Chicago Contractor Plans Snap-Together Apartment Factory

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Crain's Chicago Business reports Chicago-based Skender today announced plans for a six-story, 110-unit, 80,000-square-foot West Loop multifamily building, with each unit manufactured at the new Skender advanced manufacturing facility located at 3348 S. Pulaski, on Chicago’s southwest side.

Approximately 100 new jobs will be created related to the production of modular buildings for the company's first project, set to begin as early as November 2018.

Skender expects to have prototype modules ready for viewing and demonstration in September. The firm is already taking orders and developing designs for a number of multifamily and healthcare projects in the Chicago area

Modules for the West Loop building will roll off the Pulaski assembly line as early as November 2018. Foundation and podium construction is expected to begin in early 2019. Assembly of the 110 modular units onto the one-story structural steel podium is expected to start by February 2019. Installation of the modules will take approximately eight weeks, with substantial completion of the entire building expected by July 2019 for a total project timeline of approximately seven months, which is about 30 to 40 percent faster than the traditional building process. Total project development costs are expected to be reduced by 10 to 20 percent.

The company told Crain' it's too early to disclose the developer of the project or its location, aside from acknowledging that it will be very close to the company's offices at 1330 W. Fulton Market.

Skender doesn't plan to use subcontractors in its new factory but does plan to employ a union labor force there. The company is already hiring at the plant and wants to fill the 100 jobs within 18 months.

Skender has hired Peter Murray as president of Skender Manufacturing, “With the launch of Skender Manufacturing, our vertical integration is fusing design, manufacturing and construction into a single process,” says Mark Skender, Skender CEO. “Peter Murray’s experience in the advanced manufacturing industry will bring our vision to life. By designing, manufacturing and constructing modular buildings and building components, we can centralize and stabilize labor, standardize the assembly process and eliminate weather-related delays. This process will increase efficiency, shorten schedules, ensure consistent high quality and reduce costs—ultimately making new buildings affordable, even in our current environment of rising costs for labor and materials.”

Murray brings more than 20 years of advanced manufacturing, operations and commercial experience establishing and has worked in the modular industry as president and chief operating officer of Guerdon Modular Buildings in Boise, Idaho.

“I’m a huge believer in advanced manufacturing and I’ve seen its potential for the building industry,” expresses Murray. “There’s no reason we can’t apply the principles of advanced product design to buildings. Skender Manufacturing will use technology to challenge industry norms and boundaries. Our Chicago factory will be a place where the status quo exists only to be destroyed.”

Chicago Contractor Plans Snap-Together Apartment Factory