Module Launches Training Program for Building Modular Homes

The Last Mile Lab combines workforce training and industry innovation to create a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive way to build new housing.
Factory modular construction workers render drawing

“The Housing Lab’s network of affordable housing developers and impact investors present an incredible opportunity for us to deepen our commitment to alleviating the housing shortage,” says Brian Gaudio, CEO of Module. 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.

WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT FOR BUILDING MODULAR HOMES

Module’s Last Mile Lab is more than a teaching facility, though. With $75,000 of seed funding from Terner Labs, the space will also act as a finishing and research facility. The goal? Master how to deliver better products that come from a factory.

The company will use the facility to test, validate, and integrate new building products and installation methods that can apply to the entire industry. Additionally, it will house Module’s completed units for finishing touches—prior to shipping to the on-site location.

Insights from Terner Labs' The Housing Lab and graduates from the training program will have the opportunity to make a difference on real projects, according to Module. The trainees will learn how to finish modules with high standards, including energy efficiency, design integrity, and finish quality.


Modular unit lifted by crane for homebuilding
RELATED ARTICLE: The Modular Mark: Prefab Pros and Cons

THE HOUSING LAB COHORTS

The Housing Lab’s overall goal is to identify and further organizations and businesses that address the impacts of climate change through housing construction, including innovations in carbon reduction and energy efficiency.

Module specializes in energy-efficient modular homes that are built in a factory using modular construction and assembled on location. Building in a controlled environment means modular homes are more precisely constructed and quicker to build than a traditional home.

Besides Module, the 2022 Housing Lab Cohort includes Frolic Communities, The Guild, The Kelsey, Parity, and Pronto Housing.

“The ventures selected for the 2022 Housing Lab Cohort address some of the root causes of our housing affordability, equity, and climate crises in the U.S.,” said Carol Galante, co-founder of The Housing Lab and founder and advisor of UC Berkeley’s Terner Center for Housing Innovation. “Their models and solutions are diverse, innovative, and can be scaled to reach communities all over the country, not just in their metro areas of origin.”

Now in its third year, The Housing Lab has helped 11 separate ventures—63% of which have been led by founders of color. Past ventures have gone on to raise nearly $340 million and improve outcomes for over 23,000 people looking to find housing, pay a mortgage, or build credit, according to Terner Labs.

The Housing Lab identifies and accelerates early-stage ventures that help make housing more affordable and fair. Do you think you fit the bill? Apply to be a part of the cohort.


For more on offsite construction, read it here on Utopia.

About The Author

Quinn Purcell, UTOPIA Associate Editor

Quinn Purcell

Quinn Purcell is a graduate of Idaho State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication, and an emphasis in Multiplatform Journalism. He specializes in video, photography, copywriting, graphic design, and even music production. He currently serves as Associate Editor for Utopia. When he's not working you can usually find Quinn at a local brewery, or watching true crime shows with his cat.

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