Construction Market Update: Companies Look to Modular to Shake up Construction Industry

While investors and companies alike are seeing the value of modular as they work to keep projects moving, the pain point of today’s supply chain disruptions and material shortages are also driving demand for offsite, factory-controlled prefab construction.

Modular Construction Trends Toward Growth

On the investment front, Crunchbase recently reported startups in the construction space raised more in the opening months of this year than they did over the entire span of 2020. Roughly $1.5 billion has flowed into these startups since the beginning of 2021.

As pressure surrounding the price and availability of construction commodities such as lumber and gypsum continues to build, so too do the stock prices of modular and prefab construction. With alternative materials boosting productivity and reducing waste, their climbing popularity shows no signs of slowing down. For example, Skyline Champion, a manufacturer of modular homes, has seen an increase of 102 percent over the past year. Here at SurePods, we are on track to hit record breaking sales this year. With more projects in production than ever before, 2021 has been a year like no other.

D.C. Metro Area to See a “New Era of Modular Properties”

Innovation is also ripe across the modular sector as experts seek new technology to make the traditionally slow-to-adapt construction industry more efficient. A case in point, The Washington Post reports Van Metre Homes has partnered with Joseph Wheeler, a professor of architecture at Virginia Tech, in the development of a new modular prototype aimed at producing a “new era of modular properties” in the D.C. metro area.

Having nearly seven decades of housing industry experience under their belt, this North Virginia building company recognizes the benefits of factory-controlled building. By removing the unknown variables typically found in traditional construction (delays, labor shortages, etc.) modular methods place control back in the hands of the builder. Van Metre Homes is set to unveil Wheeler’s prototype, also known as the POWERhaus, in spring 2021.

Big Names Bet Big on Modular

With today’s material shortages, skilled labor woes and supply chain disruptions causing many to rethink traditional building methods, some big names are touting modular construction in an effort to shake up the industry. As Fast Company reports, “a new venture from a company inside Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway conglomerate is taking on the challenge of creating and scaling modular architecture.” The joint venture between MiTek, a construction software and building services company, and Danny Forster & Architecture, seasoned designers of high-profile modular buildings, hopes to finally make modular mainstream by answering the global demand for more innovative and sustainable buildings.

Here at SurePods, our excitement grows as we continue to see modular processes turn age-old construction methods upside down. New technologies like prefabricated bathroom pods help expedite construction cycles, simplify jobsite sequencing and improve finish quality. To learn more about how today’s innovative modular bathroom pods can help you meet your project goals, contact us at [email protected].

Spotlight on the East Coast: A Look Back at Completed SurePods Projects

Founded in New England almost 20 years ago, SurePods has become the North American leader of factory-built bathroom pods. As the demand for modular construction continues to increase, we’re excited to continue bringing speed, simplicity, superior quality and safety to East Coast construction sites and support architects and developers who understand the benefits of prefabricated bathroom pods.

With some of our earliest work stretching down the East Coast, we’re looking back at accomplishments that span from New York all the way down to Florida.

Massachusetts

Prism Apartments, Cambridge, MA

When developing Prism Apartments, Consigli Construction enlisted SurePods to prefabricate bathrooms offsite. Project architects worked collaboratively with the SurePods team to design 159 modular bathroom pods for a variety of the apartment’s layouts, ranging from studios to 2-bedroom units. The project team estimates that prefabricating bathroom pods offsite saved $2,500 per bathroom compared to built-in-place bathrooms and eliminated 10 days of on-site labor per bathroom.

New York

Prospect Plaza, Brooklyn, NY

Opened in February 2016, Prospect Plaza, is a 110-unit low-income housing facility located in Brooklyn, New York. This award-winning project leveraged the advantages of SurePods’ unique manufacturing process to achieve a 94% construction waste diversion. The SurePods team was happy to combine their environmentally conscious manufacturing process with lean design processes to provide Prospect Plaza with 114 bathrooms.

