Gerard McCaughey came to the United States on a mission. A mission to change an old, dated process—construction.

Originally from Ireland, McCaughey saw the evolution of modular construction happen in the United Kingdom—decades ago. When he saw the lag in the process efficiency in the United States, he recognized and followed an opportunity. In 2014, he launched Entekra, a company that provides a fully integrated off-site solution for construction.

To McCaughey, it’s important to understand the value of modular as a process, not just as a product.

“There isn’t a profit gain in the use of products, it’s in the process,” he says. “When you look at off-site, you talk about a company that provides a solution. They don’t just provide lumber.”

In this short video, McCaughey describes the value of the modular construction process and how it can help reduce the amount of labor needed, which will be key to the success of the housing industry in the next decade.

This evolution to modular, prefabricated construction in the United States will save time and labor, both key to providing up to the 1.5 million units per year that are necessary to meet demand. The productivity gains can be up to 50%, which will lower costs, helping to solve affordability issues.

The history of stick-framing in the U.S. housing industry is not only a very labor-intensive method, but it has become such a large industry that it will need a colossal effort to shake it up or disrupt it to try something new. Another factor hindering the adoption of prefabricated construction has been the union movement to protect the outdated process from becoming more efficient.

McCaughey paints the picture of how inefficient the process truly is through the example of purchasing a car. Imagine ordering a car and the manufacturer sends all the components to your house with a couple of laborers to assemble it right in your driveway. This car wouldn’t have the benefits of quality control, a stable environment for assembly, the efficiencies of an entire team, or the right equipment.

Even though these inefficiencies shock people like McCaughey, they still exist. And, they still are challenges to building the amount of housing needed to meet demand.

“A fully integrated off-site solution truly is the only solution that will provide the number of homes that are required,” McCaughey says. “It can only be achieved by a change in the process.”

More of the features and benefits of modular construction are explored through the 2017 Multifamily Executive Concept Community's Next Generation Development. Visit to learn more.