Education | Speakers


World of Modular’s top-notch educational breakout sessions equip industry professionals with the latest knowledge in every facet of the commercial modular construction business. Learn new skills and techniques, find ways to operate more efficiently, and improve yourself and your business—for the knowledge you need to finish each job better, faster, smarter and more profitably—we’ve got you covered.

Keynote Speakers    |    Breakout Sessions    |    Workshops    |    New & Innovative Products Sessions





Chris Helder
Author of Useful Belief: Because It’s Better than Positive Thinking
Saturday, March 18th | 9:00 A.M. -10:00 A.M.

Positive Thinking Doesn't Work!

Chris is one of today’s highest booked speakers and he presents his high-impact presentations to some of the biggest names in business throughout Australia, the Asia-Pacific region, the US and Europe. If you have challenges at work, just deciding to “be positive” won’t fix them. But useful belief and strategy will. Keynote speaker Chris Helder will show you how to frame challenges in a way that makes them winnable and formulate an action plan for getting to where you need to be. Do you ever wish you had more influence over your team, clients, or colleagues? Chris’ presentations offer a high-energy and funny look at understanding and influencing human behavior. From leading a team, to winning that career making account, you will learn a simple self-awareness strategy that turns problems into plans, go beyond positivity to actually fixing personal and professional problems, and uncover the valuable lessons to be learned from challenges you have already overcome.

Anirban Basu
Economic Trends Expert | CEO & Founder of Sage Policy Group, Inc.
Monday, March 20th | 9:00 A.M.-10:00 A.M.

Construction Drivers & Trends in 2017

Economist Anirban Basu returns to World of Modular to offer an informative and entertaining forecast for the construction marketplace. Basu is chairman and CEO of Sage Policy Group, a consulting firm in Baltimore, MD, and is one of the most recognizable economists in and around the Washington, D.C. area.


He provides policy and economic consulting for numerous clients including developers, bankers, brokerage houses, energy suppliers and law firms. He has also written several high-profile reports on construction on behalf of government agencies and nonprofits, including MBI’s “Economic & Financial Performance of Relocatable Buildings in the US Modular Building Industry.”

Sponsored by:




Sponsored by:




Evaluating and Improving Prefabrication Operations
Saturday, March 18th | 10:30 A.M. - 11:30 A.M.

Ethan Cowles, FMI Corporation.


Most contractors start out their attempts at prefabrication with nothing more than a belief that increases in operational efficiencies will easily offset the investment costs of prefabrication. Just as often, a lack of planning or an inability to measure and analyze the costs and benefits leads to frustrating results. Ethan Cowles is a senior consultant at FMI Corporation, a leading provider of construction management, investment banking, and research. Cowles will help you learn how to look at your prefabrication efforts holistically as well as see what evaluating prefabrication operations should really entail: corporate strategy; demand; competitive environment; design and detailing; planning, coordination and scheduling; inventory management; plant layout; raw materials and finished goods; company culture; quality control; shipping; job site delivery; and more.

Experience the Future of Hotel Construction
Saturday, March 18th | 10:30 A.M. - 11:30 A.M.

Lad Dawson, CEO, Guerdon Enterprises, LLC

Lad Dawson will highlight selected modular hotel projects that have come to fruition since Marriott International began their Modular Initiative in 2015. Guerdon continues helping Marriott International accomplish their goal of offering modular construction as a viable method for their franchisees to open doors sooner. Fast-forward, two years into the initiative, Guerdon has completed multiple flag hotels for both Marriott and other brands. Lad will discuss the obstacles, successes, and outlook for commercial modular construction moving into the mainstream.

Designed for Manufacture:

The Advantages of CAD-CAM Solutions for Prefab
Saturday, March 18th | 10:30 A.M. - 11:30 A.M

Alfred Porsche, SEMA Software

Alfred Porsche worked for 23 years as an engineer in prefabrication of residential and commercial buildings in Europe, South and North America. He received his certification as an engineer in wood-technology from the University of Applied Science in Rosenheim, Germany. He is a specialist in CAD-CAM and participated in the design, setup, and startup of automated production lines for the building industry. Using current examples, Alfred provides an insight into the advantages of design for manufacturing and highlight the benefits of a correct quantity takeoff, automated prefabrication, and quality assurance systems.


