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Chinese Firm to Provide Modular Homes in U.S.?

May 12th, 2017 Comments off

ChineseEconomicCollapseBlogMarleneHomesDesignboomDailyBusinessNewsMHproNewsIn Delaware last week, a group of economists, investors, and housing experts got together to discuss a business venture that raised some eyebrows.

According to the Delaware Business News, the group met to discuss a business venture that would leverage Chinese investment and manufacturing to produce modular housing units at low cost for Delaware customers.

The plan is to partner with Chinese manufacturer Maristar to produce modular homes for about $80,000 each,” said Dennis O’Brien, CEO of InfoVest, a Wilmington-based venture capital firm that spearheaded the conversations.

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Dennis O’Brien. Credit: InfoVest.

Delaware is in trouble. China can be the answer to that trouble.”

O’Brien, an investor and entrepreneur, is also a former foreign correspondent for China Daily and a long-time champion of economic ties between the two countries.

Maristar’s primary segment is shipping containers, but they say that they have adjusted their facilities to produce modular homes with a similar structure. They would adapt the homes to fit local building codes, and then ship them to the U.S.

While O’Brien pushed for the idea of utilizing Maristar to build affordable housing for low income areas of Wilmington, the group ultimately decided that the idea was not feasible without heavy collaboration with local government.

It would probably take a lot more groundwork, especially with the social programs, to get lined up,” said Christopher Counihan, a professor of international relations at the University of Delaware.

Making the deal too risky and complicated for the Chinese investors is also a concern.”

So, the group decided to pivot to a new target: foreign-born college students.

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One of Maristar’s shipping containers. Credit: Maristar.

The number of Chinese students attending the college has increased 200 percent per year,” said Dr. Jianguo Chen, director of the University of Delaware’s Confucius Institute.

The University only plans to attract more of those students, and housing could become an issue.”

 

We thought the container modules could serve that Chinese population,” said Counihan.

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The group meeting in Wilmington, DE. Credit: Delaware Business News.

The plan would have the homes stacked into vertical apartments, similar to those in London at the Apex House Tower, which stands 29 stories and is planned to house 560 students.

Both American and Chinese students would be housed in the apartments, encouraging integration among the groups.

InfoVest says that it requires at least $100 million to begin, and the majority of that money could come from Chinese investment company Shanghai Yongquan Entrust Investment Development Center LP.

Delaware is a perfect test case for how the Chinese can help us as a country,” said O’Brien.

We are reaching out to American investors as well.”

The group said that the goal is for the housing to be available to students in September 2018.

 

What Happened to…Made in the USA?

TrillionsInUSAffordableHousingNeeded

When you do the math from the recent Zillow study, and compare it to data from NAHB or NAR, there are trillions of dollars in affordable housing demand – and thus opportunities – in the next few years. Taxpayer subsidized programs won’t be able to cover that cost, but the proper approaches for manufactured housing could.

MHProNews and MHLivingNews are among the factory-built housing industry operations that have made the case that domestically made modern manufactured and modular homes are a viable solution to help solve the problem of quality affordable housing throughout the country.

Given the many capable U.S. firms that could deliver a superior quality and less expensive homegrown product, one has to wonder why this group, which included professors, did no due diligence into U.S. alternatives, including manufactured housing?

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L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach is one of the most widely recognized experts on manufacturd housing today.

Imagine engineered homes, that meet or exceed strict federal safety, energy and performance standards, built to the nation’s only preemptive code for permanent homes,” said Daily Business News Publisher L.A. “Tony” Kovach.

By using the same proven systems that keep costs down on cars, smartphones, clothing or other produced products, you save on labor, time, have about 30% less waste, can buy in bulk and thus save money.”

And the U.S. Census Bureau and Government Accountability Office state our homes are about half the cost of conventional construction,” he added

Kovach says the industry may be too lax about overseas operations coming to America, and taking domestic producers market share.

For more on Chinese companies making inroads into modular housing, including China National Building Material Company (CNBM) joining forces with Barcelona, Spain based Barcelona Housing Systems and U.K. housing association Your Housing Group (YHG), and renewable energy supplier, Welink to build six prefab factories, 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.

Super Modular? Super Tower Takes Shape

April 24th, 2017 Comments off
SuperModularSuperTowerTakesShapecreditConstructionNewsUK-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

The Apex Tower. Credit: Construction News UK.

In the U.K., modular housing continues to gain steam as a practical solution to the nation’s growing housing crisis.

But in Wembley, just north of London it’s being taken to a whole new level.

According to Construction News UK, Tide Construction and Vision Modular Systems have put the final piece in place for the 29-story Apex House Tower, which has 560 student rooms, utilizing 679 modular units. or modules.

We are delighted that both the housing minister Gavin Barwell and London mayor Sadiq Khan have made off-site construction a priority in the capital to help ease the strain on London’s housing supply,” said Tide Construction CEO Christy Hayes.

Modular construction provides a much faster alternative to traditional construction without compromising on the quality of the building, or the versatility of the design. Modular produces 80 per cent less waste, requires fewer onsite workers and provides certainty of cost and time.”

The modular units were produced at Vision Modular Systems’ factory, and were delivered with full kitchens and bathrooms. Both companies expect the build out of Apex House Tower to be completed by the time the new school year begins in September.

The project represents the fourth endeavor for Vision Modular Systems and Tide Construction in London.

As Daily Business News recently covered here, Vision Modular Systems has also been very active on the U.K. affordable housing scene, including a partnership with construction firm Donban Contracting, has completed two finished blocks of modular housing, and turned them over to Pocket Living, an affordable housing provider that only sells to first-time buyers.

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A prefab home in progress on site. Credit: Reuters.

Partnering with Pocket Living on multiple projects has allowed us to deliver vital new housing for first-time buyers and key workers who underpin the very fabric of our cities,” said Kieran White, managing director at Vision Modular Systems.

Traditional site built developments of this scale in the U.K. can take up to two years to complete, putting additional pressure on housing inventory. Modular provides a practical solution to the problem.

Getting high-quality homes built quickly is key to solving the housing crisis. Modular techniques will play an increasingly important role in meeting this challenge and, through our partnership with Donban and Vision Modular, over a quarter of Pocket’s future pipeline will be built through modular construction,” said Marc Vlessing, chief executive of Pocket Living.

For more on modular housing in the U.K., including major builders making moves into the modular space, click here. ##

 

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

 

rcwilliams-writer75x75manufacturedhousingindustrymhpronews

RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

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