From Papa Bear to Baby Bear: Prefabrication at All Scales of Construction


red crane lifting metal beams during construction of apartment complex

A story on NPR this morning rounded off a trend we’ve seen in the industry.

Morning Edition ran a story on how technology is transforming the home-building industry. At residential constructor Mid-Atlantic Builders:

“Two things are noticeably absent from the offices of Mid-Atlantic Builders: people and paper. What used to be the old process of a client sifting through (likely inaccurate) binders and blueprints and then twiddling their thumbs for a few years has become an interactive process where the client can “click and drag to design their floor plans. Those changes update in a single digital file, which in turn syncs up with the design, procurement, and billing systems.”

iPads are used to facilitate the design, procurement, and construction process, and with construction occurring in a controlled environment, no more muddy plans or weather delays.

John Lavery, Vice President of Sales for the residential builder speaks to their use of technology and prefabrication: “I would say it doubles their efficiency.”

This airs just as modules arrive on our Chelsea Place project, which consists of 80 prefabricated modules combined to create 56 apartments. Foundations were formed and poured while the modules, which include everything from flooring to finishes, were constructed. Ultimately, this will shave months off the schedule.

A few hours away the Atlantic Yards project in NY is utilizing similar innovations on high-rise apartment buildings.

More projects are benefiting from modular construction, seeing improved quality control and reduced duration. The word has hit the street: prefabrication scales.