Offsite Architecture: Constructing a Post-Industrial Future
Saturday, March 18th | 10:30 A.M. - 11:30 A.M.

Ryan Smith, University of Utah

John Quale, University of New Mexico

Architects have been intrigued by prefabricated construction since the early 20th century. Recent advances in design, engineering and manufacturing processes have led to a significant expansion in the use of pre-assembled components which are fitted to finished structures on site. Collectively, such processes are becoming known as offsite construction. A groundbreaking text, Offsite Architecture establishes the current and future state of thinking in this field. A range of the most highly regarded thinkers and practitioners from around the globe share their ideas and practical findings on offsite prefabrication, examining theory and practice, opportunities and challenges, successes and failures. A timely response to the growing interest in this method, the book provides the fundamental basis for a critical, reflective approach to offsite architecture. Contributions from both academics and professionals make Offsite Architecture required reading for practitioners as well as students taking courses in architecture, prefabrication, construction, and engineering.

Myth vs. Reality:

Why Multi-Family Modular Housing is Neither Too Expensive Nor Complex
Saturday, March 18th | 1:00 P.M. - 2:00 P.M

Jason Landry, Oaktree Development

Arthur Klipfel, Oaktree Development


We all know what the intended benefits of modular are for multi-family housing: cheaper, faster and better quality. But actually delivering on this promise is a major challenge due to coordination issues and “pain points” that exist between manufacturers, contractors, developers and architects: developers want customization; architects want aesthetic expression; manufacturers need realistic shop drawings; contractors struggle to define exactly what is needed from their subs… and the list goes on. But there IS a way to get all the intended benefits without suffering the pitfalls that have plagued some early attempts at modular multi-family housing. Join this session to learn about the innovative next-generation strategies that enable you to overcome these “pain points” and deliver on the promise of cheaper, faster and better.


Re-Purposed Shipping Containers for Volumetric Modular Buildings
Saturday, March 18th | 1:00 P.M. - 2:00 P.M.

Rhys Kane, Ladacor

Jack Steenhoff, Steenhof Building Services Group

This presentation will outline the benefits of and potential issues with of using re-purposed shipping containers as modules for volumetric construction projects. The presentation will also offer case studies and demonstrate examples of successes and failures with this application. Join speakers Rhys Kane and Jack Steenhof for insight into the engineering benefits of using shipping containers for modular construction.




New & Innovative Products

Saturday, March 18th | 1:00 P.M. - 2:00 P.M.


Lightspeed Technologies


Lightspeed Technologies is the trusted provider in classroom audio technology. Effective classroom audio solutions: Our easy-to-use audio systems deliver optimum speech intelligibility, overcome classroom noise and provide crystal clear sound to all your students regardless of where they may be seated or where the teacher may be standing. Teachers report reduced vocal fatigue, improved classroom management, and increased academic performance without changing curriculum or teaching methods. How we make a difference: Our Redcat and Topcat products utilize a series of exciters that apply sound energy directly to our unique sound panels “exciting” the voice signal. Since the energy from the exciters is transferred to the surface of the flat panel, every point across the panel radiates the sound—distributing it evenly throughout the classroom. The high frequencies of the human voice, so easily lost amid classroom noise, come through clearly and intelligibly so every child hears (and understands) every word.




Learn how BuildSourced, an innovative technology company, uses Internet of Things (IoT) and cloud technology to deliver industrial asset tracking and analytics. Clients in modular construction, equipment rental, waste management and utilities rely on BuildSourced to track and manage inventories of physical assets, equipment and materials, and gain control and efficiency of their physical assets. The BuildSourced online public marketplace enables members to buy, sell, rent or share their equipment and materials, creating a virtual shared economy for businesses across industries.


DIRTT Environmental Solutions


DIRTT — Doing It Right This Time — provides custom, modular interiors. DIRTT walls, millwork, access floor and power solutions are designed to match the client and base building. Suitable for healthcare, school and commercial applications, DIRTT propels prefab buildings into unique outcomes for every client. The 2-4 week lead-time is the fastest in the industry and is thanks to intelligent 3D software called ICE. ICE is used to market, specify, price, engineer and produce DIRTT projects. ICE is also available for other manufacturers of configurable products.


