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Modular Market Update: Multi-family

Given the unprecedented economic climate we find ourselves in, it’s hard to determine how things will shake out when all of this is over. All global construction is currently shroud in uncertainty — a trend that experts say isn’t going away anytime soon.

While it’s difficult to know whether the groundbreaking Prefabrication and Modular Construction 2020 SmartMarket Report’s three-year forecast for modular’ s growth will hold up, the report’s multi-family case study points to pre-fab benefits that will still be possible in a post-COVID world.

Meeting tight deadlines, achieving LEED certification with pre-fab

The report tells the story of Union Flats, a 2.4-acre, 243-unit housing development in Union City, California. Not only does this large-scale example showcase prefabrication’s time-saving potential, but the construction methods also helped support the project’s LEED Platinum certification.

Time savings

According to the case study, the mid-rise multi-family development was eligible for significant funding from the Infrastructure Infill Grant Program of the California Development of Housing and Community Development. However, the completion date that the funding required would have been impossible with traditional building methods. Fortunately, modular was able to come to the rescue and ensure the California project was able to meet the critical funding deadline.

At SurePods, we’re similarly able to save schedules thanks to the power of pre-fab. For instance, it typically takes about five hours to deliver a modular bathroom pod and place it exactly so on the jobsite. From there, MEP trades can complete pod hook-ups in three to four hours, and the whole process is complete in nine hours, maximum. This translates to eliminating 105 hours of jobsite labor per pod, resulting in over 90% time-savings.

LEED certification

Along with accelerated construction, modular building helped reduce site waste and allowed for the use of linoleum flooring rather than VOC-emitting vinyl at Union Flats. While these were not the main contributing factors for achieving LEED Platinum certification, they did help bolster the development’s overall green goals.

We at SurePods have also been a part of LEED certificated projects, ranging from Gold to Platinum. With the Prospect Plaza public housing project in Brooklyn, New York, for example, we had to ensure our pods met energy efficiency standards under Energy Star, National Green Building Standard and LEED Platinum. Forged offsite with the assistance of dimensional accurate machinery, we streamlined the building process, while also meeting the tough airtightness requirements between the individual apartments and the exterior. “The bathrooms passed the airtightness requirement better than anything that could have been field constructed,” Les Bluestone, Partner of Blue Sea Development Company, LLC (Prospect Plaza project), summed up.

Your multi-family resource

Multi-unit residential projects are a growing focus of ours here at SurePods – from luxury apartments with high-end bathroom finishes to sustainable student living restrooms for green-minded college and university clientele. For inspiration on how to incorporate pre-fab techniques into your next multi-unit residential project, take a look through our portfolio. Then connect with us: [email protected] to see how modular methods can speed up your next job, while reducing your carbon footprint. In the meantime, stay safe out there and be well.


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