Only 11% of construction owners, employees, and managers are female. The challenges and traditional stereotypes make it difficult for women to get ahead in this line of work. OffsiteDirt sits down with the owner of Modular Sure Site, Audree Grubesic to take a look at her journey in driving an offsite construction business.
1. When did you get started and why?
I started Modular Sure Site because I wanted to build off-site constructed residential projects with modular construction. Modular Sure Site was born on July 9, 2017, as we contracted 4 single-family projects by November of 2017. The projects resided in Golden, Woodland Park, Keystone, and Evergreen, Colorado. There was a custom 4-box modular home in Keystone that was priced at $1.2 Million. It was one of our more complicated designs with a fully furnished basement, custom entryway, custom deck, and beautifully designed exterior high-level stonework. We had to meet strict HOA design requirements to get the Certificate of Occupancy. That project took a total of 12 months to complete, which in the mountains was fantastic considering building a home traditionally took 24-36 months. The other projects were completed in 8-11 months. The process to complete each home had a faster build schedule, less material waste on-site, and quicker inspections. Our trades tightened up their budgets from learning this new process which created less work performed because 90% of the homes were completed in the factory.
2. What services do you provide?
We have transformed our business into Modular construction services. We collaborate with traditional builders and developers with their first modular or offsite construction project. We create a productive pre-construction team and find a collaborative offsite factory to complete the build. We work closely with the design and engineer teams to execute module design functions that are structurally sound with our factory partners. We aim for excellence by meeting expectations, clear communication, organizing the game place, and following up to get everyone well-positioned for success.
3 How has your business changed over the past 5 years?
MMS started as a general contracting and set and stitch arm for single-family homes since COVID our business transitioned construction management services including consulting work. We assist our clients, which are builders or developers with their first offsite project. Most of the companies have years of traditional construction experience and want to work with an experienced offsite team. Our team provides support, and abilities to build the preconstruction team, along with having our clients be exposed to our professional offsite construction network. This network includes modular factories, MEP's, modular architects, structural engineers, developers, bankers, and investor groups.
4. What was your biggest success?
Our biggest success is yet to come. We are working with several developers at this time with large multifamily projects. We also completed a single-family project in 28 working days after the house was set on the foundation. That was a record for our general contracting team to complete in Denver, Colorado. Our other great success is Offsitedirt.com. Our media channel promotes offsite and sustainable building solutions front and center. We have spoken with the best in the business, and continue to learn what it means to have an offsite solution for your next project. Our sponsor Wesco, has also been a great WIN. We continue to learn on the series "Did you know, Wesco" on all their supply chain partners, is a solution provider and distributor for the offsite construction industry.
5. What was your biggest obstacle?
Finding the right factory that has the capability to fulfill our build timeline. Many multifamily factories are booked out for the next 6-12 months. Large developers are now looking at several factories to build the projects. No longer can one factory do all the work, many of them are expanding and opening up their next factory due to the high demand. Others are starting to invest in factories to be able to acquire a dedicated line for their projects.
6. What are your future goals?
One of our goals is to continue to expand OffsiteDirt.com. We want to be a leader in the industry for others to be educated, visit signature offsite events, and support our sustainable communities like Phius and Passive House. We believe in building science and creating projects, homes and new construction with new techniques, processes, supply chain solutions and manufacturing plant expansions. On the Modular Sure Site business, we are always looking for interesting offsite projects in multifamily, hospitality and commercial opportunities.