Rapid Housing Initiative by CMHC – Why NRB Modular Solutions Is Your Best Partner

The Rapid Housing Initiative (RHI) by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) aims to create new affordable housing for vulnerable people and populations. The initiative has guidelines and delivery timelines that make the modular construction method a viable and intelligent option. Despite its relevance and expediency, modular construction is still a relatively new concept for most builders and organizations applying for rapid housing development funding. To get a deeper insight into the subject, you can learn more here:  Eight ways NRB modular can fast track your RHI-funded project. The link is invaluable to those who want to understand how NRB’s knowledge of RHI’s guidelines, our modular expertise and industry strengths can assist in delivering a successful Rapid Housing Initiative project anywhere in Canada and with the certainty of project delivery within 18 months (within 24 months for those in the North, or in remote or special access communities) timeline.

This article assesses NRB Modular Solutions on three major KPIs related to RHI guidelines and requirements.


Modular construction creates buildings with the same look, feel and performance as conventional construction. The significant benefits of the method include time savings, cost and schedule certainty, higher-quality structure and less waste.

Modular has critical differences from site-built construction in its building process. Getting the most from your modular project requires a robust modular partner. But how can one determine which modular solution provider can be the best partner for the RHI projects?

The three major criteria the applicants should consider when it comes to choosing the right modular partner for RHI projects are:

  1. Capability
  2. Capacity 
  3. Relevant experience and expertise

Let’s look at the strengths NRB Modular Solutions provide in each of these metrics:



NRB Modular Solutions have a Canada-wide reach. We have four strategically located manufacturing facilities in Grimsby, Ontario; Cambridge, Ontario; Calgary, Alberta; and Kamloops, British Columbia.

Each of our four state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities provides 360 design-built manufacturing capabilities in a controlled environment to provide high-quality construction with sustainable practices. The ability to construct volumetric modules within controlled facilities allows us to avoid delays resulting from weather or other environmental hazards and even site-based disruptions that a regular stick-built construction project is more likely to face.

What does this mean for your RHI project?

Certainty of on-time delivery. Irrespective of weather, location and site preparation challenges, you can rest assured that your project will be done to the highest standards, meeting the necessary guidelines, and delivered within the established timelines, anywhere across the country.


Unlike most modular companies, you save both time and resources when you partner with NRB Modular Solutions. NRB will provide complete design-build expertise working with our resource pool of architecture and engineering partners familiar with volumetric modular design and municipal building codes.

Our team works with all stakeholders to create the program requirements, including full specifications creation and material procurement. We integrated the project and design team to work closely with the client to meet budget, program and schedule requirements.

NRB is a full-service general contractor and has all required regional set construction expertise. We take complete control of the site preparation and handles any challenges pertaining to the site.

While the modules are manufactured at our facilities, our on-site team prepares the site foundations. The NRB team coordinates and takes care of the transport logistics from the factory to the site when it is time for on-site installation.

NRB takes full responsibility for installing the building to ensure better quality, safety, cost, and schedule controls at the site.

After the site installation is successful, we will give you the keys to your new rapid housing initiative project.

What does this mean for your RHI project? 

With NRB, you will enjoy hassle-free, turnkey delivery from design to manufacturing and delivery to site management and installation of your RHI project within the aggressive 18-month (24-month for North) schedule required by CMHC and without unforeseen cost additions and time delays. On average, a modular built project is 50% faster than a conventional construction built.



NRB Modular Solutions is the largest turnkey volumetric modular builder in Canada. Each of our four state-of-the-art modular manufacturing facilities can deliver multiple units per day, with complete control of the production schedule enabling seamless project delivery. Our unmatched national manufacturing capacity stands at more than 375,000 square feet. The module manufacturing capacity per year across the enterprise is $250M to $325M, whereas the turnkey project capacity per year is $450M to $525M.

In terms of social and affordable housing alone, we have delivered many significant large-scale projects, including ten Vancouver Affordable Housing Agency (VAHA) projects. The project included 606 suites within 13 separate buildings on 10 projects sites in Vancouver, British Columbia.

