Contruction Today - July/August 2017 - 81
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In areas where sound, dust and vibration mitigation are critical,
modular is a great alternative to traditional building systems.
Traditionally, materials, machines and workers are brought to the
construction zone and the structure is fully assembled on-site - but
that creates a good amount of disruption to the surrounding community. Modular allows for much of the building activity to happen
off-site in a factory setting, limiting the amount of on-site work
required to complete a project.
When dealing with construction in occupied spaces, safety is also
a significant concern. With modular, safety is dramatically enhanced
due to the simple fact that there are far less hours required on-site.
Fewer hours on-site equals a reduced risk of accidents.
Many academic institutions across the country are faced with an
urgent need to build dormitories, academic buildings and performing arts facilities within tight timeframes and budgets to meet
the growing and changing needs of their student population. On
campuses where breaks between sessions provide short construction windows, modular offers a more efficient, speedy and affordable option. Much of the process - wall panels, flooring and finishes
- can happen at the modular facility, which allows the builder to
assemble the pieces on the campus relatively quickly and within
the agreed-upon timeframe.
With a construction timeline of just eight months, Endicott College
in Beverly, Mass., for example, needed at least 150 beds for the incoming freshman class in the fall of 2016. The modular option provided
the school with a buildable solution that could be constructed during
the winter months, allowing them to meet their tight timeline, campus planning and budgetary requirements. The successful outcome
was an increase in the final bed count from 150 to 225 beds without
sacrificing quality or cost.
Another reason modular is such an attractive option for academic
institutions is that many of those projects tend to feature repetitive
design elements (like apartments and hotels). When most of the
spaces within the building will have the same layout, it's very easy to
have those produced quickly and effectively in a modular facility.
One of the most popular reasons to use modular is when building in
locales where the weather can be inhospitable and unpredictable. In
these cases, using modular provides an incredible amount of control
and predictability in the face of variable weather conditions. With
modules built and constructed in a controlled environment, quality
is built-in from the start and structures are completely weather tight.
Harsh and changeable weather conditions can also drastically
Knutson Construction Services p.82
Knutson is on track to
complete a new hospital
in Eau Claire, Wis.
Knutson Construction Services -
Marshfield Clinic Health
Turner Construction - Methodist
University Hospital expansion
Perini Management Services Inc.
- Alcatraz Island
Turner Construction Company -
The Milstein Center
Okland Construction - Phoenix
Department of National Defence
delay construction. If a snowstorm hits the
construction zone, a project could be delayed
several days or even weeks, but using modular mitigates those risks and enables the
builder to stay on schedule.
While modular construction is an innovative building resource for the reasons mentioned previously, modular won't be right
for all projects, and not all projects need to
be 100 percent modular. In fact, modular can
be a hybrid solution such as prefabricated,
panelized walls integrated with a site-built
frame. Modular is really a planning process,
not a product, that helps us adapt to various
building challenges with increased quality,
improved safety performance and condensed
on-site construction durations.
Lee Dellicker is partner, president and CEO of Windover Construction, a leading
full-service construction management firm in New England, focused on academic,
nonprofit, commercial and residential projects. For additional information, call
978-526-9410 or email email@example.com.
JULY/AUGUST 2017 CONSTRUCTION-TODAY.COM