building solutions, are supporting the leading home builders that are burdened by the increased demand for housing. Read more.
Built on City of Kitchener-donated property through Canada's Rapid Housing Initiative, the YW Block Line Road Supportive Housing complex is a 2,130-square-metre, 41-one bedroom unit, four-storey building built entirely with cross laminated timber (CLT), including the stair and elevator shafts. Some glulam beams and columns were used on the ground floor entrance area, with some Douglas fir support the CLT entrance canopy. Read more.
New legislation and a new business project in Grand Junction could translate into more attainable and affordable housing.
Mosaic Housing expects to be able to build a 100-unit apartment building every month. The factory is expected to be 224,000 square feet. That’s almost twice the size of your average Sam’s Club store. Read more.
Quartz Properties announces two new modular build-for-rent developments in Western North Carolina. The communities, Belle Meadow in West Asheville and Allison Acres in Waynesville, will provide much-needed rental supply of attainable residences to the greater Asheville market.
An off-site builder, Quartz will utilize modular construction to complete Belle Meadow and Allison Acres. Vertical construction will follow the completion of land development in 2023. Read more.
Nixing dining rooms via new ghost and small, takeout-only restaurant builds could save on labor and development costs, said Frank Inoa, VP of design and engineering innovation. Read more.
The new office building for the German Parliament was erected in mere months using a building system based on prefabricated wooden units.
Each working day, six massive timber modules were fully assembled at the factory, transported to the construction site, and assembled by the early evening. No doubt, this building was as quick, efficient, and sustainable as it gets in terms of construction. But what about the architecture? Read more.
Champion Home Builders coming to Scotland County after state offers $1.3 million incentive package. Company expects to recruit from counties throughout region.
“Eighty percent of our employee base will be in the manufacturing facility,” said Wade Lyall, Skyline Champion’s executive vice president, in an interview. “We’ll need plumbers. We’ll need electricians. We’ll need framers. We’re going to need craftsmen to do molding and trim.” Read more.
Japanese design firm Serendix Partners has produced a scalable 3D-printed housing pod that takes less than a day to create at minimal cost.
Joining forces with renowned architect Masayuki Sono, winner of NASA’s 3D-Printed Habitat Challenge, Serendix and Sono designed a small house that could be printed quickly enough to serve as emergency housing after a natural disaster like an earthquake or hurricane that destroys the population’s homes. Read more.
A group of investors has acquired 177 acres near a growing Grand Junction hospital, hoping to build hundreds of new apartments and a 237,000-square-foot plant capable of turning out 100 prefab apartment a month.
“No one has ever built something like this in the U.S.” said Ted Steers, who is part of a Front Range investment group planning a European-inspired factory in Grand Junction. “This is a key part to solving the workforce housing crisis. We need to build housing faster, better and more inexpensively.” Read more.
William McDonough + Partners' new mass timber Apex Plaza project recently celebrated its completion in Charlottesville, Virginia. The 187,000-square-foot structure is now considered to be the largest such CLT project in the eastern United States.
Its completion is a major milestone for the use of the increasingly popular material in the U.S. and marks the end of a journey begun twenty years ago when the firm published a text from McDonough and EPEA International founder Michael Braungart outlining the “possibility of developing healthy and creatively interactive relationships between human settlements and the natural world.” Read more.
The housing crisis in the Treasure Valley doesn't seem to be letting up, forcing some people to find another place to live or downsize entirely.
The solutions seem slim to none, but the nonprofit LEAP Housing is taking matters into its own hands by building affordable homes out of storage materials. Read more.
The Modular Building Institute’s (MBI’s) 2022 World of Modular conference and tradeshow returned in grand fashion and attracted over 1,000 in-person and digital attendees from more than 20 countries.
The modular building industry’s largest and longest-running event drew modular construction professionals from around the world to network, exchange ideas, learn from experts, discuss issues, and receive well-deserved recognition at the La Cantera Resort & Spa in San Antonio, Texas. Read more.
Sacramento County is announcing its first so-called Safe Stay Community, a new village of temporary tiny homes for people experiencing homelessness.
Clark Pacific, a constructor of prefabricated building systems, will install solar arrays across all of its facilities, transitioning its consumption to nearly 100% renewable energy through a partnership with NewGen Energy.
The solar arrays, which NewGen Energy began installing at Clark Pacific’s properties across California in December of 2021, will be fully operational in Q4 2022. Over 25 years, the move to solar is estimated to save more than $19 million. Read more.
Set to be showcased exclusively at FIREX International in May, EVACSTAC is a prefabricated structural steel tower solution designed to provide an alternative evacuation route for residents in the event of a fire, as well as support firefighters in shortening response times to high-rise incidents. Read more.