What does this mean for your RHI project? 

No matter the scale of your project, the site it is envisioned for or the design and logistic challenges, working with NRB will mean peace of mind and certainty in the successful delivery of your project.


NRB’s capacity to manufacture and install volumetric modular equally correlates with our capacity to mitigate risk proactively. Throughout the project timeline, our team performs due diligence with all the stakeholders involved in the process. Our project management team establishes necessary control measures at the beginning of each project to ensure smooth team collaboration at all project stages. It periodically audits for quality assurances and standards to avoid any room for corrective work or potential fabrication, transportation, and on-site installation problems that may impact project timelines.

Should any unexpected issue arise, our team is fully supported with strategies and equipment and is well-trained in managing the situation quickly and appropriately.

What does this mean for your RHI project? 

Once you have partnered with NRB, all you will need is to collaborate actively; we take full responsibility for keeping things in control from start to finish.


Eradicating homelessness is a cause close to our hearts and a determining factor in NRB’s business strategy. Our skills and capacity to provide rapid, sustainable and affordable modular buildings motivate us to work with Rapid Housing Initiative applicants and to be a helping hand in delivering affordable housing.

NRB is proud to have been a part of more than 40 projects and close to 1,500 suites delivered for rapid response and supportive housing. These builds are now serving as high-quality homes to those in need. Moreover, we are currently providing modular builds to multiple RHI applicants.

Our experience providing social and affordable housing and working with Rapid Housing Initiative proves our understanding of the process and guidelines and ability to work within the provided framework.

City of Grand Forks, BC

In 2018, the City of Grand Forks, BC, tasked NRB with the turnkey project delivery of the affordable, multi-family homes promptly to accommodate the immediate need for housing for the families and seniors affected in the community.

The property also needed to be able to manage all stormwater on-site. All buildings feature an Insulated Concrete Forms (ICF) Foundation System. In total, there are 42 apartment suites (550-750 sq. ft. each) and ten townhouses (1,180 sq. ft. each) with laundry rough-in, private balconies for all units, and a private backyard for each townhouse. Common areas include an amenity room, two laundry rooms, and an exterior garden and lawn area.

City of Toronto

In May 2020, the City of Toronto chose NRB to design, manufacture and install 100 modular units of permanent supportive housing as the first phase of a pilot project.

The turnkey project included two affordable housing complexes on 27,000 square feet each. The project is designed to accommodate the immediate need for housing for the residents struggling to find a home in the city. The pilot project was completed within five months and provided a total of 100 single-occupancy units.

NRB has now been commissioned to design-build four more buildings for the City of Toronto in various locations.

Working with Indigenous Communities

Besides having significant experience in affordable and social housing, we have historically maintained good relations with Indigenous communities; we seek mutually beneficial partnerships and understand Indigenous housing and infrastructure.

In 2017, we provided a turnkey project of 6,776 sq. ft. staff accommodations for Halfway River, First Nation, BC.


Partnering with NRB will save you unnecessary costs and hassles. Our expertise, experience, and capabilities will ascertain the highest quality standards and timeline management. In addition, it will give you peace of mind, certainty and confidence that comes from engaging a partner that is not only an expert in delivering turnkey, rapid, affordable housing projects but also cares about the cause of eradicating homelessness and supporting communities. Now that is a competitive edge!

NRB Modular Solutions is the largest modular builder in Canada with over 45 years of modular construction experience and unmatched capacity, turnkey capabilities, and varied modular applications. Our infrastructure, strengths and relevant experience put us in an advantageous position to help organizations, municipalities, and Indigenous communities create affordable housing across Canada.

We are driven to leverage our experience and expertise to help you in your ambition to provide Canadians with rapid, affordable housing with the highest quality standards and longevity.

To learn more about our process and discuss your RHI project application reach out to us: nrb-inquiries@dexterra.com

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