Could Greystar be the tipping point for modular in the USA?


When Greystar executive Andy Mest returned from the UK in 2018, he remembers being struck by how far the US building industry had fallen behind Europe.  

In an article from Fast Company, he says he remembers thinking: ‘We can continue to build like cavemen, or we can change the way we build’. 

Where the UK and Europe had been innovating with modern building systems that sped up construction and improved quality, the US industry had continued to rely on traditional onsite wooden framing. 

As a result, modular construction made up just 6% of total new construction in the US in 2022.   

However, that may all be about to change with Greystar’s latest project in Pittsburgh, which is the first to be built using their Modern Living Solutions concept. 

Instead of using traditional methods, the 312 unit six-building development is being manufactured in a purpose-built factory using two Howick machines (with two more on the way), then transported and assembled onsite.   

It is an approach that Mest believes will cut costs in some markets by 10% and reduce construction times up to 50%.  It is also the first of many MLS projects for Greystar, with three new sites scheduled to break ground in 2024. 

With US$75 billion in global assets, Greystar has the scale to finally realise the potential of modular construction in the USA, and this has the industry’s attention. Could it be the tipping point?  Watch this space. 

Read the full article from Fast Company to learn more about the story behind Greystar’s MLS system, what has been holding back modular construction in the US, and how industry insiders are seeing change ahead.

March 2024   #News