January 1, 2019 /

Volumetric Construction

Vesta Custom Container

Volumetric construction is the use of modular building techniques where large portions of the finished product are manufactured off site in a factory and then assembled on site to form a finished structure.  Modular Construction is a subset of Volumetric Construction and the terms are often used interchangeably. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modular_construction.  Volumetric Construction methods focus on delivering a finished product faster (and with fewer errors) than traditional site-built structures because much of the building takes place in a controlled indoor environment.  See http://www.modular.org/HtmlPage.aspx?name=why_modular.   A time-lapse of a volumetric hotel is visible here.

Participants in the modular construction business can be broken down into three general categories:

  • Manufacturers (who manufacture the modules in a plant);
  • Dealers (who own and lease modules); and
  • General Contractors (who use modules to complete construction projects)

Some of the larger US manufacturers include:

Modular dealers typically own and manage a fleet of modular buildings that are leased to end users.  See http://www.modular.org/HtmlPage.aspx?name=analysis.  Many dealers lease buildings to the construction and education markets.  Some of the larger US dealers include:

In recent years there has been substantial consolidation in the industry as Williams Scotsman, VESTA Modular and others have acquired other dealers in the space.  See https://www.willscot.com/about/press-room/news-events/id/544/williams-scotsman-completes-modspace-acquisitionhttps://www.thefreelibrary.com/Vesta+Modular+Acquires+Bankrupt+Modular+Housing+Firm+MSpace+Holdings-a0481215574https://www.pehub.com/2018/11/balmoral-acquires-vesta-modular/

A few US modular dealers also serve as turnkey general contractors for modular construction projects:

The Modular Building Institute monitors the industry and tabulates relevant industry statistics.

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