A team of students and faculty at Virginia Tech has completed an innovative observation tower in rural Virginia. The design and delivery of the project saw the development and certification of a new hardwood cross-laminated timber product, off-site prefabrication, and the discovery of the ruins of a historic building. Read more.
Colorado lawmakers are aiming to increase the state’s stock of modular homes amid a statewide housing shortage that’s left many residents priced out of the market.
House Bill 1282, known as the Innovative Housing Incentive Program, would create a $40 million loan program that modular homes manufacturers could use to pay workers and cover operating expenses, including payroll, inventory and materials. Read more.
The study, commissioned by Stewart Milne Group for the Advanced Industrialised Methods for the Construction of Homes (AIMCH) research project, found that crane-lift panelised building methods provide 20% less exposure to health and safety risks on site than open panel timber frame construction using a forklift. Read more.
As the housing crisis across America continues to escalate, established technology companies and startups alike – many of which are based in the San Francisco Bay Area – are looking for ways to address the mounting issue of housing affordability. San Jose-based Cloud Apartments, founded in 2020, is one such company looking to make a difference when it comes to providing modular-construction homes that are more affordable for renters. Read more.
Danish studio Schmidt Hammer Lassen has revealed its design for a 100-metre-tall housing block in Switzerland, which will be the world's tallest timber building when it completes.
It will be comprised of four volumes of different heights, one of which will rise to 100 metres tall making it the world's tallest building with a load-bearing timber structure. Read more.
An architecture studio based in Kyiv is designing a modular village intended to shelter people who have been displaced from their homes as a result of the war in Ukraine.
The town project is designed in such a way that it can be implemented quickly and with whatever resources are available at hand. Having different material options cushions the project from the unpredictability of the war and any supply-chain shocks. Read more.
Crain’s Detroit Business has named Sandra Lupien, director of MassTimber@MSU, to its inaugural “Notable Leaders in Sustainability” list.
Lupien talks about how MSU is leading in the research and application of mass timber and about how a growing and evolving mass timber industry can impact Michigan’s economy. Read more.
Arup has designed and engineered the Netherlands’ tallest timber-hybrid residential building.
Completed this year, HAUT is part of the country’s commitment to becoming climate-neutral by 2050, in which the use of timber as a building material has been identified as one of the most effective ways to accelerate decarbonization.
As detailed by Arup, the design principle for HAUT was “timber where possible, concrete and steel when necessary.” Read more.
Simple Homes is one of a few prefabricated housing manufacturers in Colorado — a tiny but growing segment of the construction business. The idea of building parts of structures in factories has been around for decades, but it’s drawn new focus during the recent labor crunch and housing shortage.
This year, the industry is set to get another big boost: A bipartisan proposal in the state legislature would offer $40 million in grants for “innovative” housing manufacturers. Their hope is to not just build affordable housing but to boost the overall housing supply. Read more.
The U.S. Dept. of Energy has awarded a total of $32 million for more than 30 next-generation building retrofit projects that will dramatically improve affordable housing technologies, according to a DOE news release.
Seven organizations will use the money to test renovation techniques that reduce disruption to tenants while upgrading the energy and environmental performance of buildings more quickly, affordably, and effectively, the release says. The techniques, such as prefabricating walls and drop-in replacements for heating, cooling, and hot water systems, can “revolutionize construction and renovation.” Read more.
Becky Jorgeson is the founder and president of Hope’s Village, a nonprofit that has been working to establish a cohousing community to house unhoused people locally for 10 years.
Her vision includes 30 tiny homes, all surrounding a communal house in the middle that has bathrooms, offices and a commercial kitchen. Read more.
The team behind Cleveland’s 512,000-sq-ft, eight-story INTRO apartment/retail complex unlocked the construction efficiencies of cross-laminated and mass timber.
There were several lessons learned along the way, but when it topped out, INTRO was briefly the tallest mass timber building in the U.S. at 115 ft. If Ascent in Milwaukee—a similar mixed-use building with a concrete core and CLT floors and ceilings and glulam columns and beams—is completed as planned this summer, it will pass INTRO and reach 284 ft tall. Read more.
Gov. Jim Justice was in Bluefield Tuesday for the official groundbreaking to welcome Omnis Building Technologies to the I-77 Exit 1 area.
The $40 million,150,000-square-foot facility manufactures revolutionary housing and will employ about 300. Justice called the new manufacturing facility, which uses concrete technology and can build a house in about two days, “amazing,” and said it will revolutionize the housing industry. Read more.
One week ago, Ryan Bauer was living in a tent on the hard pavement on Gough Street south of Market. Now he’s living on the same pavement with a dramatic upgrade: He’s moved into his own tiny home, with a mattress, desk, chair and — most luxurious of all — a heater that quickly warms his 64-square-foot abode. That’s almost as crucial as a front door that locks from the inside and by a combination lock on the outside. Read more.
