McKinsey: Modular construction
FROM PROJECTS TO PRODUCTS
New technology has changed modular construction to make it more efficient and customizable, a report by the consulting firm McKinsey Using new, lighter-weight materials and cutting-edge digital tools, construction companies are able to “improve precision and productivity in manufacturing, and facilitate logistics.” The McKinsey report forecasts that the traditional construction industry might need to brace for disruption by modular construction companies. Modular construction, McKinsey says, “could give the industry a huge productivity boost, help solve housing crises in many markets, and significantly reshape the way we build today.”
A NEW ERA FOR MODULAR DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION
The engineering and construction industry is ripe for disruption, Hoover and Snyder argue in a report for FMI. The industry suffers from projects being routinely delayed and over-budget, and these hits on productivity add up to huge losses. One major disrupter on the horizon is modular construction, Hoover and Snyder argue. “While offsite construction—including prefabrication, modularization, preassembly or offsite multitrade fabrication—has been around for decades, it is emerging as a critical method for delivering projects faster, safer and cheaper in today’s labor-constrained E&C environment.”
National Institute of Building Sciences
OFF-SITE AND MODULAR CONSTRUCTION EXPLAINED
Traditional construction is often inefficient for a host of reasons, Ryan Smith argues for the National Institute of Building Sciences. “Traditional contracts and on-site construction practices rigidly delineate responsibilities with much elaboration on the consequences of failure,” Smith says. That means that teams don’t collaborate and are often adversaries, and the lost productivity and waste mean lost money for owners and an excessive assumption of risk for contractors.
World Economic Forum
SHAPING THE FUTURE OF CONSTRUCTION
In a discussion of future best practices, the World Economic Forum places modular construction at the center. The project team argues that the engineering and construction industry has a big role to play in reducing global greenhouse gas emissions, and that this can be accomplished by becoming more efficient and collaborative. “Given the sheer size of the E&C industry, even a small improvement would provide substantial benefits for society,” they argue. A “future best practice” is to rely on “standardized, modularized, and prefabricated components” and to implement new technologies.
DESPITE BENEFITS, HEALTHCARE ADOPTION IS SLOW
Modular construction shortens construction schedules and reduces costs, and modular buildings are held to the same standards (and are governed by the same building codes) as typical construction. So, why has the healthcare industry been slow to embrace modular construction? This article by Gregory Hudson, from facilitiesnet, asks why adoption of modular construction isn’t higher in this industry.