Magnificently Built Modular Homes
Contractors are convinced modular construction may be a future key to building enough affordable housing – particularly multifamily housing – to satisfy the growing demand for all types of residential units in the Boston market.
The trick, though, is overcoming a public stigma of modular housing and fears by some unions that modular construction could eliminate many trade jobs, contractors and construction executives say.
The issue of modular housing, especially multifamily projects, recently came to the forefront after the Grossman Cos. Inc. of Quincy and the Wayside Cos. of Boston announced that they purchased nearly an acre of Allston property permitted for an 80-unit, $26-million apartment complex.
In a release, the companies boasted that the 61-89 Braintree St. project would be the “largest modular construction project in the city of Boston” and designed to “ensure quality control, to fast-track the construction schedule, to provide tighter construction for greater energy efficiency and to reduce excess materials waste.” Executives declined further comment about the Allston project, saying the designs are preliminary. But the size of the proposed development is viewed as an encouraging sign by many industry officials who say modular construction could be an important piece of the puzzle in solving the region’s chronic problem of low supply and high demand for housing.
Usually associated with single-family homes and others projects, such as temporary school-building additions, modular construction has already been used in the Boston area for multifamily developments.
In 2013, Tocci Building Cos. of Woburn finished building a 56-unit apartment complex for Federal Realty Trust in Chelsea, using modular sections built in a Maine factory. In 2010, Tocci built a 54-unit residential complex in West Cambridge for AbodeZ, also using modular design and construction.
Bud LaRosa, chief business performance officer at Tocci, said his company is currently pricing a couple of other multifamily modular projects for unspecified developers in the area.
To find out more about modular home construction, contact the professionals at Avalon Building Systems.