Governor Jay Inslee visited a Seattle tiny home village this week as part of a day of meetings with Puget Sound advocates and government leaders on the state’s homelessness crisis, while the Legislature considers more spending for policies that are proven to work.
The governor’s $800 million proposal would address "key gaps in facilities and services by exploring ways to help families and individuals remain in their homes; secure facilities for transitional and permanent housing; and expand behavioral health services," and would include $62 million for approximately 500 units in tiny home villages. Read more.
The Structural Insulated Panel Association (SIPA) announced the winners of the 20th Annual Building Excellence Awards at its member meeting on March 1, 2022. One of the most prominent offsite construction award programs, the Building Excellence Awards showcase the projects that best demonstrate the design flexibility, long-lasting energy performance and resiliency of structural insulated panels (SIPs).
“With the permanent adoption of more stringent building energy, low carbon and electrification codes across the country, building professionals are quickly recognizing SIPs as the answer to meeting criteria of a high-performance structure,” said Jack Armstrong, Executive Director and COO for SIPA. Read more.
New research suggests that recycled glass can be used as a component of concrete for 3D printing.
The presence of glass does not only solve the problem of waste but also contributes to the development of a concrete with superior properties than that containing natural sand. If used in this way, waste glass can find a new life as part of a construction material. Read more.
Modular housing has quietly become a cost effective, not to mention dignified, way to house homeless people, as evidenced by a two-year-old City of Toronto program.
But to understand why modular housing is poised to become a resounding success in Canada’s largest city, one need only look at Vancouver, where it was first implemented. According to the creator of modular, or factory-produced, housing, its size, portability, and the method of production, prevents costs from ballooning. Read more.
Carrier, a Florida-based air conditioning/HVAC company specializing in sustainable and intelligent building solutions, is joining forces with the Marriott Design Lab to develop advances such as IoT-connected hotels to improve guest experiences, as well as optimizing building systems for modular construction.
Marriott’s partnership with Carrier will also focus on how to streamline hotel construction to reduce costs, drive energy efficiency and shorten construction times. Read more.
Sioux Falls-based Hegg, known for development and construction, is adding a modular construction division, beginning with a 127,000-square-foot facility in Brandon, South Dakota.
Hegg Cos. president Paul Hegg says, “It’s really, really cool. Marriott and Hilton in particular have modular programs and are promoting this as the best deployment method for hospitality going forward. This is not new; it’s just not real prevalent in our area yet, but with all the labor woes and material acquisition, it’s time.” Read more.
The Sturgeon Bay Common Council has tentatively agreed to donate two city-owned lots in the industrial park to the Door County Economic Development Corporation (DCEDC) for a modular-home manufacturing facility.
Julie Schmelzer, DCEDC’s director of business development, said the facility would address an affordable-housing shortage and a lack of construction workers in the county and northeastern Wisconsin. Read more.
A bill moving through the Oregon legislature could expand locations where prefabricated and manufactured homes can be sited in the state.
Among its provisions, the legislation would prevent cities and counties from imposing optional standards that create obstacles to these homes being built, like the pitch of a roof angle, minimum building size, the presence of a carport or garage, house color or appearance.
“We are stipulating that manufactured homes should simply be held to the same standards that you would apply to any other kind of construction on the ground,” says Rep. Pam Marsh, D-Ashland, the bill’s sponsor. Read more.
San Jose leaders and homeless advocates broke ground on a new temporary housing project at a San Jose Police Department parking lot.
Last October the city voted to approve the prefabricated housing project near the Guadalupe River Park in an effort to address the city’s homeless crisis.
The 76-unit project will be located in a parking lot at the San Jose Police Department headquarters near West Taylor Street and will include 16 prefabricated structures. Read more.
Prefabricated cabins continue to consolidate their presence in the tourist field. There are many characteristics that make them ideal tools to advance a more equitable sector, thanks to their affordability, mobility and localized construction. But not only this, but this type of accommodation, in principle, is more sustainable from the point of view of the environment. The New York startup Moliving is working along these lines, and after some time working on its prototypes, it will finally see a new hotel, Hurley House, which will have its cabins and will open this spring in the north of the state of New York. Read more.
Black Buffalo 3D Corporation today launched its new, production-ready NEXCON™ 1G printer.
Black Buffalo 3D is a leading global provider of large-scale 3D printers for construction and proprietary concrete-based ink. NEXCON™ 3D printers take the best characteristics of 3D printing and address traditional challenges in the construction industry, granting printer operators the ability to create affordable housing, commercial buildings, infrastructure components and historically pre-cast components on-site and on-demand. Read more.
