Modular Housing Magic in the West

October 10, 2018
Factory exterior
Developers and builders in Western markets are increasingly turning to prefab design to meet demand for affordable homes. (Photo: Unsplash/Simone Hutsch)

More developers and builders are turning to prefabricated design to bring greater supply and affordability to Western markets with soaring demand and a short building season.

In Denver, real estate developer, e-commerce business owner, and now modular builder Adam Berger has home segments built in factories that are later hauled and installed on-site. His second factory-built duplex, Alton Street Homes in Aurora, Colo., was built in Nebraska according to his design. The first duplex project was completed in less than four months, though he hopes to complete the current project in two months. Berger tells The Denver Post that affordable housing, "is such a monumental crisis right now that we need to find ways to disrupt it, to change the way it’s been done to build more of it."

Berger is not alone. At Housing Colorado’s NOW! annual conference in Vail last week, Daniel Gehman, of Humphreys & Partners Architects, discussed how gobs of new apartments are coming together on the West Coast using components built in domestic and overseas factories, driven by high housing costs. “People are protesting in the streets (over housing prices). We still deliver housing the way it was done in the 19th century,” Gehman said at the conference. “Off-site fabrication in general … could disrupt the whole supply chain.”

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