Masters of Offsite Construction

Prescient combines 5D software, clever engineering, and advanced robotics to create prefabricated assemblies for apartment buildings and student housing.

In less than a decade, Prescient, headquartered in Durham, N.C., has established itself as arguably the leader in osite construction for apartments and student housing.

Its 130,000-sf manufacturing plants in Arvada, Colo., and Mebane, N.C. churn out steel frame wall assemblies that can enclose a total one million square feet of living space per month.

Its 5D “Digital Thread” so.ware runs the firm’s robotics-based Unified Truss Construction System, a proprietary steel structural and framing technology. In the last five years Prescient has produced $1.5 billion in building inventory.

Strangely enough, Prescient does not claim to be a construction company. “We don’t construct. We assemble buildings,” the firm’s Chairman, Satyen Patel, told me. More precisely, it designs, engineers, manufactures, and assembles buildings.

None of this might have happened but for a chance meeting on a dock in Wisconsin, nine years ago.


The dock was on White Sands Lake, where Patel, a mechanical engineer with an MBA in strategic planning and finance, had a summer home. He had spent two decades with Pepsico, Nike, and Pillsbury before forming Cambridge Solutions, a so.ware company. He left the firm a year after its successful IPO.

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