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Emergency Temporary Housing & Crisis Response Capabilities

The modular construction industry plays a vital role following natural and man-made disasters, assisting with both short-term disaster relief and longer term rebuilding efforts, including emergency temporary housing. And as it has following hurricanes, tornadoes, and earthquakes, the industry responded quickly during the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak. There is simply no better or faster means of providing shelter, schools, and medical facilities in times of great need.

In emergencies, the modular construction industry is:


Scalability: The modular industry capacity to build 500,000 square-feet of space per week now and can ramp up to higher levels if necessary. This translates into in excess of 2,000 beds per week depending on the level of complexity.

Quick Delivery of Space: Many modular companies maintain a fleet of commercial modular buildings ready for deployment and delivery immediately.

Reduced Time Frame for Completion of Building Infrastructure: Building construction occurs simultaneously with site prep, reducing completion time by as much as 50%.


Budgeting Flexibility: Acquisition options include leasing, lease to own, or purchase, giving end users the option of operating expense or capital budget overlay.

Flexible Design Options: Modular companies can construct and deliver buildings for temporary and permanent applications and structures ranging in size from a few hundred square feet to tens of thousands of square feet. Exteriors can be designed to match unique geographic needs.

Reduced Site Disturbance in Environmentally Sensitive Areas: Construction occurs off site in a manufacturing facility, minimizing site disturbances.


Re-locatability of Facilities: Buildings are designed and constructed for efficient secondary relocations, without significant structural modifications.

Turnkey Solution: Modular companies provide design, engineering, construction delivery and set up, on time and on budget. Modules can arrive furnished and ready-to-use upon installation.

Global Reach: The modular industry is well-represented can provide facilities anywhere in the world.

In Depth: How the Modular Building Industry Responded to COVID-19

In the immediate wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and in the challenging weeks and months that followed, the modular industry stepped up, helped out, and worked together — making the industry a shining silver lining during the crisis and beyond.

Click on a category below to learn more about the rapid solutions provided by the modular construction industry around the world.

Examples of Quick-Response Modular Facilities

Emergency Temporary Housing

When the town of Paradise, California was ravaged by fire in November 2018, thousands of people were displaced from their homes. The masses of destroyed homes required a large-scale cleanup effort, which was fulfilled by more than 1,500 cleanup crew members.

As remediation efforts began in 2019, Black Diamond Group, along with Odin Construction, mobilized nearly 300 modules across 20 acres to create temporary living spaces to accommodate cleanup crews.

Each room had a TV, air conditioning, Wi-Fi, and either a private bathroom or a shared Jack-and-Jill bathroom, providing essential amenities for emergency temporary housing. There were two recreation facilities, a gym, an entertainment room, a large kitchen, and a dining room on site. Built by Black Diamond Group.


Completed in just 28 days, this medical and technological shelter is unique in terms of safety and innovation. This unit can be used for a variety of medical purposes including dentistry, analysis laboratory, and first emergency, making it suitable for emergency temporary hospitals. The unit can be used for the realization of a mobile surgical hospital for emergencies or for integrating into traditional hospital surgical facilities.

The expandable unit is fully equipped for satellite teleconsultation. Additionally, the unit is transportable and made entirely with natural and recyclable materials that can create aseptic environments suitable for surgeries.

Energy-efficient technologies include digital equipment that will allow mobile generators that power equipment to reduce fuel consumption and increase power efficiency. Built by R.I. SpA.

Primary Care Clinics

Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in New Orleans required an Interprofessional Clinic for the School of Dentistry and Nursing to provide primary and urgent care in a teaching environment to support the local community, including emergency temporary hospitals. While there are long-term plans for a permanent facility, the temporary need was immediate. Site utilities and foundations were constructed while the building was manufactured in an off-site facility. The foundation was constructed with timber pylons driven up to thirty feet deep. The installation crew used Translift machines designed to reduce cost and increase the quality and speed of setting the modules on the pylons.

Off-site construction included installation of features inside the modular building such as laminate counter tops, exam room sinks, counters, cabinets, plumbing, electric for dental chairs, and interior finishes such as floor covering and drop ceilings. Built by Modular Genius, Inc.

Support & Administration

This building features a combination of modular and pre-engineered building construction. Built in hot, dust climate of southern Texas, this structure required energy efficient building specifications with higher levels of wall and roof insulation. Steel siding was installed to provide durability in the dry and dusty climate of the project site. In addition, the building was provided with two operable overhead doors located to provide cross ventilation in the shop to keep the overall building temperature at a manageable level.

The roof system provided was standing seam metal on the shop and EPDM on the modular office building, ensuring durability and weather resistance for emergency temporary housing. The office was provided with wall mount HVAC units and the shop provided with damper operated louvers thermostatically controlled to remove excess heat. The operable louvers have the ability to be closed on excessively windy and dusty days. Ceiling mounted radiant heating units were provided in the shop to temper the air on cooler days. Built by Satellite Shelters & Indicom Buildings.

Contact the Modular Building Institute

We can answer your questions and connect you directly with our members. Email Executive Director Tom Hardiman here.