Scaling Modular Construction: The Ultimate Solution to the U.S. Housing Crisis?
With the U.S. staring down a deficit of 3.8 million homes, per Freddie Mac estimates, there’s no debate that the housing crisis is real. One potential solution? Revolutionizing the home building process with modular construction, which could bring high-quality, economical housing developments to the market on a scale the industry has never seen before.
“I just saw this trainwreck coming,” said Barry Zekelman, CEO and president of Zekelman Industries (ZI), at the groundbreaking event for the FUZE Ballpark development in Glendale, Arizona. “Everyone talks about it, but no one comes up with an all-encompassing solution.”
Developed by ZI’s Z Modular, the FUZE and FLATZ product lines are prime examples of what that solution might look like: highly designed and engineered multi-family properties. Built in the company’s factories across the country, the modules are up to 90% complete before they’re taken to nearby properties for final assembly. This streamlined process means that housing can be built faster, on budget and up to code—with greater efficiency compared to traditional home construction practices. And for occupants, that means a sooner move-in date.
The Power of Collaboration
Z Modular already boasts successful developments in several states and Canada. But the company’s goal to meet the housing needs of hundreds of communities nationwide can’t be achieved without partners. Our leaders are building relationships with key players in the development and construction space: land developers, banks, city planners, architects and general contractors. The idea is that the more familiar they are with Z Modular’s products, the easier it will be to acquire land, secure financing, obtain approvals on permits and design, and construct housing efficiently.
The company is also thinking big: The goal isn’t just one Z Modular factory producing modules for one development. It’s to build upwards of 50 factories, each of them creating hundreds of modules per year. “We’re going to need land partners,” says Zekelman. “We’re going to need experts in that industry to help us scale this.”
Modular Construction: A Comprehensive Solution
Over time, this ecosystem will have the power to accelerate the entire home construction process, building hundreds of steel-frame units in half or one-third of the time as traditional methods. And every few years, Z Modular plans to develop new product lines and refresh existing ones to meet market needs. The mission is to devise a comprehensive solution “rather than a haphazard approach,” says Zekelman. “I believe we can do that.”
Z Modular plans to keep all manufacturing in the U.S. to support the communities that will immediately benefit from the construction of its multi-family properties. The result? An ecosystem that puts America first.
“America was built by people fulfilling their dreams and having a purpose,” Zekelman says. “And that’s what we’re going to bring back to communities.”
Want to learn more about how modular construction can help solve the U.S. housing crisis? Discover how we’re making modular better.