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Taking integrated modular construction to a New Level

Andy Mest, Managing Director, Preconstruction and Modern Living Solutions, Greystar
Andy Mest, Managing Director, Preconstruction and Modern Living Solutions, Greystar

Andy Mest, Managing Director, Preconstruction and Modern Living Solutions, Greystar

Modern Living Solutions came to fruition after experiencing over a decade of deteriorating quality issues and protracted construction schedules. It is no secret that today's construction workforce is rapidly aging, and younger generations are not as interested in entering the construction industry as previous generations – leading to a talent drought and increased pricing to complete a project. Bathroom pods are not a new orunfamiliar concept, yet there has been minimal penetration of modular products in traditional multifamily or student housing markets in the United States, unlike hospitals and hotels that have dominated most of the activity in the modular construction space. Bathrooms are the highest cost per square foot space in an apartment and require over ten sub-contractors to finish a bathroom. As you can imagine, this leads to a lot of challenges, and our proprietary data shows that up to 40 percent of apartment punch-out comes from the bathroom.

 Our design approach is not about unnecessary detail and cumbersome automation but rather smart use of standard sub-components and fully configurable designs that finally allow mass customization of our modular products​ 

Our goal at Modern Living Solutions is to deliver repeatable and mass-customizable bathroom solutions that deliver the enhanced quality of a factory-finished product. A Modern Living Solutions bath pod is a reimagined and more sustainable bathroom with reduced waste, reduced long-term maintenance, and guaranteed pricing far in advance of traditional construction projects, offering enhanced monetary benefits to your project. We seek to get involved in projects at their earliest stage and assist in establishing bathroom pod geometries that minimize transportation and installation costs. Bathrooms are often an after-thought in design and evolve from leftover space, leading to tremendous amounts of bathroom configurations and the resulting inefficiencies for all the trades involved. Using factory-built components or not, there are still clear benefits of standardization of bathrooms, kitchens, and any other complex project components.

I was personally fortunate to test this theory during my work on an extensive master-planned mixed-use development in the United Kingdom called Greenford Quay on the historic Grand Union Canal. When designing this project, I worked alongside my colleague and renowned design expert, Gary McLuskey, Managing Director of Global Design at Greystar. Together, we developed a standardization strategy that worked for traditional construction, DfMA solutions, hybrid building systems, and 3D volumetric construction without compromise to apartment quality or common areas. This was a concept at the time but now has been proven out as the 3rd large apartment parcel is currently being built for Greenford Quay. This provided us unlimited delivery optionsand schedule outcomes based upon which solution we selected.

We know our team's depth of knowledge in this market, and a keen understanding of our client's wants gives us a unique design perspective. Our design approach is not about unnecessary detail and cumbersome automation but rather smart use of standard sub-components and fully configurable designs that finally allow mass customization of our modular products. 

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