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City Takes Plunge into Modular Housing

May 16th, 2017 Comments off
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An artists rendition of the soon to be completed Westgate Manor in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Credit: Journal of Commerce.

In a trend that has become popular in Europe, the Canadian city of Edmonton, Alberta, is taking the plunge, with the development of its first modular housing project utilizing shipping containers.

Per the Journal of Commerce, the soon to be completed urban infill project, Westgate Manor, will consist of 20 units, specifically designed as affordable housing in a joint venture between Edmonton-based Step Ahead Properties and Calgary-based Ladacor Advanced Modular Systems.

Using this modular building approach offers numerous benefits over conventional construction,” said AJ Slivinski, owner of Step Ahead Properties.

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AJ Slivinski. Credit: LinkedIn.

There is a faster schedule, off-site construction will mean less disruption to the existing tenants and surrounding neighbors, the steel building is non-combustible, which is far safer and more durable for rental housing, and lastly the modular construction gives a far better sound insulation between the suites, making them much quieter for the residents.”

Construction on Westlake Manor is expected to be completed by summer of this year.

For Ladacor, they say that there is significant opportunity for their modular units in a number of other verticals.

We have got some traction in the hotel market and we are looking to expand into different markets,” said Rhys Kane, Ladacor Business Development Director.

Hotels lend themselves very well to modular as the suites can be fully finished, the hotel suites themselves are good dimensions. Modular is flexible enough to be able to build those spaces. We are confident that we can do multifamily. It is just an obvious next step really.”

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Ladacor and Step Ahead at the ground breaking of Westgate Manor. Credit: REMI Network.

Step Ahead Properties also sees additional opportunities for modular to help with affordable housing.

Senior housing is a big market across different spectrums,” said Kane.It’s a great opportunity particularly in small towns where people want to stay, as they would otherwise often have to go to major urban centers.”

 

Manufactured and Modular – Things to Remember

It should be noted that while modular homes offer savings over site built homes, manufactured housing is often 25 to 30 percent cheaper than modular housing, due to the extra costs related to onsite assembly.

And, while manufactured homes outsell modulars by about 5-to-1, there is still a stigma from the old pre-HUD-code mobile home days that affects financing and zoning issues.

Yet there may be very little difference between the products, when comparing a modular home to a residential-style manufactured home (as opposed to the entry level version).

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Jay Hamilton, Executive Director, Georgia Manufactured Housing Associatoin (GMHA).

About half of modular builders also build HUD-code manufactured homes,” says Jay Hamilton, executive director of the Georgia Manufactured Housing Association.

A lot of them build both products on the same assembly line,” he says. “If the products were vastly different, you could never get away with that.”

For a detailed and accurate comparison of manufactured and modular homes, click here. ##

 

(Image credits are as shown above, and when provided by third parties, are shared under fair use guidelines.)

 

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RC Williams, MHProNews.

Submitted by RC Williams to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.

 

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