As more restraints are being put on today’s developers building out the next generation of housing properties, a new wave of property styles are popping up that focus on efficiency of resource consumption and labor. The ability to reduce cost of investment and turn-around time is what most often stands in between a project idea and its actual completion.
Thirty-year veteran and CEO of Western Rim Properties Marcus Hiles shares, “Almost every property development project is likely to go past budget and intended deadline. This is due to the various factors of unforeseen costs and unpredictable impacts that a location can have on speed of production.” Whether it is regulations from building permits, shipping delays, depleted stock supplies, or labor issues; the undertaking of completing new development projects can often create a negative ripple effect on all involved that costs time and money. These factors combined have pushed the need for an alternative to be introduced into the development space that addresses the ongoing and unpredictable issues created by traditional building methods.
This is why in recent years a new trend in building construction has emerged in project plans and in development across highly saturated city areas like NYC. This new wave of buildings is that of modular properties.
So how do these properties work? Essentially the new building style will be constructed in block sections off-site by local labor. An article by The New York times refers to the building style as something like “Legos” as each comes section by section to the site to then be assembled. The article also notes this construction process when used for high-rise properties reduces the average time it would take conventional builders to complete by nearly 70 percent while also reducing waste and unnecessary cost.
Rental properties, hotels and other building types have been created using this process in NYC where now more than 30 modular buildings exist. That isn’t the only use for these prefab style buildings. With its reduced cost, modular construction methods are being looked at as an option for establishing another type of property that will help entire communities – affordable housing. An area that has many challenges and requirements to keep costs low and and feasible for construction to happen, can now potentially use a more realistic option for establishing these investments made by cities and towns nationwide.
Regardless of the property style this construction method does have its challenges. Many issues that will impact a building are discovered while construction is completed on-location, so that must be accounted for when outsourcing the work. These challenges though do seem possible to overcome as the solution can open up much greater avenues and opportunities to both developers and residents that could not afford the costs entailed with traditional construction methods. Only just breaking ground in the massive commercial property market, it will be a few years until the true outcome of this new trend will surface but until then it does seem this is a direction to explore for being more efficient in our development nationwide.