Best of '14: Construction Trend Brings Time and Cost Savings to Projects


As 2014 comes to a close, we're taking a look back at our top blog posts of the year. Today's post, our most popular, originally ran January 10, 2014.

With the multifamily market as busy as ever, we’re seeing new trends in construction and responding where prudent. Over the past several years, Opus Design Build, L.L.C. has moved toward using wood frame construction for multifamily projects to help reduce costs and increase efficiencies.

We’ve used this technique for several recent student housing projects, including Stadium Village Flats, The Station on Washington and Venue at Dinkytown, and are currently using wood frame construction for VÉLO®, a boutique, luxury apartment complex near downtown Minneapolis. 

The wood framing method uses prefabricated construction materials, which increases delivery speed because the project continues to move forward despite the weather. Opus is employing panelizing firms in the Twin Cities and the surrounding region to construct the materials for VÉLO and other projects.

There are significant cost-savings – approximately 20% overall – with this approach. Labor is less expensive and working conditions are better controlled inside a factory, eliminating delays due to weather or urban challenges.

With our design-build approach, panelized wood frame construction also provides more flexibility throughout the project, allowing us to be more nimble with adjustments to design for a successful project.