Adobe Stock / "Maxim_Kazmin"

The first residents of Alloy on Tech Hill, Nashville's first prefab condo complex, are moving in. The Tennessean's Sandy Mazza say's the building's 82 condos were built inside a Pennsylvania warehouse, and took nine days to construct.

The individual condos arrived on trucks in July. They were nearly complete, with glass shower doors, finished cabinets and stainless steel appliances already in place. Once stacked into a four-story complex, siding and electrical hookups were added. This was the slowest part of construction, since it relied on local workers in high demand with limited schedules.

Core Development Vice President Kent Campbell used modular construction for the 5-acre site to side-step local labor shortages, permitting requirements and weather interruptions. "Everybody knows that Nashville is booming," Campbell said. "We're seeing a shortage of labor, and construction schedules are getting longer and longer. The biggest advantage here is the ability to control the schedule."

Developers are increasingly adopting the modular option to build affordable housing in areas with high land and labor costs. A nationwide housing-supply shortage is fueling the industry and inspiring new companies. For example, Phoenix-based startup Katerra recently raised more than $1 billion for its streamlined, technology-enhanced system of factory home building. Modular units are built inside climate-controlled warehouses to exact specifications that reduce waste and increase efficiency.

Prices at Alloy start just under $200,000 and top out at $350,000.

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