Katerra: Competitive Mapping

of one

Katerra: Competitive Mapping


  • Katerra employs the use of technology and a full-service approach to mass-produce prefabricated structures. Katerra describes its construction process as "precision-sequenced product assembly".
  • It uses computer software like SAP HANA and its curated platform, Apollo, to design all aspects of a building. Components are then built in a factory before they are transported to the site.
  • The prefabricated structures arrive at the construction site in large panels, which aid efficient transportation, and are assembled on site.
  • Katerra asserts that its prefabricated structures require less field labor as opposed to traditional manufacturing.

Context Design

  • Katerra uses modular components in its large-scale building projects that span across multifamily, commercial and institutional use. It does not, however, have pre-existing models available to their clients.
  • Katerra claims to have developed a standard kit of parts that include floor systems, exterior, and interior wall panels. Its website notes that Katerra also has 48 state design solutions, 100% complete bill of materials, and thousands of unique design configurations available to its clients.
  • The Katerra Building Platform consists of two platforms: the Garden Multifamily platform and the Garden Multifamily platform for Affordable Housing. The first platform has unit and chassis libraries available to clients. It also comes with 2 roofing types and a multitude of exterior cladding and interior furnishes.
  • Through the Garden Multifamily for Affordable Housing platform, Katerra offers its clients 3 building sizes, a unit library, 6 interior finish packages, and multiple exterior cladding options as well.
  • Katerra asserts that its parts can be installed in different ways to suit the diverse needs of its clients. It is also open to working with clients at any stage of their construction process.

Value Chain

  • Katerra's focus appears to be on the end-to-end build process, which includes site development, design, engineering, materials, and construction. Its goal is to offer one fully integrated service model through its own supply chain. It accomplishes this by taking full control of materials, logistics, and labor.
  • Katerra offers additional services in renovation, materials and supply chain services, and related architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) professional services.

Progressive Ownership

  • Michael Green, Katerra's co-founder and CEO, asserts that Katerra is not a real estate owner and that real estate developers are their clients. With this in mind, it may be safely assumed that Katerra does not offer ownership models to tenants. There was also no definitive evidence to support that Katerra offers any ownership models to tenants in the market.

Cover, SHoP, Panoramic Interest, RAD Urban and Broad Sustainable Buildings have been identified as some of Katerra's biggest competitors. Cover and sHoP have been compared to Katerra in publications as American companies out to revolutionize construction, while WSP, one of the world's leading engineering and professionals firms, highlighted RAD Urban, Broad Sustainable Buildings, Panoramic Interests, and Katerra as leaders in modular construction for multifamily housing in their 2018 report.


  • Founded in 2014, Cover is a technology company that designs custom homes, primarily prefabricated backyard homes called accessory dwellings. Backyard homes have been dubbed as the "next big thing" in urban planning and Cover hopes to do for homes what Tesla did for cars.
  • Cover employs the use of technology in every step of its construction process, from design, permitting, and manufacturing. It deploys digital tools to streamline the design and construction process.

How it Differentiates Itself

  • Cover asserts that its "focus on digital tools" in the construction process sets it apart. Its use of generative design tools has been touted by industry experts as revolutionary with the ability to transform the physical world and the role of a designer in the construction process. Its digital programs churn out numerous designs and incorporate geospatial data and the sun's path to ascertain wall and window placements.
  • Cover also boasts of fast turnarounds. Upon submission of a completed questionnaire, Cover posits that it sends out "photo-realistic renderings and plans" to its clients in 3 business days. Additionally, it simultaneously builds components in the factory as it prepares the foundation, and upon receiving the required permits and zoning approvals, they can install a structure in 12 weeks.
  • Cover asserts that their structures are 80% more energy-efficient than the average new home and reduces construction waste by 80%. It also asserts that their homes save their clients 40% in annual energy bills.
  • Cover also offers an all-inclusive fixed price guarantee that covers the entire process, from zoning research, design, permitting, manufacturing and installation, project management, Wolf Sub-Zero appliances, as well as all fixtures and finishes.

SHoP Architects

How it Differentiates Itself

  • SHoP helped develop and build 461 Dean, the word's tallest modular tower, in Brooklyn, New York. With 363 rental apartments in 23 different design configurations, it has been deemed as a solution to meet the high demand for urban housing.
  • As noted on their website, SHoP also has a wealth of experience and impressive projects behind them. This includes Barclays Centre, the futuristic Uber Air complex, among many others. It was a finalist for the La Guardia Airport (LGA) Master Plan design competition. Since its inception in 1996, it has acquired 24 years of architectural experience.

RAD Urban

  • RAD Urban is an all residential factory built homes (FBH) designer, developer, and manufacturer. Its goal is to refine its FBH product process to become lighter, faster and more effective than traditional construction.
  • Using award-winning designs, RAD Urban leverages its "unique capabilities and approach" to design and deliver high-quality buildings at a lower cost and environmental impact.

How it Differentiates Itself

  • WSP's report notes that RAD Urban avoids the use of "superfluous materials", and instead focuses on lighter materials that can bear heavier loads, like steel, which unlike timber, eliminates the need for double interior walls and floor ceilings, which other FBH firms heavily rely on.
  • This results in their structures weighing a third of equivalent FBH structures. RAD Urban's structures, therefore, use fewer resources, saving costs and lowering their impact on the environment.

Panoramic Interests

How it Differentiates Itself

BROAD Sustainable Buildings

How it Differentiates Itself

  • WSP's report praises BSB for its rapid speed in the entire construction process. It gained recognition in the industry when it completed a 30-story tower in 15 days using its prefabricated concrete slabs and other materials. It also built Mini Sky City, a 57-story building at the rate of 3 floors per day.
  • BSB is also praised for its meticulous standardization, which WSP asserts is responsible for BSB's expedited coordination of the entire manufacturing process. WSP's report further posits that BSB's precision and organization provides a replicable case study for all FBH projects.
  • BSB is part of the larger BROAD Group, which consists of other companies involved in different places in the construction value chain. It may be construed that this adds to its expertise and strengthens its position in the construction industry.