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What’s on the Horizon for Modular Construction?


To some developers, modular construction may look like a dead end. Those mired in legacy practices might see the risks inherent in transitioning to the building process; others may fear an inability to capture in prefabrication the design features that are essential to their brand image.

But new processes and technologies are reshaping modular construction to provide more design options than typically associated with the method, as well as the greater productivity that modular is already known for.  Companies like Z Modular can build nearly 90% of an apartment building off-site. That adds up to a time savings of four to eight months, which, in turn, equates to significant dollar savings from reduced labor and the shortened time line. And, if the project can be repeated, additional savings can be realized.

Other industry professionals, such as Craig Curtis, president of Katerra Architecture, based in Menlo Park, Calif., look forward to the ongoing integration of building services into structural components that will continue to reduce field labor. Curtis says he’s also excited about the potential of 3-D printing of components and the design advancements cross-laminated timber can offer.  In this article, Multifamily Executive explores some of these benefits.  Also, be sure to read BuildSteel’s blog, “Cold-Formed Steel: Beyond Nonstructural Interior Walls“, for more information on how cold-formed steel can provide significant financial advantages by utilizing panelized walls.

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