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Welcome to the September issue of Voices, a collection of insights on scaling modular construction. Modular construction has experienced popularity in the past, but a new wave of attention could indicate the trend is finally here to stay if it achieves stable footing and scale.

McKinsey research finds that by 2030, the productivity benefits of prefabrication could save Europe and the United States $22 billion annually. This issue of Voices examines perspectives from across the value chain on how to realize those industry-wide benefits. All stakeholders will need to act: real-estate developers must “productize” and adapt, public-sector leaders must thoughtfully encourage modern methods of building, and construction players must start to rethink their long-term strategic positions.

For parts of the industry, modular construction is poised to fundamentally alter the way we build—and in doing so, it will likely create new winners and losers across the ecosystem. We hope you find this issue of Voices insightful, and we welcome your thoughts. 

Nick Bertram
Associate partner
McKinsey & Company

Jose Luis Blanco
McKinsey & Company

Jan Mischke
McKinsey Global Institute

More Articles


The engineering and construction industry, long berated for lagging behind in terms of digitalization, is picking up steam. New business models are changing the game.

Katy Bartlett, Jose Luis Blanco, David Rockhill, and Gernot Strube, McKinsey & Company


Real-estate developers are in prime position to lead the shift to modular construction. Crafting their product strategies and supplier partnerships are good places to start.

Nick Bertram, Jan Mischke, and Erik Sjödin, McKinsey & Company


Encouraging UK governments and construction companies to scale modern methods of construction can help address concerns over diminishing housing as well as prepare the emerging workforce to manage it.

Nick Walkley, Homes England


Digital replicas of real-world objects can help construction companies mitigate risk and deliver more with fewer resources. Lendlease Group illustrates how this technology can be applied and scaled.

Daryl Patterson and Bill Ruh, Lendlease


As Katerra strives to digitally disrupt the construction industry and “productize” the way we build, CEO Michael Marks discusses lessons learned and aspirations.

Michael Marks, Katerra


As modular construction gains traction, industry leaders weigh in to identify common patterns and obstacles to overcome.

Darren Bechtel and Kaustubh Pandya, Brick & Mortar, Roz Buick, Trimble, Joseph Schottland, Innovatus, and Kez Taylor, ALEC 


Bruno Balbinot’s background in the automotive industry informs his view of the construction landscape and how modular can meet a growing need.

Bruno Balbinot, Ambar


A look at countries that have embraced modular construction reveals that two critical conditions—labor dynamics and housing demand—predict adoption, though other factors can also play a big role.

Nick Bertram, Jan Mischke, Maria João Ribeirinho, and Gernot Strube, McKinsey & Company


Achieving a fully integrated modular construction offering relies on pragmatic leadership and a people-first culture.

Mark Skender, Skender

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