Building systems show to highlight growth of modular construction industry

Building systems show to highlight growth of modular construction industry

The Michigan residence pictured was manufactured by Riverbend Timber Framing. The home's modern exterior is complemented by interior timbers that flow at angles to support the roof while the central core is supported by twin bent beams.

By Dawn Marie Yankeelov, contributing editor

A tidal wave of interest in offsite construction solutions has arrived in the United States this year, evidenced in part from an uptick in related activity from builders, suppliers, and manufacturers. The interest has become so strong that the Building Systems Council of the NAHB is hosting another Building Systems Housing Summit event this Fall.

The summit will take place Sept. 30-Oct. 2, 2018, in Knoxville, Tenn., and will offer CEU credits for a total of six hours to industry professionals.

Devin Perry, director of Building Systems Councils, reports there are at least two market indicators contributing to the growth of systems-built construction.

“First there is a labor shortage for the traditional construction industry as a whole. It has not rebounded since the great recession,” he said. “Second, we are seeing a materials shortage, and the scarcity of lumber alongside steel tariffs has underscored the economic benefits of offsite construction.”

The building systems seeing growth fall into five categories: modular, panelized, concrete, log and timber frame homes and other commercial projects. All systems-built structures have their own defining characteristics with a focus on quality control, energy performance and sustainability. And the costs of the materials as well as labor are factored in so that the overall process is markedly cheaper than on-site construction, Perry said. Modular building systems also meet local and state requirements.

Interest in modular construction has traditionally been strong in the Northeast because that’s where the manufacturers are, meaning shipping costs are greatly reduced. In that region, projects are growing increasingly larger. New single-family home developments are mushrooming, as is shown by the largest modular family development in California recently breaking ground. The large-scale project in Oakland has 110 apartments in four buildings including 44 townhouses and will be built by Guerdon Enterprises, a Boise, Idaho-based company.

Financing is getting easier as well for modular players through companies like Louisiana-Pacific, which just invested $45 million in Entekra, an Ireland-based offsite framing firm looking to be a game-changer in the United States.

The Building Systems Housing Summit underscores how technology has upped the ante for modular construction via the use of robots, for example, hastening speed-to-market.

Perry expects to see more shopping of the manufacturers themselves by builders looking for quick-turnaround choices at the right price for their clients. The event also hosts an awards program, which is still open for entry and will honor best-in-class participants in the categories.

The gathering will allow for ample discussion at the welcome happy hour, roundtable breakouts, in between education sessions, and the featured excursions on the Building Systems Housing Factory Tour (an additional $55 ticket).

Applications for the BSC Jerry Rouleau Awards for Excellence in Marketing and Home Design and the BSC Specialty Awards can be accessed through the new NAHB Awards platform. Users may enter information all at once, or over the course of several days, through their application portal. Save money by submitting your application prior to the early bird deadline on July 27. The awards portal closes Aug. 25. All types of construction, including single-family, multifamily and commercial buildings are eligible to compete. Qualified projects must have been built in the last 24 months.

To register for the event, visit the Building Systems Housing Summit website. Early-bird registration ends Friday, July 27, 2018, at 5 p.m. EST. The early member rate is $395 while the equivalent non-member rate is $435.All suppliers of systems-built housing, including product manufacturers and service providers, can attend by sponsoring the event. For information about sponsorships, contact Don Berey at 202-266-8208 or [email protected]. Perry can be reached at 800-368-5242, ext. 8577.



Topics: Construction Firms, Events - Educational / Networking / Tradeshows / Conventions, Modular Commercial Buildings and Add-ons

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