Modular construction may be a growing trend in the market for new projects in New Jersey and New York. In a modular construction process, a building is constructed away from its final location inside a plant or other controlled facility. It is then assembled on site. While modular construction could present an array of benefits for busy, crowded city locations, it has run into difficulties in the past. Construction delays and other issues have plagued urban modular projects in recent years, including the tower project at Pacific Park in Brooklyn.
Modular construction has been touted as a way to boost construction of affordable housing projects, given the savings that developers can reap by using off-site construction. However, technical concerns have been an issue, as some taller modular projects require the construction of a steel frame on-site to provide stability and strength to the overall building. One 167-unit affordable housing project in East New York is slated for a modular approach. Thorobird Companies and Bangladeshi American Community Development and Youth Services proposed using the technique to construct the building, and their proposal was selected by the city government.
According to the city, using modular technology on this housing project will cut construction time by nearly one-third. Because the modules can be constructed off-site before being stacked, New York’s weather will not interfere with the process. However, former city officials said that it is likely that they will stick to lower-rise projects rather than high-rise towers using this method in order to avoid complications and extra expenses.
Some of the past modular projects in the city have faced difficulties due to construction disputes between developers and contractors over costs and timing. Companies involved in a construction project can work with a New Jersey and New York construction law firm to negotiate contracts and address disputes.