Campbell County, VA - Banker Steel is pioneering a new way to construct buildings. And with it, they're creating dozens of jobs in Central Virginia.
The Campbell County steel company just landed a big multi-million dollar job in New York City. When it's done, the building will be the only one of its kind in North America.
What makes it so unique is that construction for most buildings is done on site.
Plumbers, electricians and appliance crews all usually go to the construction site to work. Well, Banker Steel isn't doing that. A radically new way of building buildings was sparked in the cavernous workshop at Banker Steel; Emanuel Guerreiro calls it modular construction.
"It is like building Lego buildings," said Guerreiro, national sales and business development manager at Banker Steel.
Modular construction means the entire room - from its steel frame to its sink - is installed off site and then shipped to the location. Stack a bunch of the Lego-like blocks and you have a building - a far cry from doing all the work at the construction site.
"The engineering that's acquired to achieve this is unique and there's nothing else like that in the country," said Guerreiro.
Banker Steel says modular construction is a cheaper, safer, and more environmentally friendly way to build.
In order to do this modular construction, Banker Steel had to expand. That's what they're doing in Campbell County, adding 45,000 square feet to their current site. They're also adding 50 full-time jobs.
"To be able to invest back in the community is something we are very proud of," said Guerreiro.
Mike Duddleston's worked at Banker Steel nine years this week, and sees a bright future in modular construction.
"This is something new that I've heard them discuss quite a bit, and it could go a long, long way," said Duddleston.
"They'll be able to go home and talk about building something that nobody else does," said Guerreiro.
The first modular building is an apartment complex in Brooklyn. Banker Steel says it will be the tallest of its kind in the world at 32 stories; the next tallest one is in the U.K.