As the country continues to grapple with housing affordability amid supply-chain challenges and lack of labor, factory-built homes may be more in need than ever. TIME magazine recently spotlighted the benefits of offsite construction — in particular, modular construction — and home owners' growing interest in this product as a potential solution to current industry challenges.
"I think the perfect storm of rising material costs and shortage of labor means that modular's moment is here," NAHB member Ken Semler, CEO of Impresa Modular, told the magazine.
Shortened building time frames and more efficient building practices are also attractive, with builders increasingly looking to add modular components to their projects. Time pointed to Home Innovation Research Labs data indicating that builder interest in modular roofing and factory-built wall panels has grown from 15% and 9%, respectively, before the pandemic to 25% and 16% currently.
Modular also offers the opportunity to introduce more workers to home building by training them on specific tasks within the factory, which can help bridge the gap on unfilled job openings.
However, challenges are still present for modular construction, especially in areas that are new to this building method and may still be learning processes for inspections.
"If you're the first modular into that county," Semler noted, "you got a lot of explaining to do."
Read the full TIME article for more details on the modular construction industry and how it can help increase housing supply to alleviate housing affordability challenges.
Builders interested in learning more about modular and other building systems can download NAHB's Homebuilders Guide to Offsite Construction.