Dryvit Systems Inc.


Dryvit Systems, Inc. is the manufacturer of Outsulation® systems and the company that spawned the highly-successful Exterior Insulation and Finish Systems (EIFS) industry in North America in 1969. Dryvit Outsulation is a high performance cladding system for commercial and residential construction, which utilizes exterior continuous insulation (CI). It is available in a number of system configurations to meet any climate or building condition and numerous durable textures and colors to complete any architect’s vision. More than 1 in every 11 commercial buildings in the United States features Dryvit products on the exterior.

Peanut Butter & Jelly: Why Passive House and Modular Go So Well Together
Sunday, March 19th | 10:00 A.M. - 11:00 A.M.

Craig Mitchell, Britco

America waking up to the new international standard of performance buildings. It turns out that modular construction lends itself perfectly to meeting the passive house standard. A brief overview of "What is Passive House", what are other modular companies in other areas of the world doing in this field, why you're going to hear more and more about this standard in North America, plus a case study on Britco's first Modular Multi-Unit Passive House project. Just like peanut butter and jelly - you'll learn why Modular and Passive House go well together.

Modular is King: How Accelerated Construction Methods Are Helping A Fast Food Giant
Sunday, March 19th | 10:00 A.M. - 11:00 A.M.

Joe Lopardo, Z Modular


Accelerated construction has never been as important as it is today, especially in retail applications. Simply put, faster occupancy means a quicker return on investment. Unique to modular construction is that while buildings are being built in a quality-controlled environment, site work is occurring at the same time, providing for a much shorter overall construction period. Typical retail applications in modular construction include hotels, restaurants, banks, convenience stores, to name a few. Learn how one restaurant franchisee turned to modular for a custom building designed and built with speed to occupancy in mind, all while staying true to the national chain’s brand, experience, and customer expectations.

Compliance Path for Container Structures
Sunday, March 19th | 10:00 A.M. - 11:00 A.M.

Tom Hardiman, Modular Building Institute

Stephen Shang, Falcon Structures

Mike Wilmot, Wilmot Modular Structures Inc.

Shipping containers are strong, corrosion resistant, and are beginning to fill building needs across diverse residential, industrial, commercial, and retail applications as building blocks in the construction of restaurants, offices, apartments, dorms, emergency shelters, homes, and more. With the growing use and popularity of containers in construction, many agencies and regulations simply have not kept pace. MBI therefore is developing a series of tools and resources to clarify the compliance path forward for the various uses of ISO shipping containers. Join MBI executive director Tom Hardiman, Falcon Structures CEO Stephen Shang, and Wilmot Modular Structures CEO Mike Wilmot in this roundtable-style discussion to hear the latest updates on the industry’s efforts.
Mapping the Modular Industry: The Industrialized Housing Delivery Ecology Studio at Northeastern University, 2010-2017
Sunday, March 19th, 11:30 A.M. - 12:30 P.M.

Ivan Rupnikl, Northeastern Univeristy

For much of the last century, architects have dreamed of a factory made building designed according to their own specifications. Meanwhile the construction industry has industrialized according to its own logic, with a significant portion of all residential construction in the US now being classified as modular or prefabricated. Using a series of case studies, a studio at Northeastern University’s School of Architecture led by Ivan Rupnik mapped out the logics of contemporary industrialized housing delivery, shifting scale from the individual building component to what they call the industrial ecology, a network of material flows and transportation systems that more clearly define the contemporary housing delivery landscape. In addition to dispelling persistent myths of factory built construction, this session will focus on the potential role of the architect as an innovator in modular construction as well as an integrator of modular into current modes of building.
Don’t Trade Babe Ruth: 5 Pitfalls to Avoid in Digital Marketing
Sunday, March 19th, 11:30 A.M. - 12:30 P.M..

