Construction Today - June 2017 - 27
IN THIS SECTION
Building Systems LLC
Vanguard Modular pursues a variety of projects.
Challenges in the construction labor market have been well documented. Aging workers are retiring, and schools are hard-pressed to
provide the vocational training critical to instilling necessary skills
in the up-and-coming workforce. By moving to a modular model,
the number of on-site workers needed is greatly reduced; units are
put in place by cranes and connected by a select group of subtrades
specializing in the electrical, plumbing, mechanical and structural
requirements of a modular project.
Modular construction also allows project stakeholders to take
advantage of a steady, specialized and well-trained factory force
committed to precision. Due to their assembly-line processes in place,
modular builders can provide consistent high-quality results and institute efficient quality control and inspection measures that may be
difficult to execute on site. By building units indoors in a climate-controlled environment, project owners also minimize the impact of
weather-related issues and delays.
Projects incorporating a modular approach have the potential to
realize cost savings at multiple turns, including those associated with
materials, labor and time. Given that expenses are highly predictable,
project managers can plan better and avoid significant and unexpected cost overruns.
With fewer workers needed on site, labor costs can be reined in.
The existing labor shortage in construction is anticipated to be a
persistent trend throughout the year, and the laws of supply and
demand are holding true: wages have risen for construction workers
and heightened project costs.
Finally, shortening a construction schedule gives developers an
opportunity to open their doors sooner. With construction costs being
recouped earlier, developers, general contractors and lenders can begin turning their capital faster, adding more projects to their portfolios
more frequently and leapfrogging what was previously possible.
much of modular construction happening
off site, developers can reduce disruption for
local residents and businesses. Traffic and
other impacts also are lessened by a shorter
construction schedule, allowing areas to
return to normal activity earlier than with
conventional building methods.
Modular construction offers a host of additional benefits. All units
are built to the same exacting codes and standards of conventionally
constructed buildings, giving project stakeholders peace of mind in
terms of the level of quality and, ultimately, the comfort and safety of
occupants. Plus, once complete, modular structures look no different
than their conventionally built counterparts.
For developers concerned with green building, the assembly-line
processes of modular builders have the potential to implement
energy-efficient practices consistently. Eco-friendly materials and
elements may be incorporated throughout a project, and waste may
Significant construction projects often impact surrounding neighborhoods, with issues spanning noise and dust to traffic snarls. With
The advances in modular construction have
proven effective in addressing a host of
risks to construction project management.
As more demands are placed on builders to
deliver projects quickly, within budget and
without sacrificing quality, modular methods
are poised to gain traction as the optimal
Marengo Structures gives
new life to used steel
Vanguard Modular Building
Lad Dawson is founder of Guerdon Modular Buildings. Dawson established the
company in 2001 to make factory technology the mainstream building method for
modular residential and commercial construction projects. For more information,
JUNE 2017 CONSTRUCTION-TODAY.COM