Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Another Industry Begins Using Modular Construction

After superstorm Sandy nearly destroyed a Brooklyn health-care clinic in 2012, officials at NYC Health + Hospitals looked to modular construction for a quick and economical replacement. Now the municipal public health-care system is deploying the technology again, this time to build a $28 million two-story ambulatory-care facility on Staten Island with units made in a Pennsylvania factory and bolted together on site.

Photo courtesy of Yorkon Modular

It’s interesting to note that over the past few years I’ve contacted several PA modular factories and nobody wants their involvement in building these projects made public.  With East Coast health-care institutions spending billions to modernize and expand, some large providers are boosting their use of factory-made components, sometimes constructing entire facilities from modules and other times using smaller components, such as finished bathroom units, within conventionally built projects.

And again modular factories do not want themselves identified. Like builders in the residential and hotel sectors, health-care systems looking to expand have shown a growing interest in modular-building technology as a possible way to deal with a shortage of skilled construction workers and rising building cost.

It’s also interesting that two large PA commercial modular factories recently closed their doors which doesn’t make much sense if there is so much demand for modular in new hospital construction.

Nearly 400 bathrooms for patient rooms were built in a New Jersey factory and installed in the new 830,000 square-foot Kimmel Pavilion under way at NYU Langone Medical Center in Manhattan. It allowed for improved quality control and estimated savings of 15% to 20% for bathroom construction. Again no mention of which factory. There can’t be that many of them in NJ.

Modular construction cut as much as six months from the entire development process for NYU Winthrop Hospital’s 3,200 square-foot Level 1 Trauma Center in Mineola, Long Island, which made its debut last year.

Ten sections the project were manufactured in a Midwest factory, while work to prepare the site took place simultaneously.

Modular building in the health-care sector is still in its early stages but as the Hotel industry’s use of modular construction grows, expect the health-care and retirement home industries to follow suit.

Efforts to rein in costs in the health-care industry have created a growing appetite for efficient building solutions and an aging baby-boomer population has put pressure on an industry to build and upgrade facilities quickly.

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