Jeff Hoogendam, 360MobileOffice

In 1920, Red Sox owner Harry Frazee sold the rights to Babe Ruth to the Yankees for $125,000. You know the rest: over the next 15 seasons, “The Babe” had one of the most storied careers in baseball while the Red Sox languished for almost 100 years. Is your business in danger of making a Babe-Ruth-trade level error? Digital marketing is one of the most powerful channels in the modular industry, which means that mistakes can have especially high consequences. During this session, Jeff Hoogendam, a digital marketing veteran with more than 15 years’ experience including many years working in the modular construction space, will guide you through the top 5 digital marketing pitfalls your company could fall into, and how to avoid them.
New Markets and Challenges for Structural Modular Construction

Sunday, March 19th, 2:00 P.M. - 3:00 P.M.

Julian Bowron, Z Modular


Population growth and resource constraints are driving demand for density and efficiency in structures ranging from housing to data centers. So while both residential buildings and data centers are becoming taller, they are also becoming more sophisticated and complex. Added to this is the demand for higher construction productivity, higher specifications and the effects of a shrinking construction labor force. So while it’s not surprising that modular construction is ever more relevant, it is surprising that the processes used to deliver modular buildings are adapting slowly. This session will focus on both process and technical improvement in volumetric modular construction, from design, to structural systems and erection techniques, and highlight how improved performance can improve access to growing markets for modular construction.


Brexit - Good for the United Kingdom Modular Industry?
March 19th, 2:00 P.M. - 3:00 P.M.

Bob Mears, Modular & Portable Buildings Association / bmpr Offsite Consultancy Services Ltd.

Neil Appleby, Jackpad

Kris Cartwright, Jackpad

The UK construction industry is turning to modular and other offsite technologies more and more often as an alternative to traditional construction methods. The UK-government-commissioned Farmer Review is indeed clear in its stark warning of “Modernize or Die.” With the imminent set up of a number of modular manufacturing facilities in the UK utilizing not only light steel framing, but also timber based technologies like cross laminated timber, what challenges and opportunities does the future hold with regards to trading with Europe while Chinese technology and investment moves in? Neil Appleby and Kris Cartwright from Jackpad will show how a home-grown technology helped two high-profile modular construction projects in the UK. Savings in time and cost addressed the client’s initial core requirements and demonstrated the true benefits of offsite technologies to deliver highly technical, practical, and functional buildings.

Blast Resistant Modules Help Meet Demanding Standards for Safety

Sunday, March 19th | 3:30 P.M. - 4:30 P.M.

Robert Slagel, Dropbox, Inc.


The increase in petrochemical-process complexity along with the overall size of production plants has led to a rise in the chance that accidental explosions could occur. Since OSHA regulations require an employer to “furnish to each of his employees a place of employment that is free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm,” petrochemical-plant operators must make every effort to ensure that their facilities are as safe as possible. When a fire or explosion occurs, the safest place to be is a Blast Resistant Module (BRM). Today’s BRMs are constructed of steel-reinforced roofs and walls that are API 753-compliant, making them capable of reducing the chance of catastrophic injury or death during an emergency incident. This new generation of BRMs can also be outfitted with a number of options depending on the needs of the facility, which makes them very customizable while still being able to meet the strict regulatory demands for personnel protection.

Integrated Project Delivery: Offsite Construction Through Multidiscipline Collaboration
Monday, March 20th, 10:30 A.M. - 11:30 A.M.

Kenneth Metcalf , Mosaic Capital Group

With the recent increase in use of permanent modular construction, moving toward an integrated project delivery (IPD) methodology seems a natural fit. IPD methods include early integration of major systems suppliers, MEP design, structural and architectural design, and contractors. This method of project planning, contracting, and performance is an ideal format for modular construction since it integrates people, systems, contracting structures, and practices into a process that maximizes collaboration and harnesses the talents and insights of all participants to optimize project results, increase value to the owner, reduce waste, and maximize efficiencies through all phases of design, fabrication, and construction.
Research Update: Industrialization of Construction

