Achieving Modular Multifamily Affordable Housing

When:  May 6, 2019 from 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM (ET)

Experts in the affordable housing sector - from the fields of architecture, housing development, as well as factory-built modular housing construction - will speak to the opportunities and challenges of utilizing prefabricated multifamily housing technologies.

Learning Objectives :
1. Learn about the cost and time saving opportunities for affordable housing associated with prefabricated construction. 
2. Learn how to navigate the regulatory hurdles associated with prefabrication.
3. Learn about design constraints and opportunities associated with prefabrication.
4. Learn how construction documentation techniques may vary for prefabrication.

Course Description:
As construction costs soar, funding for multifamily affordable housing remains relatively stagnant. The result is that multifamily affordable housing developers are increasingly pinched, forced to find creative ways to reduce already-tight construction budgets. Too often this causes delays and adversely affects the quality of the end-product. Meanwhile, the factory-built modular housing market is growing more sophisticated and efficient. It is estimated that the average modular multifamily project can save anywhere from 5% to 10% of overall construction cost relative to a traditionally framed building, not to mention the time savings of up to 40%. Yet, to-date, the modular industry has primarily served market-rate developers. The fact is that there are a number of financing, logistical, and permitting challenges that make modular affordable housing more difficult to achieve than modular market rate housing. Addressing these challenges has the opportunity to increase the affordable housing pipeline and address the affordability crisis.

Consider the challenges faced by affordable housing developers trying to go modular:
● While factory built modular housing offers significant construction cost and time savings, it also requires much more capital up front in order for developers to secure their place in the production line and procure materials. The early capital costs come before public financing is typically made available.
● The smaller production run and wider range of unit types often associated with affordable multi-family housing projects offers lower efficiency than larger projects. 
● As demand for factory built modular increases, so too does the cost, making it even more difficult for lower budget affordable developments.
● The usual challenges associated the novelty of modular construction include local regulators’ discomfort with the modular permit process as well as complying with union requirements.

Speakers will share their experiences aligning policy, finance, and design to overcome these challenges and achieve high quality modular multifamily affordable housing. 


Brad Leibin
Brad Leibin
Associate, David Baker Architects

Brad Leibin is an Associate at David Baker Architects (DBA) where he helps lead the firm's prefabricated (modular) multifamily housing efforts as well as DBA-LAB, which is DBA’s research, post-occupancy-evaluation, and tactical-urbanism arm. Brad was Project Architect for Pacific Pointe, the first 100% affordable housing development in the new Hunters Point Shipyard neighborhood of San Francisco. He is currently Project Architect on a 300-unit modular project in Silicon Valley.

Sharon Christen
Senior Housing Developer, Mercy Housing California
Sharon Christen is Senior Housing Developer with Mercy Housing California. She has worked in affordable housing development for over twenty years developing thousands of units of housing. Sharon leverages her development expertise and deep understanding of affordable housing finance to achieve beautiful, award-winning buildings that house special needs populations including elders, persons with physical and developmental disabilities, and formerly homeless individuals, among others. She believes in developing buildings that are outward-facing, serving as community assets by providing services that address local neighborhood needs.

Larry Pace
Larry Pace
Chief Operating Officer, Factory OS, Founder and President, Cannon Constructors North
The founder and president of Cannon Constructors North as well as the COO of Factory OS, Larry Pace has more experience with off-site construction than any other contractor in California. He has nearly four decades’ experience building commercial structures and multifamily housing, with a hand in some of the Bay Area’s most iconic buildings and restoration projects. Larry has built hundreds of apartments and condos using modular home construction technologies, and has worked through every mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and structural variable to manifest cost and time savings that the traditional construction industry never dreamed possible.