Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Modular Construction Chosen to Build New Vaccine Facilities

At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for hospital rooms saw several modular home factories step up to provide the engineering and production of modular care units to isolate its victims. Among those was VBC modular who formed the MMC which provided a plan for modular factories across the US to join together to help hospitals quickly provide additional beds.

It was successful and proved that our industry can work together to meet almost any need our country encounters. Now it's the pharmaceutical industry that's turning to modular to provide "pop up" facilities to produce the needed vaccines to help control the COVID-19 pandemic.

If vaccines weren’t an increasing market before 2020, they most definitely are now. Designing a vaccine-specific facility solution that is not only quick to market but can stand the test of time is more important than ever.

Availability of engineering capacity and expertise in planning, designing, and executing the projects are some of the challenges when establishing these complex facilities. Another challenge is how to ensure that the facility you decide to build will be flexible enough and can be adapted to future changes in the product mix. Time to market and ensuring the return of investment are also key for a successful capital investment project.

Vaccine companies, like pharmaceutical manufacturers, desire innovative facility solutions to address these challenges. To this end, modular facilities can be an attractive solution.

CLICK HERE to read the entire Cleanroom Technology article



Gary Fleisher is the Managing Director and contributor to the Modcoach Network and its affiliated blogs. Email at modcoach@gmail.com

Sign Up to receive the Modcoach News newsletter twice a week

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Modular Industry Job Listings Just Keep Coming In

The modular and off-site construction industries have positions just waiting for you. Here are more job listings and a list of talented people looking to join your factory this month.


The Active Candidates section below represents candidates looking for new career opportunities.

The Open Positions section represents companies, who are looking for candidates to fill their open positions.

Contact Lynn Gromann at 888-831-0327 or Lynn.Gromann@LGARecruiters.com if you would like further information on an available candidate or on an open position.

Active Candidates

EXECUTIVE / FINANCIAL
  • CFO - Multifamily MOD - West Coast
  • General Manager - HUD / MOD - wants TX or Southeast
PRODUCTION / OPERATIONS
  • Production Manager - HUD/ MOD - wants south
  • Production Manager - HUD/MOD - wants southeast
  • Assistant Production Manager - MOD - wants warm climate
  • Operations Manager - Commercial MOD - wants Dallas/Ft. Worth
  • Assistant Production Manager - HUD / MOD - FL
  • Project Manager - MOD - New England, wants east coast
ENGINEERING / ARCHITECTURAL
  • Senior Drafter - Commercial MOD - wants TX
SALES / MARKETING
  • Sales Manager - HUD / MOD 20+ years, possible relo

Open Positions

EXECUTIVE / FINANCIAL
  • COO - MOD / Commercial MOD- Southwest
  • CFO - Multifamily MOD - Rocky Mountain Region
  • General Manager - Steel MOD - Southeast
  • General Manager - MOD - Pacific NW
PRODUCTION / OPERATIONS
  • Project Manager - Commercial MOD - Southwest
  • Assistant Operations Manager - Commercial MOD - South
  • Assistant Production Manager - Multifamily MOD - Southeast
  • Assistant Production Manager - HUD / MOD - Pacific NW
  • Project Manager - Manufactured Housing Community - Southwest
  • Production Manager - MOD - Upper Midwest
  • Production Manager - HUD / MOD - Upper Midwest
ENGINEERING / ARCHITECTURAL
  • Architectural Drafter - MOD - Southeast
  • Engineering Manager - Steel MOD - Northeast
  • Structural or Civil Engineer - MOD - West or remote
SALES / MARKETING
  • Sales Rep - MOD / Commercial MOD- Southwest
  • Sales Rep - MOD - Midwest
MATERIALS / PURCHASING / ESTIMATING
  • Purchasing Manager - MOD - MidAtlantic
  • Purchasing Manager - Multifamily MOD - Southeast
  • Estimator - MOD / Commercial MOD (2) - Southwest
  • Purchasing Manager - Commercial MOD - South
SERVICE / QUALITY
  • Quality Assurance - Multifamily MOD - Southeast

Contact Lynn Gromann at 888-831-0327 or Lynn.Gromann@LGARecruiters.com if you would like further information on an available candidate or on an open position.

Monday, May 10, 2021

Procore Acquires AI - Expands Platform

The acquisition adds computer vision capabilities and AI capabilities to the Procore platform, helping owners, general contractors, and specialty contractors realize greater efficiencies, safety, and profitability.

Procore Technologies has acquired INDUS.AI, makers of an artificial intelligence-powered analytics platform for the construction industry.

