Mainstream Modular: Modular Construction: Here and Now

The modular construction industry has seen record growth since 2015. Once considered a lower quality and cheaper alternative to traditional construction, the industry has found a new life as a viable solution to construction needs. Tom Hardiman, executive director of the Modular Building Institute (MBI), spoke with Tyler Kern about the past, present, and future of modular construction.

As the executive director of MBI for more than 15 years, Hardiman has noticed an increase in popularity in the industry. “I’d say the state of the industry is strong. Everyone I’ve talked to said they are extremely busy. One of the busiest years they’ve had in a long not, if not the busiest year,” said Hardiman.

This rise in interest clearly has an impact on MBI as it’s the international non-profit trade association for the modular construction industry with approximately 450 member companies throughout the world. Hardiman highlighted that it’s a “portal or hub for anyone who wants information on modular construction.”

Being isolated from the traditional construction industry during the 2000s, the industry has faced some challenge. However, since 2015, there has been a dramatic change and a greater need for modular and hybrid projects. In the past five years alone, MBI has doubled its membership and the industry has doubled its market share.

These numbers illustrate that many of the misconceptions around quality have dissolved. Although some still believe it’s cheaper than traditional construction, there are still the same costs associated like local labor rates, local material rates, labor availability, and the experience of the team. However, the significant time savings and labor efficiencies associated with module construction should lead to lower overall costs.

Listen in to hear more about the exciting developments within the modular construction industry, and don’t miss seeing Hardiman as a guest speaker at the 2022 World of Modular Annual Convention and Tradeshow in San Antonio, TX from April 25–28.

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