Florida

Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL

Opened in July 2011, The Boca Raton Residence Hall at Florida Atlantic University (FAU) marked SurePods’ largest and first dormitory project. FAU enlisted SurePods to prefabricate 700-bathroom units to shorten its construction schedule amid a tight fall deadline. SurePods’ offsite manufacturing and on-time delivery helped to ensure this project’s completion just in time for students arriving in the fall.

If you’re an East Coast- based developer or designer, let’s create something together. Contact us at [email protected].

commARCH Article – Consigli Construction Making the most of Modular with SurePods

As modular methods continue to gain traction across the country, media outlets are seizing the moment and covering projects where the tandem build process led to valuable time- and cost-savings. commARCH recently spotlighted Prism Apartments, a multifamily residential project that turned to the prefab process to optimize skilled labor resources and accelerate construction timelines in one of the most expensive metro areas to build in the United States.

When developing Prism Apartments in the heart of Cambridge, Massachusetts, a dense and sought-after location for students and young professionals, general contractor; Consigli Construction enlisted SurePods to prefabricate bathrooms offsite. Project architects worked collaboratively with the SurePods team to design 159 modular bathroom pods for a variety of the apartment’s layouts, ranging from studios to 2-bedroom units.

Bathrooms typically require 8 -12 construction trades, which can present the enormous risk of damaging previously completed work. Since bathroom reworks can account for up to 60% of punch lists in most multi-unit projects, Consigli Construction saved valuable time and resources with SurePods’ modular model. In fact, the project team estimates that prefabricating bathroom pods offsite saved $2,500 per bathroom compared to built-in-place bathrooms and also eliminated 10 days of on-site labor per bathroom.

As seen in the article, this resulted in significant time savings. Following a successfully coordinated delivery, bathrooms were ready for installation and the project was on track to open just in time to meet student housing needs.

See all the ways in which SurePods accelerated this project here: Consigli Construction Making the Most of Modular (commarch.com)

Spotlight on Multifamily: A Look Back at Completed SurePods Projects in the Multifamily Market

According to the recent Dodge Data Market Report, multifamily housing construction starts rose five percent this past April. As more prospective tenants consider returning to cities and urban environments, multifamily housing developers continue to face familiar challenges when it comes to onsite bathroom construction. Complicated transportation logistics, coordinating schedules of 8-12 construction trades, a tight skilled labor market and onsite reworks are known for causing months of opening delays. In fact, in most multi-unit projects, bathroom reworks account for about 60% of punch lists.

Knowing many developers are on the lookout for solutions to eliminate the bathroom punch list, we’re profiling successful residential projects with SurePods modular bathroom pods. From luxury apartments and affordable housing to student dormitories and senior living communities, below are four examples of how SurePods saved developers valuable time and resources.

Prism Apartments, Cambridge, MA

The Prism Apartments project team estimates that prefabricating 159 bathroom pods offsite saved $2,500 per bathroom compared to built-in-place bathrooms and also eliminated 10 days of on-site labor per bathroom. Opened January 2021, Prism successfully opened ahead of the spring semester to accommodate Cambridge’s student housing needs.

Prospect Plaza, Brooklyn, NY

Built on behalf of the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) and NYC Housing Preservation & Development (HPD), Prospect Plaza opened February 2016 and features 114 SurePods bathrooms, which helped meet airtightness requirements between individual apartments and the exterior for several green building designations.

Fair Haven Retirement Community, Birmingham, AL

Keeping residents’ needs top of mind, the Fair Haven Retirement Community project team collaborated with SurePods to design bathrooms that feature code compliant roll in showers and floors with tighter tolerances than required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Pre-fabricating bathrooms offsite also helped trim two months off of the project’s construction schedule.

University of Tampa: Jenkins Hall Dorm, Tampa, FL

Opened August 2013, the University of Tampa’s Jenkins Hall Dorm features 250 SurePods bathroom pods. The award-winning student residence received LEED Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council and was recognized as an “outstanding project of the year” in the category of LEED for New Construction, Higher Education.

If you’re a multifamily housing developer looking to expedite the construction process for an upcoming project, let’s talk. Contact us at [email protected].