Research and Innovation in the Modular Construction Industry: A Global Perspective Keynote Ivan Rupnik, Architect, Consultant, and Associate Professor of Architecture Northeastern University
The volumetric modular industry in the United States, the largest and oldest in the world, is on the cusp of a significant transformation in competence, capacity and capability. To better understand the potential implications of that transformation, Professor Rupnik will examine the US industry’s development in relation to two of the most sophisticated volumetric industries abroad, those of Japan and Sweden. For those countries industries, the US initially served as a model. In his session, Professor Rupnik will identify the key lessons learned that Japan’s and Sweden’s volumetric modular industries can teach the US at this key moment of opportunity for the volumetric modular industry. Over the last decade, Professor Rupnik has collaborated with other researchers on a series of projects related to the global volumetric modular industry. Professor Rupnik’s doctoral work at Harvard University has focused on the development of design and project management tools as well as regulatory frameworks specifically suited for offsite construction.
Exploring Zero Energy Modular Homes as an Affordable Housing Solution Alison Donovan, Senior Consultant, Vermont Energy Investment Corporation
Zero Energy Modular (ZEM) homes are an emerging affordable housing solution. Factory-built, all-electric and highly efficient, ZEMs are often outfitted with rooftop solar and use about as much energy as they produce each year, resulting in low or no monthly energy bills for residents. ZEMs were initially developed as a mobile home replacement but have been deployed in multiple other affordable housing applications. Alison will provide an overview of ZEM along with preliminary thoughts on the opportunities and barriers of ZEM as an affordable housing solution. The Q&A session will include discussion about possibilities, benefits, and challenges of ZEM.
Improving the Efficiency and Effectiveness in Legacy Factories Colby Swanson, Managing Partner, Momentum Innovation Group
Joseph Louis, Assistant Professor, Oregon State University
The offsite demand today is growing again and will grow 2X faster than the labor-constrained onsite sector. Renewed interest and billions of dollars in investment are flooding the industry, which includes strong competition from foreign companies. Many investors are focused on automation and robotics but this is to the detriment of first evaluating processes, methods, and materials used in factories. Offsite industry benchmarking will help steer future factory improvements towards the most effective ways to upfit for long term success and impact. Additionally, more careful analysis using Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DfMA) principles is fundamental to improving factory throughput. This session will focus on ways that existing modular manufacturers can improve their overall efficiency.
Expanding the Use of Modular Construction to Address Societal Needs Cindy Davis, Board of Directors, International Code Council
Deputy Director, Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development Division of Building & Fire Regulations
In fewer than five years, Cindy Davis has managed to have a major effect on the Virginia code world. Now, recently elected to the International Code Council board at the Annual Business Meeting in Kansas City, Missouri, she’s ready to help do that for the ICC and its 64,000 members. Davis has also served on the Board of Directors for the National Institute of Building Science and was an instrumental part of launching the Virginia Governor’s Housing Conference. She has been involved in a series of conversations positioning modular construction as a more viable source for Virginia’s affordable housing shortfall as well as a potential resource in the event of natural disasters. Davis will discuss these efforts along with recent initiatives within the International Code Council.
Regulatory and Legislative Updates from the States
Michael Moglia, Program Administrator, Housing Standards Division, Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development
Norman Wang, Director of Maryland Building Codes Administration, Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation
Tom Hardiman, Executive Director, Modular Home Builders Association
Don Thomas Jr., AIA, Division of Building Standards and Codes, New York - Department of State
Others invited include representatives from New Jersey and Massachusetts