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Faster and Greener: How Off-Site Construction is Helping Nonprofits Create Sustainable Housing

Nonprofit affordable housing developers face unique challenges when creating quality, sustainable housing for their communities. Fortunately, the emergence of off-site construction is providing new opportunities to help meet those challenges. Off-site construction, specifically modular construction, offers numerous benefits including; increased efficiency and improved quality control. This article explores how off-site construction can help nonprofit residential housing developers create affordable housing options that are also constructed faster and more sustainably.

Sustainable, affordable housing is an important issue for many communities across the country. The lack of affordable housing is a significant challenge for low-income families and individuals, particularly in urban areas where the cost of living is high. At the same time, the need for sustainable housing is becoming more pressing as the impacts of climate change become increasingly apparent. Nonprofit residential housing developers play a crucial role in addressing these challenges, and off-site construction can help make their job easier.

Interior view of one of Module's homes

The Advantages of Off-Site Construction

Off-site construction offers a range of advantages for nonprofit residential housing developers who are working to bring affordable and workforce housing to their communities. First, it significantly reduces construction times and labor costs, allowing for a more efficient and affordable building process. For projects that leverage off-site construction, site work and modular component fabrication can occur simultaneously, shortening project schedules. Off-site construction (in a climate-controlled environment) is also weather-independent, resulting in fewer delays and fewer cost overruns.

Second, building off-site is a more environmentally friendly construction method. The factory environment promotes improved material efficiencies (less waste) and reduced transportation requirements (in relation to both material deliveries and labor commutes). These characteristics can help nonprofit developers reduce their carbon footprint on a project.

Lastly, modular construction provides greater quality control. With traditional construction methods, nonprofit residential housing developers often face a tradeoff between quality and affordability. The efficiencies built into the factory process, along with the frequent and rigorous inspection protocols, mean that developers don’t have to choose one over the other. Quality affordable housing is attainable through off-site construction.

Module's Energy-Efficient Building System

Module’s energy-efficient building system is designed to streamline the development process, allowing nonprofit developers to provide housing that is sustainable, cost-effective and high quality. The system includes standard models with built-in flexibility to meet the specific needs of each development project and the community it serves. Energy efficiency is a cornerstone of this system.

The company's commitment to building energy-efficient homes is reflected in its adherence to the Department of Energy's Zero Energy Ready Home Standard. This standard ensures that each home is built to exacting standards of energy efficiency and sustainability, using advanced building techniques and materials. One of the primary benefits of building an energy-efficient home is the substantial cost savings that it provides to occupants through low operating costs. Homes built to the Zero Energy Ready Home Standard can be up to 80% more energy-efficient than traditional homes, resulting in significant savings on utility bills. Over the lifetime of a 30-year mortgage, occupants of a Module home can save up to $26,000 in utility costs. These savings are especially important to nonprofit residential housing developers who are focused on providing long-term affordable housing options for their communities.

Module’s homes promote resource conservation and the health of their occupants. The homes are all-electric, further reducing emissions and, in turn, their carbon footprint. The elimination of combustion in the homes also helps to improve air quality. Additionally, Module’s building system prioritizes improved indoor air quality by utilizing advanced mechanical equipment to ensure that homes have adequate ventilation, air filtering and moisture control under the EPA’s Indoor airPLUS program. The building system also incorporates EPA WaterSense certified fixtures, reducing water usage and saving each household up to 50,000 gallons of water per year.

Module’s energy-efficient building system offers significant benefits for nonprofit residential housing developers looking to create healthy and efficient housing options for their communities. By leveraging the company's expertise and commitment to sustainability, nonprofit developers can build homes that benefit both the environment and their communities while providing substantial cost savings for occupants.

Last Mile Facilities and Urban Workforce Opportunities

Module's innovative approach to sustainable housing extends beyond the design and construction process. The company is creating a network of Last Mile facilities strategically located in urban areas to create local manufacturing and assembly opportunities. By building their homes off-site, Module is able to reduce construction waste, decrease transportation costs, and minimize the environmental impact of their construction process.

One of the unique benefits of Module’s approach is the creation of urban workforce opportunities through its Last Mile facilities. These facilities are staffed by skilled workers who assemble the various components of Module’s homes. By leveraging local labor, Module is able to stimulate economic growth and provide job opportunities for members of the community.

The benefits of local manufacturing and assembly extend beyond job creation. By reducing the distance between the point of manufacture and the point of delivery, Module is able to streamline its supply chain and reduce transportation costs. This approach also allows for greater quality control, as the homes can be assembled and inspected on-site before delivery. Through its investment in Last Mile facilities, Module is able to provide its clients with high-quality, sustainable homes that are built to last.

Benefits of Off-Site Construction for Nonprofit Housing Developers

Off-site construction offers a range of benefits for nonprofit housing developers looking to create sustainable, affordable housing in their communities. In addition to the construction speed, cost savings, and quality control benefits, there is one additional advantage to this building method that nonprofit developers should consider: less disruption to the community. Construction can be a major nuisance. Moving the majority of construction activities, off-site equates to less noise, traffic, and pollution on-site. This is a big selling point for nonprofit housing developers looking to minimize disruptions for residents, neighbors, and the surrounding community.

exterior view of Module's construction at 934 Mellon


Off-site construction offers numerous benefits for nonprofit residential housing developers. Module’s sustainable building system, Last Mile facilities, and playbook for nonprofit developers provide a comprehensive solution for those seeking to create sustainable, affordable housing options. We invite nonprofit developers to consider the benefits of off-site construction and explore how Module can help bring their vision to life. To learn more, visit


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