The Modular Homebuilding Bulletin

Utopia editors bring you the latest project news in the modular building, offsite construction, and prefabrication markets.
Utopia project tracking page for modular building

THE LATEST: Business Insider breaks Cloud Apartments’ News re: backing from a 25-year VC veteran

Modular, offsite, whatever you call it, the homebuilding method offers a solution to current leading industry problems: labor shortages and housing affordability. Modular companies across the globe are tackling ways to cut down on building costs, provide a viable solution to the shortage of talent/labor, and maintain housing affordability.

In this project tracker page, we're collecting the latest news in the modular-sphere and sharing it with you. Expect regular updates of the page. And for all your offsite construction news, read it here on Utopia.


Business Insider breaks Cloud Apartments’ News re: backing from a 25-year VC veteran (Kelsey Neubauer, Business Insider) — January 9, 2023

Cloud apartments exterior render
Render courtesy Cloud Apartments

"In 2021, against a backdrop of skyrocketing rents, Curtis Wong founded Cloud Apartments, a rental development company that uses modular-construction processes more often associated with single-family housing. Cloud's partner factories, such as the modular builder Autovol, will manufacture units in an assembly-line fashion with raw materials and ship the products to the building sites. Once that is done, a team of engineers and construction experts will assemble the units into a high-rise apartment building.

The business has captured the interest of venture capitalists including Tim Connors, a former Sequoia investor and 25-year venture-capital veteran who led a $3 million funding round that closed earlier this year. Wong said Cloud, which is based in the Bay Area, would use the funds to hire additional engineers, construction experts, and designers."

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Module Launches Training Program for Building Modular Homes (Quinn Purcell, Utopia) — September 15, 2022

module last mile lab render
Rendering courtesy Module

"Pittsburgh-based homebuilding startup Module is among a cohort of housing entrepreneurs focused on making homes and communities more affordable, accessible, and sustainable. Partnering with Terner Housing Innovation Labs (Terner Labs), Module aims to test new building products and installation methods for the modular housing industry while training others on the ins and outs of building modular homes.

Specifically, Module wants to increase access to construction jobs by focusing on job accessibility for women and minorities. The training program, in collaboration with the Trade Institute of Pittsburgh (TIP), currently has five individuals going through the program."

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Marketing Industrialized Construction to Consumers (Stacey Freed, Pro Builder) — June 9, 2022

Housing rendering modular
Illustration courtesy Michael Glenwood, Pro Builder

"From July 2019 through July 2020, Rise, a website for consumers and professionals that provides information about sustainable building practices and sells sustainable products, tapped into internet and social media conversations among consumers about off-site home construction. The bulk of that chatter focused on the sustainability and affordability aspects that off-site methods promise, but also on improved durability and reduced build time. And “prefab” emerged as the preferred term for that building method among consumers.

The data Rise collected backs up what many in the residential construction industry are slowly realizing: Homebuyers have a sincere interest in, a baseline knowledge of, and a curiosity about—and far less bias against—homes built mostly or entirely in a factory. Responding to such insights and understanding how to properly market and communicate prefab to consumers is necessary if industrialized construction (IC), including all forms of panelized and modular methods (excluding HUD-code units), expects to grow beyond its current 3% share of new single-family homes completed in 2020, the latest data available from the U.S. Census Bureau."

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