Off-site construction of multifamily complexes has been a big timesaver, if not a money saver.

A growing number of developers are turning to modular construction to address the labor shortage and speed up projects, not to mention reduce construction waste and jobsite injuries. Unfortunately, modular isn’t saving developers any money, with one builder noting that prefabricated units cost up to 5 percent more than traditional construction.

Still, speed to market is the big selling point, which is why modular is making major inroads in the multifamily market.

“The multifamily market remains the fastest-growing segment in the modular construction industry. The sector took up about 23% of the commercial modular output last year,” Construction Dive reports, citing a 2022 Modular Building Institute report. “From a multifamily perspective, keeping modular simple — with a single design for each apartment type, using smaller pods within pods and employing standardized building layouts — has been critical to its success.”

Module designs are limited, which means layouts can be the same across developments. As a result, space for utilities at these multifamily projects could be at a premium. Architects and designers could save precious square footage by opting for commercial tankless water heaters, which provide ample Btus while taking up little very little room.

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