Greystar Real Estate Partners, the largest operator of apartments in the U.S., is now developing properties in a factory.

The company announced that its construction business, Modern Living Solutions, opened its flagship manufacturing facility in Knox, Pennsylvania, where it will produce the parts for prefabricated apartment buildings.

“Manufacturing the modules in a factory-controlled environment means that projects can be delivered up to 50 percent faster than traditional construction with less external risk presented by factors including weather, labor shortages, or on-site safety concerns,” the company said in a press release. “With sustainable designs, efficient usage of materials, and speed of construction, MLS units will have a smaller carbon footprint than traditionally built projects. Through a one-of-a-kind process, roughly 80 percent less waste will be produced compared to traditional builds.”

Initially, the factory will serve the Mid-Atlantic region, with a focus on cities outside of major metros, where essential workers live and housing is needed.

That’s a smart move on Greystar’s part. With more people moving to the suburbs, developers can meet demand with efficient, low-cost housing. When you take natural gas out of the equation, developers can find abundant and affordable land where they can offer housing connected to clean-burning propane.

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Photo courtesy of Greystar Real Estate Partners.