3 modular apartment projects lauded for their design

Alvera Exterior px Square

These buildings were recognized by the Modular Building Institute for innovation, sustainability and cost effectiveness.

By Mary Salmonsen by Multifamily Dive

Three multifamily structures were among the winners of the 2023 Modular Building Institute Awards of Distinction announced this month at the World of Modular conference in Las Vegas.

Modular building entries across a variety of categories — including multifamily, commercial, retail, hotels and dormitories — were judged on the basis of architectural quality, technical innovation, sustainability, cost effectiveness and construction time. The multifamily project winners were:

Alvera Apartments

Category: Permanent Modular Multifamily
Award: First Place
Location: St. Paul, Minnesota
Builder: RISE Modular
Architect: DJR Architecture
Developers: Northland Real Estate Group, Ackerberg Group
Size: 108,539 square feet
Days to Completion: 592
Units: 193

The Alvera Apartments, built by Minneapolis-based RISE Modular and designed by Minneapolis-based DJR Architecture, consists of five levels of wood-frame modules — 154 in total — stacked on top of a two-story concrete podium.

The lot’s narrow shape required the development of custom modules placed at an angle on the building’s east side, a move that creates architectural interest, according to the developer. The angled portion is set off by a five-story, hand-painted mural that wraps around both sides of the building. 

The modules were built offsite at the same time that the concrete podium was being constructed. Since construction began during the COVID-19 pandemic, the team was able to utilize nearby vacant parking lots for staging and assembly, saving construction and travel time. 

Units range from studios to two-bedroom apartments, and amenities include a rooftop deck, clubroom and fitness center. A semi-automatic parking system is located within the concrete podium, with over 100 stalls available.

Read more at Multifamily Dive