Sign Up to receive the Modcoach News newsletter twice a week

INDUS.AI’s AI engine learns from project management platforms, cameras, sensors, drawings, building information models, schedules, and more — and creates observations, recommendations, and alerts that help project teams make data-driven decisions.

The solutions are used to track and review construction progress, ensure safety and compliance, gain real-time project visibility, view labor deployment, minimize equipment idle time, and resolve claim disputes.

The INDUS.AI acquisition builds on Procore’s acquisition of Avata Intelligence in 2020, which brought world-class AI talent to Procore and is delivering smart automation solutions and predictive insights to Procore customers.

CLICK HERE to read the entire PBC Today article


Gary Fleisher is the Managing Director and contributor to the Modcoach Network and its affiliated blogs. Email at modcoach@gmail.com



Sunday, May 9, 2021

Modular Housing Floundering in the Perfect Economic Storm

Business is booming and the modular housing industry is stronger than ever with lead times reaching out to almost a year at some factories. However, with rapidly escalating LBM prices and interest rates on new homes declining, we now have everything in place to bring on the perfect storm for our industry.

This perfect storm of events and the pandemic has seen factories losing money because of the rising material replacement costs and jobs going unfilled for over a year. 

To nearly everyone’s surprise, employers added a comparatively paltry 266,000 jobs, down drastically from a gain of 770,000 in March, which itself was revised down from an initially much higher figure of 916,000. 

What happened last month — and why?

Consumer confidence has surged, and many companies report soaring demand as Americans unleash pent-up desires to travel, eat out, and shop. Sales of new cars and homes are still rising. Yet because the economy is rebounding faster than almost anyone thought it would, many companies were caught flat-footed. Surging consumer demand has caused widespread shortages of parts and raw materials, including lumber.

Now, workers themselves can be added to the list of shortages. Companies are advertising more jobs than they were before the pandemic when the unemployment rate was at a 50-year low of 3.5%. So they clearly want to add workers. Yet hiring stumbled in April because many employers couldn’t attract as many as they needed.

Sign Up to receive the Modcoach News newsletter twice a week

Nearly 3 million people avoided looking for a job in April because they feared becoming infected by the coronavirus, according to a government survey. About 2 million women have stopped looking for work since the pandemic, likely because of disruptions in schooling and child care. In April, all the net job growth went to men; women as a group lost jobs. 

And some businesses complain that a $300-a-week federal unemployment benefit, provided in President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion rescue package, has meant that many unemployed people can receive more income from unemployment aid than from their former jobs.

In addition, modular home factories have been left short of material like plywood and lumber because of clogged supply chains and have had to slow production.

When will this end? 

Every expert has an opinion when lumber prices will level off and go back down. Some are saying it will happen in July while others are telling our industry leaders it could be next year. The fact of the matter is, it will probably happen sometime between those dates and at least one expert will have randomly predicted it correctly. 

Prognosticators are coming out of the woodwork making predictions when this perfect storm will begin slowing down and allow modular housing to once again see hiring, costs and production to begin the return to a somewhat new normal. Maybe they were TV weather forecasters in a previous life.

Let’s just hope we all survive the storm and come out the other side in good shape continuing to grow into a larger part of the new home market.


The Modcoach writes the Modcoach News, Modular Home Coach and Off-Site Construction News blogs. Visit  Modcoach Network.


Contact me at modcoach@gmail.com

Thursday, May 6, 2021

Modular Home Factories Like Foothold Modular Could Provide Answer to Affordable Housing

Big modular home factories seem to get all the attention in providing ways to meet the affordable crisis in the US but there is a smaller answer to the problem.

Hannah Van Wetter and Sam Atkins, Co-founders of Foothold Modular

Just like the "pop up" modular factory that opens near a developer's large project and builds modules for single-family and multifamily homes until the development is complete and then closes and moves on to the next location, there are more small modular home factories about to open that will serve a limited geographical area with ADUs, affordable homes and even tiny houses who will not leave after they've built a couple hundred homes. Instead, they will probably expand into new and larger production facilities in the same area.

Related Article: New ADU Factory Opens in Washington

A new company, Foothold Modular, a Montana-based modular housing startup, opening in Butte, Montana that creates small, factory-built homes hopes to be part of the solution to the state’s growing affordable housing problem.

Foothold was recently awarded the top social venture prize in Montana State University's $50K Venture Competition. 

"We're incredibly honored to receive this award" said Sam Atkins, Foothold's Co-Founder and MSU Alumnus. "The lack of housing is a critical issue for everyone in our community, and this prize is a great milestone as we build a solution that works."

