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VIDEO Modular Builder Creates Affordable Veteran Housing Foundation

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November 4, 2021 | Bill Esler

Philadelphia, PA—To help provide housing for those veterans who may be struggling, as well as other vulnerable populations, modular construction firm Volumetric Building Companies launched the VBC Giving Foundation, a 501C3-registered non-profit.

According to Vaughan Buckley, president of Volumetric Building, the VBC Giving Foundation is dedicated to providing high-quality, respectfully designed sustainable modular housing for working families, special needs adults, U.S. military veterans, and seniors citizens, among other groups suffering under the housing crisis.

Veterans Village interior slated for completion in early 2022.

The first project of the new foundation, now in production, is the Bernard Spain Veterans Village, a $6 million, 147-unit permanent housing community being built in Philadelphia for military veterans, a group that is 30 percent more likely to suffer homelessness than any other demographic. Located in northeast Philadelphia’s Frankford neighborhood, the project is slated for early 2022 completion.

Vaughan Buckley, president, Volumetric Building Companies.

When completed the Veterans Village Campus will consist of a four-story building with studio, one-, two-, and-three-bedroom apartments. It will also serve as a prototype for future VBC Giving Foundation projects, says Buckley. The foundation currently envisions producing one project annually for various vulnerable populations in different U.S. locations.

The VBC Giving Foundation’s projects will be powered by Volumetric Building Companies’ national coalition of modular manufacturing firms, raw and finished materials suppliers, developers, and real estate experts. Each project will be the product of VBC’s Volumetrix building system, a unique, totally vertically integrated modular construction process, with Volumetric production facilities in Hamlet, NC. Under the auspices of the foundation’s socially conscious investment platform, Volumetric Building Companies will design, engineer, manufacture, and construct all VBC Giving Foundation communities. (In August 2021, VBC acquired a major production facility in Tracy, CA when it acquired Katerra’s 500,000 -sq.-ft home manufacturing center.)

“It has been a long-held dream to use our modular building expertise and resources to give back,” says Buckley. “The VBC Giving Foundation makes that dream a reality and, now, with the help of our incredible donors and partners, the foundation’s first project is on the path to providing much needed housing for some of the nation’s heroes. Being able to provide that efficiently and with limited red tape is an honor for our entire team, especially for the veterans in our company, who are taking great pride in serving their less fortunate former military brothers and sisters.”

The $1 million seed equity necessary to bring the Veterans Village project to fruition was donated to the VBC Giving Foundation by the Joan and Bernard Spain Family foundation. “My late husband, Bernard, an Army veteran, always thought that veterans were not treated as well as they should be in terms of housing, healthcare and other benefits,” says Joan Spain, trustee of the Bernard and Joan Spain Family Foundation. “The Foundation is sponsoring the Veterans Village project to ensure our heroes live in safe, respectable, resilient apartments. I believe this will be a template across the country to build housing that our veterans deserve.”

The VBC Giving Foundation also partnered with VBC vendors, suppliers, and other modular purveyors to make contributions to the project. Notably Saint-Gobain/CertainTeed, which donated siding, insulation, and grant funding totaling more than $175,000 and DalTile, whose discounted materials saved the project $10,000.

“Saint-Gobain’s purpose is to make the world a better home. We believe Veterans Village directly aligns with that purpose by providing safe, sustainable, high-quality affordable housing to an under-served veteran population in the Philadelphia area. With Malvern home to our company’s North America headquarters and Saint-Gobain subsidiary CertainTeed, a leading North American brand of exterior and interior building products, we are in the unique position to not only support but add value to this amazing project,” says Joe Bondi, VP and GM at Saint-Gobain.

Founded as Vaughan Buckley Construction in 2009, and transitioning to Volumetric Building Companies in 2019, with the addition of manufacturing and architectural capabilities, VBC is the largest and most experienced multifamily modular housing company in the industry. Its unique proprietary and vertically integrated process, Volumetrix, combines architecture and engineering, logistics, manufacturing, and construction in a single package. For more information about the VBC giving Foundation and its first project, visit www.vbcgivingfoundation.org.

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