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Modular Advantage Magazine

In each bi-monthly issue, Modular Advantage Magazine explores a specific modular construction topic and features interviews and articles along with industry news, updates from the Modular Building Institute and its members, modular case studies, and upcoming industry events. This construction trade magazine is a valuable resource for anyone interested in commercial modular construction.

While printed copies are mailed free to MBI members, we have partnered with PBC Today and BD+C magazines to send digital versions of the magazine to 300,000+ industry professionals around the world, including architects, engineers, developers, and general contractors in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Europe. Free digital versions are also available by subscribing to MBI's weekly e-newsletter..

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Latest Articles & Interviews

Repetition, Communication, and Coordination: A QSR Case Study

This modular QSR project seemed like any another modular building on the surface. Inside, it was anything but. The rhythm, the desire to iterate and repeat, and the constant communication between all parties made it stand out.

Modular Architecture: Thinking Outside of the Box with Sara.Ann Logan

At a time when modular buildings were still seen as less than by many in the architecture and construction world, Sara.Ann Logan took the plunge and partnered to launch a design-build firm that designed, built, and constructed modular high-end single-family homes. But even though she could see the value of this kind of construction, it wasn’t universally accepted.

Colorado Developer ‘Attacks’ Attainable Housing Crisis

City, county, and state government bodies are reaching out to Fading West Development, a modular manufacturer and developer in Buena Vista, CO, to learn more about how they are using modular construction to solve the affordable housing crisis in Colorado. Governments are eager to learn how they’ve made modular development successful and profitable while meeting the growing need for affordable housing.

CES Group’s Stuart Cameron Will Convince You the Moon Is Achievable with Modularized MEP

While most people think of construction as a gradually layered process, MEP assemblies—such as the modular ones—tend to provide all-in-one installs, like a car factory. A modular MEP product helps developers, architects, and fellow modular manufacturers reach their goals through early integration and planning. MEP assemblies address all the unseen things like electrical, heating, and plumbing when looking at a finalized building. The very nature of MEP assemblies are crucial to any initial prospectus.

Automation: The Future for Offsite Modular Construction

Offsite modular construction lags far behind other industries in embracing and adopting automation. Some people believe it will decrease jobs. Others feel they’ve done okay without it, so why change? In reality, conventional construction methods simply cannot keep up. Cooper Lane of Brave Control Solutions points to the labor shortage and the housing crisis that’s rampant in Canada, the U.S., and globally.

Seizing the Modular Construction Opportunity

The CSA Public Policy Centre’s new report, Seizing the Modular Construction Opportunity, highlights how innovative modular methods can help to bring various building forms—from single unit housing to complex high-rises—online more quickly. Owing to efficient manufacturing practices and controlled factory environments, modular can achieve completion rates that are 25% to 50% faster than conventional construction approaches.

Structural versus Cyclical: What Matters More?

A new set of considerations have induced leaders of major global manufacturing enterprises to reconsider their site selection decisions. Among these are: 1) a desire for simpler logistics emphasizing shorter transit distances and times; 2) a need to better protect intellectual property; 3) more reliable court systems; 4) incentives offered by the USMCA, America’s trade deal with Canada and Mexico; and 5) a recent set of subsidies offered under packages like the Chips and Science Act and the Inflation Reduction Act.

How Air Caster Technology Has Helped Improve Modular Building Manufacturing

Air casters mean flexibility, not just in terms of movement but also in terms of change. For example, one structure might be 56-feet-long and another 76-feet-long. Air casters allow manufacturers to easily accommodate a variety of shapes and sizes of boxes and then make changes on the fly.

The Building Industry Needs a Moonshot Speech

In his “Moonshot” speech in 1962, President Kennedy challenged his fellow citizens to land a man on the moon and bring him safely back to earth before 1970. He showed leadership, reimagining human potential and progress, and this famous speech has been an inspiration for many to get things done. Likewise, a “Home-shot” speech that challenges citizens to remove lengthy procedures and “carefully” remove some of the mountain of red tape required for permitting before 2030 would certainly make a huge difference.

How Issa Nesheiwat Conquered the Great Manufacturer/Design Divide

Born in Jordan forty years ago, Nesheiwat is something of an outsider to the modular housing world. His entrepreneurial spirit led him from a childhood growing up in Yonkers, New York, to the more provincial location of Poughkeepsie where he delved into many unique business ventures. Not one to shy away from a challenge, he took on projects that seemed impossible, often in the housing sector. His innate sense of the fundamentals in finance, corporate branding, and business expansion have led him to where he is today.

