Start-Up Aims to Make Modular High-Rises Mainstream

A much shorter construction timeline and lighter materials could drastically reduce carbon emissions from the construction process.   September 20, 2022

By Greg Zimmerman, senior contributing editor

Your organization is expanding rapidly. One day, the CEO calls you in and tells you to start looking into finding more space. You begin your research, weigh all the options – from leasing downtown to building a suburban campus to even having a clever robot build your building. After evaluating many possibilities, you settle on an innovative solution. You’re going to build a new modular high-rise! Wait, what? 

Assembly OSM is working on a solution to build 10- to 30-story buildings on a drastically reduced timeline and with huge cuts in the greenhouse gas emissions compared to the regular construction process. The high-rises would be constructed in modular fashion in several locations using the same software Boeing uses to manufacture airplanes. The pieces could then be assembled on the building site in a fraction of the time usually required to build a high-rise building. 

The modular high-rise buildings would also be made from leaner and less carbon-intensive materials, reducing the embodied carbon in the construction process. The lighter materials and tighter construction would also reduce heating and cooling needs, making the buildings more energy efficient in operations. 

According to the start-up, the cost is actually about the same as a traditionally constructed high-rise. But cost-savings can be achieved because of a much shorter timeline, which would allow the building owner to begin earning revenue sooner.  

Greg Zimmerman is senior contributing editor for FacilitiesNet.com and Building Operating Management magazine. 




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