Canadians are not getting any younger. As the years go by, we are seeing a fundamental shift in Canada’s demographics. In 2012, almost one in seven Canadians was over the age of 65. By 2030, that number is expected to jump to nearly one in four.
As the number of seniors in Canada increases, this creates both opportunities and challenges for local communities and governments. One of the major issues that needs to be considered as a result of this change is senior housing. It is expected that, by 2026, Canadians will require 131,000 housing units for seniors, and this figure is expected to nearly double in an additional 20 years. This growth pattern will create an incredible amount of pressure on local governments and the private sector to make decisions that create safe living spaces for the senior population.
However, with housing prices and the cost of living on the rise, it is getting increasingly difficult to find the required suitable housing. Seniors often find themselves in a tougher position than young people who struggle to find housing because many are retired, with some physically unable to continue working. This means they often have to rely on a fixed income through pensions and savings.
Modular construction: a rapid response solution
Situations like this, where the need for housing is great and there are such wide-reaching implications, necessitate innovative solutions. Modular construction, which is already being used in Canada to address the urgent need for affordable housing, offers a practical and proven option.
The process involves manufacturing sections of a building off-site in a controlled facility. Those modules are then transported to their final site, craned and set on top of the foundation, and joined together to make one integrated building. Once the modules are assembled and integration is complete, the structure is virtually indistinguishable from those built by traditional methods.
The rapid response nature of modular construction is what makes it a great solution for the senior housing crisis. Rather than waiting over a year for a traditionally built facility to be completed, a modular structure can be constructed, installed, and opened to residents in up to 50% less time, with no compromise on quality.
Besides the significant reduction in timeframe, modular-built structures have other advantages over their site-built counterparts:
- Superior quality: Our modular projects are subject to extensive internal quality control processes, which are then confirmed by on-site third-party inspectors.
- Cost certainty: Costs remain on track as time delays due to weather, minimal trade availability, accident damage or theft are virtually eliminated.
- Sustainability: The modular construction process cuts down on waste and improves efficiencies. On the final site, the construction footprint is greatly reduced with less noise, dust and vehicle traffic occurring.
For senior housing, there need to be permanent solutions that address the unique living requirements and desires of those over 65 years. The options need to support their ability to age in place at home, as well as to receive support through retirement homes or assisted living spaces. These solutions also need to integrate into surrounding communities and create a lasting home for the residents. Modular construction with NRB delivers on these requirements with the added benefits of reduced timelines, high quality and certainty of cost and schedule.
NRB is an industry leader in modular construction. We continue to improve our processes in order to ensure a quality product and exceptional service. We are also deeply committed to providing solutions to the most critical needs in communities across Canada.