Watching the Prefab Building Trend: What CRE Needs to Know

Prefab building, also known as modular construction, is a trend that’s expected to grow throughout 2017. They’re quicker to assemble and more cost effective than traditional buildings, and are built with the same quality.

From Japan to the United States

Prefab buildings are a trend that started in Japan as a way to speed up production. It wasn’t until recently that it caught on in the United States, and has since been a popular way to increase development in a timely manner. Just like in Japan, the prefab building trend in the United States is driven by an increased need for single-family home development; in this case, because of the influx of millennials who are graduating from high school or college and entering the workplace.

In fact, prefab buildings isn't a trend that's only limited to the United States and Japan. For example, the British government is actually promoting prefab housing and will offer financial support to builders and homeowners who use it.

What You Need to Know about Prefab Development

At the moment, it doesn’t seem as if prefab building is a trend that’s going anywhere. If you’re in the CRE industry and are curious how it can impact your line of work, here are some things to note:

1.     Prefab buildings are cheaper: In fact, they’re much cheaper. It’s estimated that developers can save as much as 25% in construction costs by switching to a prefab design.

2.     Prefab buildings are also quicker to assemble: One of the main reasons why they're cheaper than traditional buildings is factory workers do the job for most skilled workers, like electricians and plumbers. Not only does this cut costs, but it also speeds up the assembly process significantly; especially because building structures in a factory means no delays due to rainy weather.

3.     It hasn’t taken over the CRE industry... yet: Even though the vast majority of architects and engineers admit to using prefab building, it still hasn’t completely taken off in commercial real estate. So when Brooklyn’s 461 Dean building was built prefab, it made headlines and attracted more interest in modular construction.

4.     Prefab construction has taken off in some sectors though: While modular construction is still trying to grab its share of the residential market, it has been able to carve out a piece of commercial real estate in medical facilities and office spaces.

5.     It’s expected to grow: If you’ve not considered looking to prefab development, now might be the time to do so. According to market research, the modular construction industry is predicted to grow by more than 6% between 2016 and 2022.

Ultimately, it looks like prefab building techniques are just another way that the nature of work is changing. The bottom line is that prefab building is faster, cheaper, and significantly cuts back on waste and pollution. As we move towards a society that is driven by efficiency and convenience, we can expect to see modular construction grow in popularity.