The solution to escalating costs may be closer at hand than we think.
By Mike Steffen, Walsh Construction Co.
It is no secret that we face an enormous crisis with housing affordability in the United States. As the housing industry attempts to address this crisis, there has been a tendency for many in the industry to look externally, toward the horizon, for solutions. Alternative delivery approaches utilizing volumetric modular construction, 3d printing, and the recycling of shipping containers for housing are just a few of the new and revolutionary technologies that have been promoted and utilized in attempts to innovate towards greater affordability. Vertical integration of the construction supply chain on a dramatic scale is another alternative that has been pushed forward. However, these emerging technologies and approaches have yet to produce compelling, sustained results in terms of increasing the speed of development or construction, or reducing the costs of the homes delivered. Not to mention the additional development costs and risks incurred by project teams that try to explore the use of these alternatives.
What if instead of looking to the horizon, we in the industry looked internally at our typical design and construction methods? Could we identify ways to modify those in ways large or small, to achieve the cost savings we are looking for, and to do so while maintaining and perhaps even increasing the quality of the housing we are delivering to our communities? …Read More