Foothold is a public-benefit corporation started in Bozeman and is opening in Butte’s Montana Connections Park this summer. It will build modular homes from 600 square feet up to 1,800 square feet.

Everyone at the Modcoach Network and in the modular housing industry hope you exceed your dreams and continue to help find solutions to affordable housing in Montana.


Gary Fleisher is the Managing Director and contributor to the Modcoach Network and its affiliated blogs. Email at modcoach@gmail.com

Sign Up to receive the Modcoach News newsletter twice a week

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

First Modular Industry Job Listings for May

Factories are on the hunt for people with your skill set. Here are the first job listings for May in the modular housing industry.

Robert Sage Careers, LLC., is conducting searches for the following positions in the U.S.:

Modular/Major Projects/Work Remotely/US

Modular/QC Assistant/South East

Modular/COO/North East

Modular/Plant/Production/South East

Modular/Controller/South East

Modular/QC/South East

Modular/Procurement/South

Modular/President/South

Modular/Site Safety Manager/South

Modular/MP Sales/South West

Modular/Zone Manager/Midwest

Modular/Site Super./North East

Modular/Project Manager/North East

Modular/Site Super./South West

Robert Sage Careers, LLC., has “Matched Quality With Quality” for over 50 years. For more information on the positions showcased here and other positions, as well as available candidates, please contact Cindy K. Newberry, Robert Sage Careers Commercial Division Manager, or Cathy Sage at (863) 662-4185. 

Or contact us via email. Please send resumes or inquiries to cindy@robertsagecareers.com  cindyknewberry@tampabay.rr.com and cathy@robertsagecareers.com.

Rising New Home Costs Will See More Tiny Houses Villages Built

Greenville County in South Carolina faced a situation in applying zoning to a new tiny house village. In fact, there was no applied zoning on the land and a company applied for a permit to build a 74 home village for affordable housing and it was granted.

Neighbors turned out against the community anyway, concerned about the traffic it could bring and the possible environmental issues the septic systems could cause near the drinking water reservoir and that has forced their planning commission to write new rules for tiny house villages. 

But what is happening there is symptomatic of a much bigger problem. Young new home buyers as well as many Boomers are finding it harder to get into affordable single-family homes and are beginning to seek out alternative forms of homeownership.

Related Article: Austin's Tiny Home Village About to Triple in Size

And that brings us back to Greenville County and its new zoning and planning requirements for tiny house villages.

The proposed ordinance would guide projects moving forward and provide a separate section of the land development and zoning rules for tiny home communities, which are now treated like a recreational vehicle or mobile home park. It would allow tiny home pocket neighborhoods of four to 30 homes and would require the lots to be sold rather than leased.

According to the Greenville Post and Courier, the sweet spot would be communities with eight to 16 homes centered around a common area like a courtyard or garden.

Tiny homes are defined as any home with 400 square feet or less of floor area excluding lofts, she said. They may include traditional single-family styles, manufactured or modular homes, and nontraditional buildings like domes and yurts, which are portable circular buildings usually built with poles and covered with fabric.

I'm not sure the tiny house movement has attracted the mainstream modular home industry yet but if Greenville's solution to affordable housing proves attractive to other state and local authorities, it could become a huge win for our industry.


Gary Fleisher is the Managing Director and contributor to the Modcoach Network and its affiliated blogs. Email at modcoach@gmail.com

Sign Up to receive the Modcoach News newsletter twice a week

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

American Construction Could Outpace China This Year

In spite of the pandemic and the shortage of skilled labor, the US construction industry is rebounding faster than anyone thought possible since 2020.

The construction industry added 110,000 jobs in March, according to an Associated Builders and Contractors analysis of data released recently by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The industry has added 931,000 jobs since April 2020, recovering 83.6% of the jobs lost during earlier stages of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The construction unemployment rate fell to 8.6% in March from 9.6% in February, but it is still 1.7 percentage points higher than in March 2020. Unemployment across all industries declined from 6.2% in February to 6.0% in March.

A significant percentage of the job growth was registered in nonresidential construction, which added 73,100 jobs in March. The number of nonresidential specialty trade contractor positions expanded by 38,200, while the nonresidential building segment added 7,600 positions.

“Here comes the tsunami of economic and employment growth across America,” said ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu. “With more stimulus on the way, the United States may end up growing faster than China this year, which would be the first time that occurred in decades.

CLICK HERE to read the entire Construction Executive article


Gary Fleisher is the Managing Director and contributor to the Modcoach Network and its affiliated blogs. Email at modcoach@gmail.com

Sign Up to receive the Modcoach News newsletter twice a week