Modular construction has long been touted as the next great way to build – and for good reason. Being able to build off-site, in climate controlled environments has a great deal of benefits. As with any drastic change in building method, though, there are plenty of learning curves, but we’ve noticed many larger cities are investing heavily in the concept, showing that many are still confident that modular has its place.
Skender, a Chicago, Illinois based design, construction, and manufacturing firm has recently announced the opening of a 105,000 square foot “advanced manufacturing facility” that will specialize in the modular building process. Skender will offer their modular building services completely turnkey, from design, to manufacturing, to outfitting, to stacking, and finally, to finishing or blending all of the structures together with the site.
"Our production launch is an important milestone in our radical new approach to building. By bringing design, manufacturing and construction under one brand and one integrated team, we can dramatically improve productivity and build more efficiently while increasing the quality of materials and finishes, as well as the energy performance," said Mark Skender, CEO, Skender, in a press release. "We are proud to open our facility with a premier workforce and a project that demonstrates a new housing delivery model capable of changing how we fight the affordable housing crisis. This is a true gamechanger."
A turnkey process could really solve a lot of the headaches some past modular projects have had, notably 461 Dean Street in New York, which was delayed by lawsuits because of alleged design and construction issues.
Skender touts that their process will shave 80% off the length of projects and save anywhere from 5%-20% of the cost versus a traditionally built structure. Their first project in the new manufacturing facility will be 10 affordable rate, steel-frame three-flat apartment buildings.
Once the facility reaches its full capacity in the next year and a half, it will employ 150 people. Skender has reached an agreement with the Chicago Regional Council of Carpenters (CRCC) and Executive Secretary Treasurer Gary Perinar praised the CRCC as being “integral in the development of this revolutionary partnership with Skender.”
In addition to its partnership with the CRCC, Skender has also formed relationships with Cara Chicago, Heartland Alliance, Chicago Women in Trades (CWIT), Sentral States SER, and Jane Addams Resource Corporation (JARC).