We launched the Last Mile Network to lower the barriers that communities face when trying to build new housing using prefab construction. Using the MODULE Building System, the Last Mile Network streamlines the process of designing, manufacturing, delivering, and installing Module homes.
Breaking down the Last Mile Network
The whole of the Network is greater than the sum of its parts, and each member plays a key role in ensuring Module homes are being built to the highest standards. The Network includes locally-owned manufacturing facilities (called Last Mile Facilities) that produce and ship the housing units, along with local architects, and local general contractors who are trained on the MODULE building system.
Last Mile Facility
Last Mile Facilities insource jobs to communities and provide the opportunity to develop a "modular ecosystem" in each market. Each facility is designed to produce an all-electric, solar-ready, affordable housing product line while bringing good-paying jobs and workforce training opportunities to communities. In addition to creating jobs, these facilities will provide local real estate entrepreneurs and developers with the opportunity to build wealth.
Workforce Training Partners
Why did you launch the Last Mile Network?
The Last Mile Network concept grew out of Module’s desire to have a deeper impact on the communities we were building housing. In addition, we wanted to push our homes' quality and energy performance higher than the existing manufacturers were willing to accommodate.
Residential construction faces a three-headed problem: we don’t have enough homes or people to build the homes we need, and how we build homes is making our planet worse. Prefab construction can deliver housing faster, with better quality control and lower costs than traditional construction; however, the existing modular industry has several issues that need to be addressed:
1. Modular factories are often in dislocated areas, hundreds of miles from the communities they serve. This outsources construction jobs and limits access to this innovative building method for communities of color. It also adds challenges and costs for transporting oversized loads across multiple states and long maintenance, warranty, and repair trips. These risks make it hard for developers in cities to use modular.
2. Modular factories are very capital-intensive to open. New modular construction facilities can cost $40 million and occupy several acres. This capital investment is a barrier to entry for new producers.
3. Most existing modular facilities have limited product variability and focus on single-story housing styles. The housing needs of different regions vary because of climate zones and neighborhood context. Developers seeking offsite construction solutions face serious limitations in delivering the housing needed for their communities, such as multistory housing, visitable or accessible design, and energy-efficient systems.
What is a Last Mile Facility?
Each Last Mile Facility is slightly different because they are tailored to the community’s needs but contain the same core components. These locally-owned facilities insource jobs to urban communities and provide the opportunity to develop a "modular ecosystem" in each market. Each facility is designed to produce an all-electric, solar-ready, affordable housing product line while bringing good-paying jobs and workforce training opportunities to communities. In addition to creating jobs, these facilities will allow entrepreneurs and developers to build wealth.
How will you decide on which areas to open new facilities?
Selecting a location is a multipronged approach. Factors like demand for affordable housing, demand for jobs, demographics, zoning laws, and roadways, among other things, all play into the final decision. Our feasibility analysis for opening two additional facilities in Richmond, Virginia, and Prince George’s County, Maryland, has served as a “how to” for evaluating locations.
How many facilities do you intend to have?
We have three main focuses right now. The first is to engage in planning, due diligence, and construction activities to expand the existing Pittsburgh facility into a production hub. The second activity is to open the first two spoke facilities in Maryland and Virginia. The third is to conduct feasibility and implementation planning for opening a facility in Baltimore.
We will consider expanding to different locations as we progress through our current objectives.
Which facilities are currently up and running?
The first Last Mile Facility opened in Pittsburgh in 2022. We are currently moving locations and will reopen in early 2024. We are conducting a feasibility analysis for opening two additional facilities in Richmond, Virginia, and Prince George’s County, Maryland.
What do I do if I want a Last Mile Facility in my region?
Please fill out the form on this page. Someone from the team will reach out to gather the additional information we need and set the next steps.