Skender Announces New Advanced Manufacturing Facility for Modular Building, Creates 100 New Jobs on Chicago’s Southwest Side

August 11, 2018

CHICAGO–Chicago-based Skender announced the creation of 100 new jobs in the City of Chicago, made possible with the opening of the new Skender advanced manufacturing facility, and the hiring of Peter Murray as president, Skender Manufacturing.

The new advanced manufacturing operations on Chicago’s southwest side will produce  modular buildings for multifamily, healthcare and commercial buildings. Production is scheduled to start as early as November 2018 for Skender Manufacturing’s first project, a six-story, 110-unit, 80,000-square-foot West Loop multifamily building.

“With the launch of Skender Manufacturing, our vertical integration is fusing design, manufacturing and construction into a single process,” says Mark Skender, Skender CEO. “Peter Murray’s experience in the advanced manufacturing industry will bring our vision to life. By designing, manufacturing and constructing modular buildings and building components, we can centralize and stabilize labor, standardize the assembly process and eliminate weather-related delays. This process will increase efficiency, shorten schedules, ensure consistent high quality and reduce costs—ultimately making new buildings affordable, even in our current environment of rising costs for labor and materials.”

To host the new operations, Skender recently signed a lease for 105,560 square feet at a multi-tenant industrial facility, and manufacturing will launch as early as November 2018.

Skender has been delivering construction projects throughout Chicago and its suburbs for nearly six decades and the company continues its dedication to the city by anchoring its manufacturing facility in an industrial park just north of Interstate 55.

Murray has more than 20 years of advanced manufacturing, operations and commercial experience establishing and improving international organizations. He joins Skender from an operations consultant position with Cohero Health, a privately-held digital health company, and from the management consulting company he founded, Murray Consultants, LLC.

Prior to consulting, Murray was president and COO for Guerdon Modular Buildings in Boise, ID, an off-site producer of modular construction projects. Previously, he spent 21 years with Welch Allyn, launching a successful greenfield production facility.

Murray’s modular building and manufacturing experience from Guerdon, his startup leadership experience, and his proven ability to lead a major organization transformation within the highly-regulated manufacturing environment blend into the right combination of factors necessary to launch and lead Skender Manufacturing.

“I’m a huge believer in advanced manufacturing and I’ve seen its potential for the building industry,” expresses Murray. “There’s no reason we can’t apply the principles of advanced product design to buildings. Skender Manufacturing will use technology to challenge industry norms and boundaries. Our Chicago factory will be a place where the status quo exists only to be destroyed.”

Skender expects to have prototype modules ready for viewing and demonstration in September. Already, the firm is taking orders and developing designs for a number of multifamily and healthcare projects to satisfy the growing demand for workforce housing.

Modules for the West Loop building will roll off the assembly line as early as November 2018. Foundation and podium construction is expected to begin in early 2019. Assembly of the 110 modular units onto the one-story structural steel podium is expected to start by February 2019. Installation of the modules will take approximately eight weeks, with substantial completion of the entire building expected by July 2019 for a total project timeline of approximately seven months, which is about 30 to 40 percent faster than the traditional building process. Total project development costs are expected to be reduced by 10 to 20 percent.


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