With skilled labor shortages worsening across the country, modular construction is quickly becoming a preferred approach for multifamily and hospitality projects. Marriott Hotels, for example, announced in 2017 that 10 percent of all new Marriott properties would be built using modular techniques. We’re partnering with Rohnert Park Lodging on one of those properties in Sonoma County, CA.

While volumetric modular construction has the potential to solve many problems for builders and developers, its rising popularity also creates new challenges. Few manufacturing facilities in the U.S. are equipped to handle the immediate demand for thousands of new modular units per year.

This growing need in the market has resulted in new business opportunities at Prefab Logic. In addition to consulting on individual modular projects, our team is now guiding companies through the development of new volumetric modular factories and the conversion of aging ones. Following our work with Factory_OS on their modular plant, our phones have been busy with companies seeking plant start-up services. It’s encouraging to see this interest in the vital field of modular manufacturing.

That said, some of the inquiries we’ve received reflect the misinformation that’s out there — mainly that the process is as simple as a factory layout. While it’s true that physical plant design is a crucial part of the process, I can’t stress enough that modular manufacturing is about much more than a building.

Our team’s process involves working closely with factory developers and owners to review business plans, conduct feasibility studies, and source equipment and raw materials. We analyze inventory and material flows, train plant management, create scopes of work, and advise on personnel needs at every level of production. When the plant is operational, the Prefab team stays onboard to provide logistical support and guidance.

The need for modular solutions in the construction industry will only continue to grow in coming years, as will the need for factories that can keep pace with demand. If you’re looking for a partner willing to put in the hours necessary to make your volumetric modular operation a success, let’s have a conversation. Give us a call at (800) 756-3074.

– Rick Murdock

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