A full house at the Modular and Offsite Construction (MOC) Summit

Advances in modular and offsite construction are closely tied to evolving trends in building design, building tools and methods, data management, and consumer intelligence gathering.

These trends were reflected at the sixth annual Modular and Offsite Construction (MOC) Summit. The recent event, co-sponsored by Alberta Innovates, provided an opportunity for information exchange across multiple, complementary disciplines. 

The four-day "multi-conference" was organized by the Nasseri School of Building Science and Engineering at the University of Alberta. It also included the International Symposium on Automation and Robotics in Construction (ISARC) and the International Conference on Construction and Real Estate Management (ICCREM). 

The MOC Summit demonstrated Alberta's leadership in growing interest in modular and offsite construction, said Dr. Mohamed Al-Hussein, conference chair and the NSERC Industrial Research Chair in Industrialization of Building Construction at the U of A. 

This technology has a number of advantages over current on-site, stick-built construction, he noted. These include increased productivity, reduced costs and construction time, higher-quality products, healthier environments for workers and occupants, and decreased environmental footprint. 

All presenters at this year's MOC Summit focused their presentations on "Industry 4.0 for Resilient Urbanization" to an international audience of more than 400 academics, manufacturers, suppliers, building developers, general contractors and developers of government policy. 

Industry 4.0 is a name given to the current trend of automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies. It is also sometimes referred to as the fourth industrial revolution. 

Dr. Christine Murray, Director of Agricultural Technologies at Alberta Innovates, said the summit was an excellent venue for information exchange on mass timber buildings, and the role modular and offsite construction can play to advance this novel construction technology.