Redefining Permitting for Modular Residential Construction

Last year, Permit Advisors worked with Relevant Group to develop strategies for streamlining review and approval of mid-rise modular construction. With the ever-increasing demand for apartment housing nationwide, the need to get housing construction approved efficiently has never been more crucial for people. Thanks to the hardworking team of project managers at Permit Advisors, we are proud to have drastically reduced the permitting and construction process of new developments, from concept, through approval, to occupancy.

Modular construction is a process in which a building is constructed off-site using repeated sections called modules. These modules are then delivered to the intended site and connected to create a fully functional building. Not only is modular construction better for the environment, but it is built using the same materials and designed to the same standards and codes as a conventionally built facility – in half the time.

Due to the cheaper construction costs of modular buildings, it is perfect for the construction of low-income housing. Relevant Group moved forward in 2019 with the construction of a 150-unit affordable housing building in Downtown Los Angeles, planning to be built using modular construction. The need for affordable housing is greater than ever because of the growing homeless population and the increasing loss of affordable units. According to the California Housing Partnership’s new report, many of Los Angeles’s affordable apartments are disappearing. Between 1997 and 2018, 5,256 affordable units in Los Angeles County were converted to market rate. And another 12,121 affordable homes are “at-risk”.

Despite the perks of modular construction, the biggest obstacle to this innovative construction strategy is the lack of established building codes or regulations for modular construction. Confronted with limited knowledge on the subject, the permitting process for these types of projects can be lengthened considerably. Permit Advisors hopes to shorten the course by creating a strategy for all modular construction permitting that can be used nationwide.

“We seek to write the playbook for permitting modular residential construction in the City of LA,” says Craig Plezia, a Senior Project Manager for Permit Advisors.

“We want to better understand what will work best in the plan check process to expedite the permits needed as smoothly and efficiently as possible,” states Roy Hasson, founder and President of Permit Advisors. Hopefully, the projects we have worked on with modular construction can be used as a case study for developing proper building codes and regulations for this type of construction.

Jan 4, 2021 By Bridget Foley