With housing costs rising, tiny homes are spreading as a solution to homelessness in California, Indiana, Missouri, Oregon, and beyond. Arnold Schwarzenegger garnered considerable publicity in December when he donated money for 25 tiny houses for homeless veterans in Los Angeles. It reflects a growing interest in outside-the-box ideas to get unhoused people off the streets, especially during winter in cold climates and amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Now a new tiny house community is being developed in Madison, Wisconsin. Read more.
In a world where everyone’s in a rush to get ahead, modular construction offers nothing less than a shortcut to the future. Prefabrication can reduce the time it takes to build a structure from endless years to mere months. Better still, the final product is exactly as planned, promised and promoted.
But, says Daniel Ling, a partner at one of Toronto’s leading architectural practices, Montgomery Sisam Architects, “There are always NIMBY issues." Read more.
Next week, 45 modular housing units will open up near Reno's Cares Campus, giving some homeless people a sense of stability and a warm place to stay this winter.
The so-called ModPods, equipped with bedding, shelves, heating, air conditioning and electricity, are intended to provide safety and security for people who might not thrive in the nearby homeless shelter. Read more.
The aim is to bring consistency to offsite projects—for manufacturers, building teams and regulators. The standards, which are complementary, also are part of an effort to lower barriers to trade for offsite products, which often have to navigate a patchwork of regional regulations. Read more.
Modular construction startup Assembly OSM was founded by Chris Sharples and Bill Sharples, two of the founders of SHoP Architects, in 2019. While the Sharples brothers continue to oversee the company’s strategic direction, Andrew Staniforth took the reins as CEO late last year.
Its mission is clear: Assembly aims to turn the preconceived notion of modular construction on its head through the delivery of architecturally beautiful, high-rise buildings that are greener, cheaper and faster to construct. Read more.
One industry I have watched and think could help solve some of these issues is modular homes; not much has changed about the basic process since the 1950s when prefab buildings were first launched. These buildings come ready-made and major components (walls, ceilings, panels, etc.) are manufactured remotely and shipped to sites for assembly.
The problem? Consumers generally think they’re ugly and of poor quality. Over the last half-century, however, I have seen how modular homes have drastically improved in design versatility, quality and cost. In fact, backyard houses have gained a lot of popularity as a form of modular construction solutions, and companies like Cover Technology, Emagispace and Blokable are rising to fill the demand. This move toward modular homes fits in with the growing popularity of tiny homes, RVS and camper vans in general. Read more.
Sustainable architecture takes many forms. From minimal site impact to material selection to energy-efficient systems, homeowners have a lot to consider. One California-based builder has placed sustainable, technological and health considerations at the forefront of every design. The result is environmentally-friendly homes that serve fire-prone areas and cater to the needs of off-grid living. Read more.
According to recent documents submitted to the City [of Atlanta], Impact Housing Group proposes to retain the existing 1350 square foot single-family wood-framed home on the property, as well as to stack the module units three levels high with two units end to end, creating six residential units each 550 square feet in size in one structure. In addition, an open area would separate another six-unit structure with a mono-roof spanning over the structures. Read more.
The popularity of pre-designed and pre-fabricated homes is growing, moving much of the construction process from the building site into factories. While countries like Singapore, Australia and the United Kingdom are increasingly adopting modular buildings to meet labor and housing shortages, Nordic countries like Sweden already build 90% of residential single-family houses in prefab wood. Read more.
Plant Prefab, which says it is the first Certified B Corporation building technology company dedicated to sustainable design, materials, and operations, has signed a long-term lease to open America’s “first automated factory devoted to efficiently and sustainably building multifamily developments and custom single-family homes.” Read more.
If every new single-family house in the U.K. was built following these principles, cities could build more affordable homes in high-demand areas. This is especially true if the units are fabricated locally. “By embedding housing production very close to those communities, we can enable people to feel like they can be part of the solution to the housing crisis,” says AUAR cofounder and CEO Mollie Claypool. Read more.
For the right projects, [prefabrication is] a great option to lower costs and substantially shorten the delivery period. This will be especially true if efforts to pre-build the units prior to construction closing get to scale. It has major implications for permanent supportive housing, with strong urgency to deliver additional units. Read more.
By freeing people from heavy lifting work, Rick Murdock co-founder and CEO of Autovol can make better use of employees’ brains, and “we’ve seen far less employee turnover and injuries in our automated areas because we’ve minimized the strenuous labor.”
He emphasizes the importance of the people in the plant. “At the end of the day, robots are nothing without people to program, schedule, and operate them. The robots are just tools.” Read more.
With temperatures and homelessness rates rising, Eco Box Fabricators and Modal Homes think they may be part of the housing solution.
Both companies have experienced founders that are now lending their expertise to mass-producing homes—ones that reduce waste, save money, and look better than those already on the market. Read more.