Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Hospitals Begin Investigating Modular Construction

Due to growing patient numbers and lack of space, hospitals and other healthcare facilities are now turning to modular buildings as fully functional extensions of their existing limited spaces.

These needs are currently being met by the commercial relocatable modular buildings one usually sees set up beside schools as classrooms. The future however will find hospitals, nursing homes, medical centers and clinics turning to permanent high rise structures of light gauge steel and wood construction.

Research into bringing modular into the medical arena has found that using modular can cut up to 30% off the normal time to build a facility. In the medical industry, this acceleration in launch can mean the difference between life and death for patients who need immediate assistance.

Because off-site manufacturing is more effective than fabrication on a build site, lean production techniques can cut down waste production.

Just like the major hotel companies have found real benefits in using both LGS and wood modular construction to bring new hotels on line faster and begin producing revenue by having the factory install all the furniture and furnishing on the production line, hospitals and nursing homes will be looking for the same thing.

Temporary modular structures have been used for years by the medical industry and will continue to be for quite some time, however the idea of using permanent modular buildings up to 7 stories high is relatively new.

The municipal public healthcare system NYC Health + Hospitals used modular technology to construct a $28 million, two-story ambulatory-care facility on Staten Island using modular units made in Pennsylvania. It’s the second modular project after the system replaced a Brooklyn healthcare clinic in 2012 that was destroyed by Superstorm Sandy.

The future of modular construction is really not changing. Rather it is expanding beyond housing and temporary modular structures into entire new industries like hotels, hospitals, long term care, office complexes and more.

Modular apartment buildings have been with us for quite some time and D R Horton is experimenting with modular construction as are the Clayton acquired large regional home builders.

Our industry will quickly be needing new production facilities to meet the possibilities coming our way but getting a factory up and running is not easy. These new factories can’t be started on a shoestring as some have tried doing lately. They will require large sums of money, a pool of talented people and an innovative leader. Maybe even a disruptive leader or two.

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