Canadian Contractor

By Canadian Contractor staff   

Modular construction can help address Canada’s housing crisis, new report finds

Canadian Contractor

Jan. 15, 2024 – CSA Public Policy Centre‘s new report, Seizing the Modular Opportunity, highlights how consideration needs to be given to modular construction – the practice of fabricating building components, or “modules,” in a factory-controlled environment. These modules can range from individual rooms to entire building sections, which are then transported to construction sites and assembled.

“Modular housing is an efficient and cost-effective way to build the additional infrastructure Canada desperately needs,” says Sunil Johal, Vice President, Public Policy at CSA Group, in a press release. “Greater use of modular methods can help address rising demand, particularly within the housing sector.”

“Demand for modular construction is growing significantly, and we need our policies and regulations to keep pace in order to unleash its full potential,” says Tom Hardiman, Executive Director of the Modular Building Institute. “We need enabling building codes, efficient approvals, and governments that know how to procure and finance modular projects to reap maximum benefits.”

Modular construction is also sustainable, an important consideration as Canada continues to work towards its ambitious climate goals. By standardizing components used in the manufacturing process, modular construction has the potential to reduce waste by as much 46 per cent. Due to the controlled production environment, it can also reduce construction emissions by up to 22 per cent.

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The benefits of modular housing can only be realized with broader awareness and understanding of modular methods, greater regulatory consistency, and more compatible procurement and financing practices. The CSA Public Policy Centre’s new report outlines five recommendations for government leaders to seize the potential of modular. These include:

  1. Address building code gaps and inconsistencies 
  2. Develop guidance and training for industry and regulators
  3. Improve access to financing for modular construction 
  4. Make it easier to procure modular projects 
  5. Build up evidence in support of modular construction 

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