Monday, June 17, 2019

Are Engineering Requirements for Modular Housing Out of Control?

I recently received this comment from a well respected modular home builder on the East Coast stating that requirements imposed on modular housing is excessive and far more than our site-built siblings.

Read his comment and let him know your thoughts!

"Builders are talking more and more about the ridiculous engineering requirements coming out of engineering departments that don’t use a PE, and over-engineer. I’m seeing 3-4 times.

I spoke with a PE today that said our modular addition showed loads FOUR times what he would have specified for a site built addition with the same live/dead loads, and actual snow loads for the region.

The costs to the builder/owners has far exceeded any previous rationalization that “modulars are overbuilt and that’s a good thing”. The costs are skyrocketing past any semblance of reason.

Looking the other way has resulted in systemic ignorance of actual engineering – the 3rd Parties makes more money when they manage more engineering, and the PE’s behind the factories and 3rd Parties lazily over-spec everything in an effort to cover their butts – without actually doing the work. The engineering ecosystem rewards speed of service over quality, and the building owner pays the bill. I’d bet that the increased construction costs are 2-5 times more than the cost for actual, reasonable engineering service."

1 comment:

Anthony said...

This is spot on and I can attest for this as well. If you stack a building permit for a stick built home on site along side one for the same modular design the modular design building permit pile will dwarf the pile for site built. Ridiculous on every level how modular is treated during every phase of the process over stick built-all attributed to laziness, money grabs, biases and pure ignorance by many. I have been in this industry for decades and this construction process should be the majority not the minority. There are battles to be won on many levels (plans, engineering, transportation, factory, on site conditions, municipalities, etc. but until they are we will be stuck exactly where we are now or even go backwards.