Offsight’s Digital Certification Program Can Accelerate Modular Industry Growth

Offsight launched its Offsight Certification Program in January 2024. Its program is designed to equip production managers, quality inspectors, plant managers, and operators with a deeper understanding of how technology and digitization can be a game-changer in driving process improvements and productivity benefits, which will ultimately allow its customers to capture the full value of modular and offsite construction.

Current Issue

This super-sized preview issue of MBI's Modular Advantage magazine previews the 2024 World of Modular, being held in Orlando, FL, March 18-21. Read exclusive interviews with speakers, see session descriptions, and preview some of the exhibiting companies. PLUS over a dozen brand new member-submitted articles and modular building case studies.

Featured Modular Building Case Studies

The Sphere Made Possible with Exterior Wall Panels

This one-of-a-kind structure required one-of-a-kind building materials and exterior cladding that could accommodate the atypical geometries, project timelines, and significant daily foot traffic. Offsite construction, in the form of Dryvit’s Outsulite prefabricated panels of continuous insulation (CI), was the key method for streamlining the façade installation and ensuring quality control for the difficult building connections.

Modular Construction for Financial Viability: The Norwalk Project Case Study

The Norwalk project serves as a prime example of how Offsite Modular Construction, in collaboration with Architects, Consultants/Engineers, General Contractors (GC), and Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing, and Fire Protection (MEP/FP) Subcontractors, can make projects financially feasible by closely working with the Owner/Developer under an Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) approach.

STAAT MOD Patient Bed Expansion at M Health Fairview – St. John’s Hospital

Construction firm The Boldt Company, and interdisciplinary design firm, HGA were engaged by St. John’s Hospital to deliver a 16-bed ICU patient observation wing onto the existing facility, built to over 90 percent completion offsite in Appleton, Wisc., then seamlessly transported and installed on the St. John’s campus – the first of its kind in the state of Minnesota.

Offsite Modular Construction Builds and Installs 12 New Classrooms for Westlake Academy in 100 Days

OMC utilized modular construction techniques to manufacture two brand new permanent 6,400-square-foot modular buildings, each housing six classrooms. The process included innovative design features for safety, durability, environmental sustainability, integrated technology enhancements, and health-oriented construction.

Formula 1 Race, Las Vegas, Nevada

In partnership with InProduction, Phoenix Modular Elevator (PME) designed, manufactured, and installed seven modular elevators for the F1 Grand Prix race in Las Vegas, Nevada. To minimize space, the design utilized machine roomless (MRL) hydraulic elevators, eliminating the need for separate machine rooms for each elevator. Instead, using the MRL design, the machine room equipment is built into the hoistway, and accessed via a small door on the side.

Silverking Student Housing, Selkirk College

ROC Modular was proud to deliver a much-needed new permanent modular Student Housing Residence for Selkirk College, located at the Silverking Campus in Nelson BC. The project is a 3-storey, 12-module 38-student bed building with a mass-timber main common area for student amenities.

Parkhurst Elementary School Classroom Additions

The Parkhurst Elementary School in Winchester, MA, has recently undergone an expansion of 13,074 square feet. Due to renovations at the neighboring Lynch School, students were temporarily relocated to Parkhurst. Modular construction was chosen as the preferred method to accommodate the influx of students and prepare for the start of the 2023-2024 school year.

VBC Chooses MAESTRO SMART 9 HP

Volumetric Building Companies (VBC), a global leader in the construction sector with a focus on building the future through volumetric modular techniques, choose the Maestro Smart 9 Heat Pump as their ideal comfort solution to heat and cool their modular housing project in Philadelphia, PA, consisting of 60 modular housing units.

16’ x 37’ Welded Substation Enclosure

Instead of sourcing a new transformer, which would have taken over 100 weeks and cost several million dollars, Raytheon Technologies turned to Panel Built Inc. for a modular solution. Panel Built designed a 16’ x 37’ prefabricated enclosure that could be delivered to Guam in two pieces. Once it was put together, it was lowered over the transformer.

Temporary Visitors Center at Antietam National Battlefield Park

Antietam National Battlefield Park, a revered site listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places, presented unique challenges demanding meticulous preservation efforts. The paramount goal was to ensure minimal disruption to the sacred grounds surrounding the new modular building.

Wraptite Airtightness Protection for Northampton School for Boys

The Wraptite external air barrier system from the A. Proctor Group has been chosen for its high-performance, airtight insulation for a Department for Education (DfE) funded project of the offsite construction of Northampton School for Boys Multi-Academy Trust.

