As modular grows in popularity and architects find new uses for prefab, three industries are best suited to take advantage of the benefits of building offsite. A report by McGraw-Hill Construction says healthcare, commercial warehousing, and the hotel industry would reap the greatest rewards by choosing modular.
Hospitals and similar outpatient facilities are ideal for modular. Patient rooms are identical and can be efficiently replicated at the factory and then quickly assembled onsite. This approach yields consistent quality, time savings of up to 50 percent, and significantly reduces disruption of existing hospital operations.
With baby boomers approaching retirement age, the number of medical facilities will increase steadily for several years. The benefits of modular will allow healthcare organizations to stay ahead of demand while keeping a high standard of care.
Commercial warehousing usually describes inventory distribution centers. But the category can be more broadly defined to include large-scale data centers. Individual, self-sustaining modules let warehouse managers rapidly expand, reconfigure or relocate altogether to meet changing needs.
Online commerce has exploded over the past decade and with it the creation of large distribution centers. Shipping costs and the demand for faster service has prompted many companies to trade one central warehouse for several regional locations. As these centers proliferate nationally, the speed and flexibility of modular can aid complex logistical strategies.
Similar to healthcare, repetition in hotel designs make them well-suited for offsite prefabrication. Some hotels have embraced modular, and even shown a flair for modular creativity. A Japanese hotel was recently built from portable storage containers, and Marriott and Ikea are beginning a chain of prefabricated hotels.
Like hotels, prisons are a great fit for modular. Call them involuntary hotels, their consistent layout means they can be made efficiently in an offsite manufacturing facility.
The booming drilling business in several states has prompted the need for living space for workers. Modular workforce housing can be built quickly, even in remote locations with extreme climates.
Though these industries may benefit the most from choosing modular, they’re not the only sectors that can enjoy the advantages of building offsite. Schools, commercial office space and a few others come to mind; but there are many more. Which industries do you think are a particularly good fit for modular?