modl looks to reshape the world of prefabrication

modl Team USA

modl team in USA

Among the movers and shakers within the AEC (architectural, engineering and construction) industry in 2023, one merger is especially significant for advancing prefabrication globally.


modl Technologies LLC is a newly formed BIM-centric model-driven design, modeling, detailing and engineering services and consulting firm created from the merger of UBC (Unique Building Concepts) Impex LLC in India and SynTech Design LLC in the United States.


modl team in India

As a global one-stop solution, modl aims to cut timelines by weeks, if not months, for construction projects worldwide. Hundreds of clients trust modl to serve as their comprehensive solution, saving them time and expense so they can concentrate on their core business. 

At Howick, we have worked closely with the leadership of both companies and know just how strong their commitment is to driving innovation in construction through design and technology.

Solving a local problem opens up a world of opportunity

UBC has gone from strength to strength since launching in 2019. Growing from just four employees to 70, it has established itself as a market leader in designing, detailing, engineering, manufacturing, and installing light gauge steel framing systems.

From the beginning, Howick has been part of the UBC journey, says founder Venkat Borusu.


Venkat Borusu (Director of Global Affairs), Michael Iagnemma (CEO), Brian Iagnemma (Principal, Synergy Steel)

"Before starting UBC, I spent three years exploring technologies to reduce the labor involved in constructing walls. Traditional brick and mortar construction in India requires a significant amount of labor resources, and it impacts on construction schedules.

"Finally, I stumbled on cold formed steel structures and was introduced to Howick by an associate in New Zealand. Howick then introduced us to Vertex Systems software for detailing and modeling, and the journey has been a wonderful one since – even through Covid."

Behind the rapid growth and success of UBC, Venkat says, is a clear focus on adding value through design.

"Where others focused on manufacturing, we poured our energy into the design and engineering, becoming a global design center for light gauge steel (LGS) clients. It's an area where we saw you could build real scale."

With clients in the United States, South America, the Middle East, Israel, Europe, Australia and New Zealand, it is clear that UBC was right on that front.

Smart design technology behind growth in the USA

While UBC was establishing a global foothold, SynTech Design was carving out a niche in the United States market as a subsidiary of another Howick customer Synergy Steel.

Synergy Steel offers clients full turnkey, fast build construction solutions, servicing all 50 US states and the Caribbean. It achieves this by combining 3D Building Information Modeling (BIM) technology with the newest cold formed steel framing and panelization techniques and utilizing a wide range of Howick FRAMA™ machines

According to co-founders Michael and Brian Iagnemma, the benefits of this smart design technology approach cannot be underestimated – which is why the brothers set up SynTech Design.

"We build virtually before we construct," says Brian.

Creating a virtual environment allows teams to do clash detection and conflict resolution in the initial stages, so clients can better mitigate risk, improve logistics and optimize costs. 

Building better by building digital first

At Howick, we advocate that building smarter means building digital first. Intelligent digital design lets you realize prefabrication's true efficiencies and waste reduction.

By combining the expertise of UBC and SynTech Design, modl is uniquely positioned to help clients with a seamless suite of services, including:

  • Drafting and architectural
  • Bill of materials and estimation
  • Lot specific permit sets
  • Modeling, detailing and engineering
  • Light gauge steel consulting

Opening new doors for the construction industry

Venkat, now the Director of Global Affairs of modl, says the merger will strengthen their position in the prefabricated manufacturing and offsite construction technology sector.

"The combination of SynTech's LGS technologies combined with UBC's vast array of modeling, detailing and engineering services will provide our clients with competitive advantages in the marketplaces in which they serve."

Michael Iagnemma, now modl’s CEO, is excited to “join forces with a global leader” and to expand services outside the United States while maximizing our efficiencies domestically.”

For Howick CEO Nick Coubray, the biggest winner from this merger will be modl clients and the international construction marketplace.

"These are two great companies, and together, they present a powerful one-stop-shop proposition. By merging, they can deliver greater efficiencies and value add at every step of the concept-to-construction workflow. We are excited for modl and to see how they drive our industry forwards."

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November 2023   #Features