Monday, March 20th | 10:30 A.M. - 11:30 A.M


Dr. Mohamed Al-Hussein, University of Alberta


Dr. Mohamed Al-Hussein is a professor and Industrial Research Chair (IRC) in the Industrialization of Building Construction at the University of Alberta and a highly sought researcher and consultant in the areas of lean manufacturing, construction process improvement, CO2 emission quantification and reduction, and building information modeling, with the development of modular and offsite construction technologies and practices forming the hub of his research. Dr. Al-Hussein’s research has contributed to construction automation as applied to equipment selection and onsite utilization. He also conducts research applying lean in the development of improved work methods and productivity standards for commercial and home building operations with a focus on construction manufacturing. BIM technology has been utilized in a number of his recent research initiatives, including the automation of drafting and design for manufacturing, estimating and scheduling, material waste reduction, and quantity takeoff. Dr. Al-Hussein’s research also explores avenues for enhanced safety both of the construction process and of the built environment.

Insights from Down Under: Improving and Entering New Markets with Existing Offsite Technologies
Monday, March 20th, 10:30 A.M. - 11:30 A.M.

Damien Crough , Advanced Offsite Group

Damien Crough is board chair and a founding director of PrefabAUS and sees strong opportunities for the modular construction industry to set itself apart by providing low waste, high quality, sustainable, and design led alternatives to traditional construction. Currently managing director of Advanced Offsite Group, and previously business development manager at Hickory Group, Damien has been involved a range of medium to high density modular construction projects. He also understands the importance of research and development collaborations and has been involved in several projects with the University of Melbourne exploring advanced manufacturing technologies and embodied energy. This presentation will examine how prefab has evolved, including via technologies borrowed from the automotive and aerospace industries to build today’s modern buildings.
NIBS Offsite Construction Council Meeting

Monday, March 20th, 1:00 P.M. - 2:00 P.M


The National Institute of Building Sciences is a non-profit, non-governmental organization that brings together representatives of government, industry, consumers and regulatory agencies to focus on the identification and resolution of problems that hamper construction of safe, affordable structures for commerce, housing and industry. NIBS established the Off-Site Construction Council (OSCC) to serve as a research, education and outreach center for relevant and current information on off-site design and construction for commercial, institutional and multifamily facilities. Join modular and offsite construction professionals for this informative meeting.









 1. Retaining and Attracting Millennial Employees

 2. Winning Strategies for Marketing to Millennials


Sunday, March 19th | 10:00 A.M.-12:30 P.M.

Gabrielle Bosché , President and Founder of The Millennial Solution

Today’s workplace employs three generations simultaneously—each with its own unique motivators, preferred methods of communication, and definitions of success. By not understanding these dynamics, organizations are missing out on the power and productivity of a generationally inclusive work environment. Gabrielle is a generational strategist, author, and millennial-motivator and offers solutions to the challenges of a multi-generational workplace, empowering millennials with the skills they need to thrive at work, and managers with the tools they need for a diverse workforce. When it comes to purchasing power, millennials make up a quarter of the population, spend $1-2 trillion annually, and are primed for major life events. This generation has a deep-seeded appreciation and even fascination with doing things better, faster, and cheaper. Gabrielle will show you how to capitalize on their interest by streamlining processes, utilizing technology, and creating a brand that helps your company stay relevant while saving time and money.




Industry Collaborative to Grow Commercial Modular Construction by 5% in 5 Years


Sunday, March 19th | 2:00 P.M. -  4:30 P.M.


Ryan Smith , University of Utah


The MBI Board of Directors embarked on a mission that they felt would both unify and benefit the entire membership of the organization. The goal was to focus resources and efforts on the goal of increasing the market share of the commercial modular building industry from its estimated 2.5% to 5% percent of all new construction starts by the year 2020. The first step in this effort was to get a better handle on the current market share. Through a series of interviews, discussions, and surveys MBI estimated that the total value of new permanent modular construction (PMC) projects put in place in 2014 in North America at US$3.813 billion. Comparing industry data to data from CMD (formerly Reed Construction Data), MBI determined that the market share for PMC in 2014 in North America was 2.93 percent of the value of new construction projects put in place. MBI's focus now shifts to identifying growth barriers and opportunities in these key markets, while factoring in regional differences. The board recognized that there is not going to be a single, one-size-fits-all solution to growing market share and that key markets most certainly differ by geographic regions. There is also a recognition that if this effort is to succeed, it will require greater participation and support from the entire industry.