A recent New York times article, “Squeezing Costs, Builders Take New Look at Prefab” reports that while currently only 1% of commercial building is prefab, many builders are now giving it a closer look. One of the reasons for this is an emphasis on materials conservation and reuse. Another is that developers are looking to squeeze costs any way they can.
The article also says,
A developer can expect to shave up to 20 percent off construction costs with modular building largely because labor costs are lower. A unionized New York City carpenter makes about $85 an hour, including benefits, when he works at a construction site. At Capsys in Brooklyn, the only modular factory in the city, a comparable worker makes less than $30 an hour plus benefits. Many modular factories are not unionized and pay even less.