Friday, September 6, 2019

Amazon’s Investment in Modular Housing Paying Off

Plant Prefab in Southern California is building modular constructed homes in the Bay Area and is looking to buck the perception of "prefab."

In addition to speed and convenience, lower building costs have increased the demand for modular housing. Just last year, Amazon invested in Plant Prefab as it touted it's own smart home products, like voice-activated assistant Alexa.

Plant estimates the average cost of one of their homes is about $250 to $350 a square foot. The company says this includes finishes, fixtures and appliances but not transport, installation or foundation. In Burlingame, CA the average home is about $1,100 or $1,200 per foot.

1 comment:

IL said...

The claims of 30% savings versus stick-built is unrealistic and a dated argument bound to be discovered as false when compared to realistic cost differences between modular-prefab and a competitive stick-built contractor and architect.

The reporter's comparison of the Plant Prefab FOB southern California factory cost ($250-350 psf), not including land, shipping, site-work, foundation, permits, etc. with the $1100+ cost of a home on real property in Burlingame is ludicrous and bad reporting. This is comparing Apples to Airplanes.

This news story is the same-old, same-old bad reporting and stock lines from the supplier. It is misleading and not helpful to Plant Prefab, their customers and prospective customers, the industry or the general public.

I believe that there are significant advantages to using modular-prefab construction in a high labor cost, constrained building environment like the Bay Area. However, misrepresenting the advantages of a not-new technology is a good way to further sabotage future demand for the product when an interested buyer does their homework and realizes the truth. This is not a way to grow demand and increase the market share of prefab-modular.