Offsite Construction

Exciting News Update:

HDC and the Offsite Construction Task Force (OCTF)’s Project LIFT has advanced to Round 2 in the Housing Affordability Breakthrough Challenge.

Selected from a field of nearly 900 applicants, Project LIFT is one of 15 other proposals in the category. If awarded, the grant will award $2 million in funding with an additional $500,000 in technical assistance, is administered by Enterprise Community Partners and powered by Wells Fargo.

We are very grateful to the grant partners for the opportunity and their interest in this breakthrough idea!


Project LIFT

The OCTF’s Project LIFT targets the completion of five “open-source” affordable housing demonstration projects—totaling 500 homes (“units”)—in five years. This five-project pilot will utilize modular and offsite construction strategies and will develop and distribute a scalable open-source housing development model for our region.

Project LIFT is structured as a data-based R&D project with constant report-out of success, failures, opportunities, and needs. The open-source affordable housing development model produced at the end of the pilot will document the design, construction, financing, and municipal participation needed for teams to develop successful modular affordable housing at scale in the Seattle-King County region.

The pilot’s five demonstration projects will be built in series, with some overlap, to ensure constant application of lessons learned and progress toward the ultimate targets for the fifth and final project:

  • 100-unit multi-family apartment
    designed with a diverse unit size mix.
  • $150K average per-unit cost.
  • Net-zero energy sustainability performance.
  • One-year total project timeline, including design, permitting, and construction.

More information can be found on our Project Lift one-pager.


The Offsite Construction Task Force (OCTF)

The OCTF provides industry and research support. This program equips members to address issues in permitting and construction, financing and procurement, municipal codes, and public myths. The task force is focused on creating a product package for potential sites, funders, and developers interested in implementing modular and offsite construction strategies.

Leadership

John A. Morefield, Lifft Agency, Task Force Co-chair

With over ten years of experience in multifamily design, John is the design architect for the most multifamily modular buildings in Seattle. As the co-chair of the Offsite Task Force, a member of Seattle’s Design Review Board, and a project architect for Base4 Architects, John utilizes his multi-discipline approach to develop all aspects of the modular ecosystem. To discover the solutions needed, John and OCTF members are proposing a multi-building, open-source platform to address all aspects of development process and bring affordable modular housing online at scale.

Justin Stewart, Synergy Inc., Task Force Co-chair

Justin leads Synergy Inc. as CEO with a commitment to developing innovative solutions to industry problems. Under his direction, the company launched Synergy Modular, Inc. to solve the cost and trade shortage issue prevalent industry wide. By partnering with offsite suppliers to provide full modular services, Synergy offers a single source contract for buildings with a fixed cost in less time. Justin’s construction trade knowledge and expertise come from growing up in a family business and the depth of experience over the last 25 years in the industry.

Key Area’s of Work:

  • Clearly define all impediments limiting interest in, and uptake of, offsite residential construction methods.
  • Assemble work groups to address the impediments.
  • Build incentives package that addresses feasibility and encourages participation.
  • Identify and support demonstration pilot projects.
  • Continuously report design and permitting hurdles and successes (via blog & whitepapers).
  • Collect data and document learning; use to inform improvements on the next projects.

What is Offsite Construction?

  • Offsite construction involves the process of planning, designing, fabricating, transporting and assembling building elements for rapid site assembly to a greater degree of finish than in traditional piecemeal on-site construction.
  • Offsite building includes a range of materials, scales and systems, digital software, methods of manufacture and fabrication, and innovations in social and technological integration.
  • Offsite outputs include componentized, panelized, and modularized elements deployed in the service of structural, enclosure, service and interior partition systems.
  • An optimizing strategy of off-site is to integrate these systems and supply chain through research, design, testing, and prototyping.

– Ryan E. Smith, Washington State University, OCTF Member

Watch offsite construction in action right here in King County.


Coming Soon: The Offsite Construction Website