Greenville – Spartanburg, South Carolina: How Modular Construction Can Benefit A Growing Region
Throughout the years, America has been a leader in manufacturing and industrial markets, representing almost a quarter of everything that is produced in the world. As we come out of the recent financial recession, that number is projected to grow.
In certain areas of the country, there are main hubs that have a strong economic footprint in manufacturing, supply chain, and development. According to the SC Economic Outlook, South Carolina is one state in particular with a positive business climate, growing economy, and skilled workforce.
A Little History
Since its beginnings as a small farming community in the late 1700’s, Greenville County has grown into a popular metropolitan area and is a leader in the Southeast for business.
Greenville is technically a medium-sized market, but has more corporate headquarters than any other region in the state, according to the SC Department of Commerce. It’s also home to the offices of a diverse group of Fortune 500 companies including 3M, Lockheed, and GE.
From innovative biotech companies to large warehouse and distribution centers, as well as an expansion of manufacturing facilities, it’s no wonder why Greenville County is known as a major industrial hub.
Expansion on the Horizon
The area looks to expand even further over the next few years, as several major projects are slated to bring growth to the Upstate region:
- Greenville-based Michelin North America is investing $270 million in building a 3.3 million-square-foot distribution center and adding 350 jobs to Spartanburg County. Phase one is set to open in late 2017, with project completion scheduled for 2019.
- Italian chemical company, Ritrama, will establish a North American headquarters and manufacturing facility in a 350,000-square-foot plant in the region. This is expected to create 150 jobs. Projections show that the facility will be fully operational by end of 2017.
- Fueled by development at the Panama Canal, which is nearly 2,000 miles away from the region, over six million square feet of warehouse space is under construction in the Greenville-Spartanburg region.
An Advanced Manufacturing Economy
According to the Greenville Area Development Corporation (GADC), the Greenville-Spartanburg area was rated amongst the top cities in the nation for job growth in 2014 and was listed sixth in Forbes Magazine of “America’s Engineering Capitals” that same year. Due to a strong economy and abundance of corporate headquarters, many industries are flocking to the area.
The Greenville-Spartanburg area is responsible for 37% of South Carolina’s total manufacturing and much of it represented by a new generation of “advanced manufacturing.”
Advanced manufacturing implements new technology, improved processes, and management methods to improve the manufacturing of products. The advanced manufacturing designation is reserved for those industries that dedicate a high percentage of resources into research and development and recruiting STEM workers. It includes industries like automotive, aerospace, energy, and chemical manufacturing.
Just like the Upstate region, modular construction is booming as an advanced manufacturing industry. By applying assembly line efficiency to the task of building, modular construction’s improved processes and time management allow occupants to begin serving their customers and producing revenue in almost half the time.
Space Expansion with Modular Construction
Since 1990, the population of Greenville-Spartanburg has nearly doubled in size. Greenville is also the largest county in the state and is seeing a pattern of steady growth according to The Greenville Forward. As the population steadily increases, the pressure for space and adequate infrastructure will start to build.
Greenville, South Carolina has a large corporate presence as well. As these companies begin to grow, they may need additional office space for their employees. According to data from early 2017, the region has seen an increase of 300 office-using jobs over the last 12 months. At the same time, this area has reported recent shortages in office space and developers are turning to adaptive reuse construction — redeveloping and repurposing older buildings — to fulfill the growing need.
Modular buildings are ideal for adaptive reuse because their entire construction model is based on flexibility and expansion. Like a life-size game of Tetris, modules can be added, relocated, or removed with minimal disruptions to the surrounding site and buildings.
Modules are easily relocated or refreshed for their next use at a new location. What one day is a retail sales office can quickly be refreshed inside and out and installed at another location to serve as modular office swing space at an industrial facility. The adaptable reuse of modular structures reduces the need for additional raw materials and minimizes the energy necessary to create a building.
From small office buildings to large office complexes, modular construction can provide both permanent construction and short-term space for office-using employment. Since its inception, the modular building industry has been a leader in commercial and industrial construction. Modular floor plans and customized designs provide an abundance of options when expanding facilities.
Manufacturing, waste management, pharmaceutical, chemical, and agribusiness are just a few examples of industries that take advantage of the affordability and speed that modular construction provides. As Greenville continues to expand and looks for affordable buildings, modular construction can help.
Benefits of Modular Building to Region on the Rise
In addition to providing readily accessible expansion space for growing advanced manufacturing and professional services industries, modular construction offers additional benefits to companies in the Greenville-Spartanburg regions.
The fast construction turnaround of modular buildings can reduce your “time to occupancy” by as much as 50%. This is critical, especially when businesses want entry to a market as attractive as the Upstate area.
Modular building spaces continue to advance ahead of conventional construction in environmental responsibility. Modular construction keeps waste to a minimum through proven methods of efficient material use and waste reduction throughout the fabrication process.
Off-site manufacturing also minimizes environmental impacts with less truck traffic, sprawling material storage, construction noise, smells, light pollution, and airborne dust and dirt particles, better positioning Greenville-Spartanburg as one of the cleaner and greener regions in the state.
Custom design and build
In a region with such strong historical influence, custom design is important. Modular construction provides the choice of a wide array of interior and exterior finishes, ensuring that your new building, or building expansion, will fit in with the traditional architecture and the historical significance of the surrounding area.