Multi-Family Housing and Modular Construction: A Match Made in an Environmentally-Friendly Factory – Part III

Posted on Aug 9th, 2019 by Chris Leslie | Posted in: Uncategorized

Part III: Making the Case for Multi-Family Modular Construction

In Part III, we’re going to summarize the benefits of modular construction in multi-family home building.

Helping renters caught in the middle. 

As the economy has stabilized in the past few years, there’s been a gap in mid-level housing development while developers have focused on affordable, subsidized housing and high-density luxury projects in urban areas with higher rents.

  • People whose incomes are too high to be eligible for subsidies have limited options, presenting an opportunity for modular designs that drive costs downward and fill that housing gap with quality, reasonably-priced housing.
  • Increasingly, developers are leaning towards affordable projects, which are more attractive to lenders when they reach the limit on the high-rent projects that have been controlling many markets.
  • The only way to revise this calculus is to transform how the apartment itself is built. Modular building provides the means to accomplish this.


Modular-built multi-family housing means lower costs.

  • Modular-built housing is constructed cost-effectively, under controlled factory conditions along with other advantages. Beyond cost, modular housing offers the advantage of reduced waste materials, construction safety and quality control.
  • Manufacturing in environmentally-controlled factory conditions, with cuts planned and made by computer-controlled saws, can reduce added complications and costs. Precision cutting and fastening enhances quality.
  • Leftover materials can be recycled for the next unit. Adhesives, drywall and paint can be applied under ideal conditions. Very little disruption of neighbors occurs at the site and theft is essentially eliminated since the building is secure once it reaches the site.

Time is (rent) money.

  • Traditional stick-built multi-family housing construction timelines are routinely affected by external factors, increasing the amount of time originally estimated by 10 percent, 20 percent or more. 
  • Also in stick-built construction, builders are challenged by scheduling trades, scheduling on-site work in urban areas, weather conditions etc. Yet, with the escalating housing demand, there’s a tremendous need to produce multi-family housing in a faster, more efficient way.


There’s a lack of skilled labor for traditional on-site buildings.

  • Builders are also turning to modular construction due to the increased skilled labor shortage impacting the construction industry. Prefabrication reduces the need for labor resources while allowing houses to be constructed more quickly and efficiently, without sacrificing the high quality and modern design that homeowners and renters are demanding.
  • “Contractors can’t find skilled labor anymore, especially in urban areas,” says Tom Hardiman, Director of MHBA. Many construction workers left the industry during the Great Recession and never returned; those who stayed are aging quickly and aren’t being supplanted, as younger workers seem opposed to the physical and other demands of traditional construction.  

Quality that’s built to last.

When Hurricane Sandy struck the east coast in the fall of 2012, the homes that Westchester Modular built were consistently among those still standing, even in the most heavily affected areas. The modular building process generates consistent building techniques, resulting in superior quality.


Why not give us a call?

Since 1986, the Westchester Modular team has been changing the way people think about modular housing. Project managers throughout the Northeast have found our modular construction methods to be a cost-effective way to build projects quickly without sacrificing quality or comfort. 

For complete information, contact us at (800) 832-3888 at your earliest convenience. Our design and engineering team will be able to review your existing multi-family design and translate it into a modular solution. We can work with you to develop a modular construction quote showing you how the modular process can enhance your bottom line.

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