Modular Building Institute

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MBI’s Canadian Foundation Helps Shape Successful Modular Construction Conference in Alberta

Original Comment:
The University of Alberta concluded its second Modular & Offsite Construction Summit in May, hosted by Dr. Mohamed Al-Hussein, professor of construction engineering and management at the university. Dr. Al-Hussein also serves as NSERC Industrial Research Chair in the Industrialization of Building Construction. Professor Al-Hussein repeated an invitation to MBI Canadian Foundation trustees to take on the role of steering committee for the summit. Through a series of interactive workshops, panel discussions, and over 60 presentations, the summit addressed the benefits and challenges of industrializing the construction process. Factory tours of Landmark Builders and Star Prebuilt Homes also exposed participants to lean manufacturing concepts, high-volume building, and the use of automation in construction. Chaired by Bill Haliburton of ATCO Structures, foundation trustees—and thus the summit steering committee—include Ray Girouard (Kent Homes), Rick McClymont (Cadtan Management), Laurie Robert (NRB, Inc.), Brian Keyes (GLP Canada), Ken Josuttes (Champion Canada), Cameron Bowie (Alta-Fab Structures), Craig Mitchell (Britco), Jonathan Tomalty (University of Alberta), Harry Klukas (Black Diamond Limited), and Steven Williams (MBI).

Some of the topics discussed over the two-day conference were Implementing Modular Construction: Guidelines on Getting Started, Factors Affecting the Life Cycle Performance of Modular Construction, Simplifying Certification within Modular Construction, and Overcoming Barriers Preventing the Adaptation of Modular Construction. The summit culminated in a $10-million gift from Reza and Sylvia Nasseri to the University of Alberta. Mr. Nasseri graduated from the university with a degree in electrical engineering in 1970 and is the founder and CEO of Landmark Builders. Landmark is a highly successful modular home manufacturer based in Edmonton, Alberta and utilizing a largely automated plant. The new Nasseri School of Building Science and Engineering will serve as a teaching and research center in which engineering students, professors, researchers and staff will focus on improving the use of materials and energy in the construction and design of homes and commercial buildings.

You can find a brief history of the summit as well as an archive of presentations online at
Started on July 22, 2014 by Steven Williams
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