Modular Building Institute sees opportunities in stimulus bill

May 11, 2009 |

The Modular Building Institute (MBI) announced that it has identified more than $11 billion outlined for building, renovation, and improvements of facility types such as military barracks, child development centers, schools, military housing, and border stations in the new economic stimulus bill. Signed yesterday by President Barack Obama, these identified opportunities are all well suited to the modular, assembly line process of construction.

One of the key purposes of this legislation is to fund projects which will quickly provide large numbers of jobs, while embracing green building construction technology. Modular construction is a perfect fit on both accounts. Widely recognized as a more environmentally-friendly and efficient process due to the reduction of materials waste and site disturbances, the modular construction industry also has the unique advantage of simultaneously employing construction workers in the factory and on the construction site, thus creating more jobs in a quicker timeframe.

The bill also recognizes the benefits of projects that are able to be started quickly, and in some cases, projects that can be substantially completed in a reduced time frame. For example, the bill sets aside $100 million for “Impact Aid construction” for schools with federal tax-exempt properties in their district. The criteria used to award these funds to the states include the following: “The extent to which the new design and proposed construction utilizes non-traditional or alternative building methods to expedite construction and project completion and maximize cost efficiency” and “the feasibility of project completion within 24 months from award.” These provisions in this package allow the modular construction industry to uniquely meet the criteria because of its accelerated timeline on delivery for buildings.

“We are pleased that the road to recovery for the nation can get a jump start with modular construction,” said Tom Hardiman, executive director of MBI. “Our industry is well-positioned to help fulfill this bills potential with efficient and environmentally-friendly buildings. While skilled tradesmen wait for site preparation to be completed to begin their 'shovel-ready' projects, the modular industry can be in full swing from day one of any construction project.”

About MBI

Founded in 1983, the Modular Building Institute is the only, international, non-profit trade association serving non-residential modular construction. Our regular membership includes wholesale manufacturers, direct manufacturers, and dealers of commercial modular buildings, while our associate members are companies supplying building components, services, and financing to the industry. It is MBI’s mission to grow the industry and its capabilities by encouraging innovation, quality, and professionalism through communication, education, and recognition. MBI also administers an educational foundation.

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