University Temporary Modular Student Housing— Ettrick, VA

Modular Genius, Inc. designed and built three temporary modular dormitory complexes featuring 134 dorm rooms, totaling 49,632 sq. ft. All three modular dorms feature a shared laundry room, kitchen and lounge area, showers, and restrooms for residents.

Hage’s Badehotel — Case Study — Denmark

For this project, Forta PRO delivered 72 buildings, 144 modules, with 5,200 m2 of gross modular area. With final onsite completion in June 2023, it provides exceptional long-stay accommodation in a stunning and serene environment.

355 Sango Court Case Study

The logic-intensive preconstruction method demanded of automated modular brought extra benefits to the Sango Court project. Autovol had worked side by side with preconstruction innovator Prefab Logic to create a digital twin modeling approach and a sprint process as advanced as the Autovol factory.

Enhancing Building Performance with Wraptite

The Wraptite external air barrier system from A. Proctor Group was installed in combination with the innovative, unique pre-panelized and fully load-bearing Hadley Frame offsite system, which is ideal for developments of low to medium rise structures.

Hearst Elementary School Case Study from Wilmot Modular

Wilmot Modular was hired to consult and provide what was originally a two-story classroom expansion project. The school district wanted the building to match nearby
buildings on the campus, and fit in a steeply graded, small site. There were also budget constraints that had to be managed.

Unity Malmö – New Student Housing in Southern Sweden from Forta PRO

The city of Malmö in southern Sweden is set to welcome a new student housing project Unity Malmö, comprised of 5 building blocks, 450 micro-living apartments, where Forta PRO delivered 269 modules, total of 9,671.9 m2.

CertainTeed’s ONE PRECISION ASSEMBLIES™ Panelized Solution

Using the latest advances in building science and prefabrication, CertainTeed developed these wall, floor, ceiling, and roof panel assemblies to meet the needs of builders and developers wanting to build higher-performing
homes, faster.

Sustainable and Energy-Efficient Solutions from DMDmodular

DMDmodular has recently achieved a significant milestone by successfully completing a relevant energy-efficient housing project, fully financed by EU funds, that tackles the industry’s most pressing challenges.

The Rapid Rise of Affordable Modular Housing in Canada

Canada’s Rapid Housing Initiative represents a huge success for the modular construction industry, and MBI members are building modular multifamily homes fast. Here are some examples.

Online Exclusives

Recent Issues

January/February 2024
November/December 2023
September/October 2023
July/August 2023
May/June 2023

Past Articles

From Ship to Shop: Repurposed for Retail

The utilization of “forgotten corners” in dense, urban locations to create intimate human-scale amenities that provide life and security to the streets has become a model for many other projects currently in the works.

Affordable Housing- A Global Issue

Cities around the globe are facing affordable housing shortages – what are the key differences in how they are addressing them?

The Modular Solution to the Construction Labor Shortage

The Modular Solution to the Construction Labor Shortage It is not too difficult to find articles citing the construction industry’s woes over the shortage of available skilled workers. All sorts of initiatives, efforts, and conferences have been held on the topic for the last decade or so in an effort to reach more young people…

Reinventing Construction: A Route to Higher Productivity

A five-to-tenfold increase in productivity would be possible if construction were to move to a manufacturing-like system of mass production with a much greater degree of standardization and modularization and the bulk of construction work taking place in factories off site.

exterior of contemporary building

Modular Construction to the Rescue!

The Inspira Oncology Center was designed, developed, and constructed in less than a year with modular construction, opening sooner and serving more patients.

Carpenter’s Union Embraces Factory Built Housing to Address Labor Needs in Northern California

“We don’t have a labor shortage, we have an opportunity shortage,” said Jay Bradshaw, Director of Organizing for the Northern California Carpenters Regional Council.

Pushing the Boundaries of Perception

A project from Australian MBI member Fleetwood Building Solutions challenges the perceptions of what’s possible through modular construction.

Modular Media Residence

POSCO helped PyeongChang, Korea prepare for the 2018 Olympic Games with this modular media hotel, completely relocatable after the Games.

Making the Leap : From Traditional General Contractor to Modular Builder

Making the Leap: From Traditional General Contractor to Modular Builder That’s one reason we are seeing more traditional contractors making the leap and turning to modular construction. In some cases, GCs are contracting with modular manufacturers on “hybrid” projects that incorporate the best of modular and site-built processes. In other cases, contractors are establishing their…

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