Major Growth Expected for Prefabrication and Permanent Modular Construction New Study Finds
Findings show that most design and construction professionals using these methods experience improved productivity and project quality, plus increases in schedule certainty.
NEW YORK – January 29, 2020 – Today, Dodge Data & Analytics released the findings of a landmark study that provides a comprehensive examination of the current state and future expectations for prefabrication and modular construction. The Prefabrication and Modular Construction 2020 SmartMarket Report was published with the support of Bradley Corp., the Modular Building Institute, Pinnacle Infotech, MCAA and Skender and takes a close look at critical drivers, obstacles and benefits of using these methods, based on insight from architects, engineers and contractors already leveraging them.
The report shows that architects, engineers and contractors that have used these methods plan to significantly increase their engagement with them, especially for healthcare facilities, hotels and motels, multifamily projects, and college buildings and dormitories, which are at the vanguard of the new wave of interest in these methods. Critical trends in the construction industry, such as shorter project schedules and workforce shortages, are several drivers of wider use of these methods, and technology – like building information modeling – is enabling increased use.
In order to better understand the critical drivers and obstacles for using these methods and the benefits achieved, the study focuses on the architects, engineers and contractors that are already using them.
When it comes to methods already in use, the study shows that:
- Prefabricating single-trade assemblies (such as plumbing assemblies behind the wall in hospital rooms) is widely practiced, with 62% of respondents using prefabricated single-trade assemblies in the last three years.
- 48% of those doing modular are using panelized modular components (such as wall or floor panels).
- Use of each of these methods is also expected to increase in the next three years, with the percentage of those leveraging them on 10% or more of their projects nearly 15 points higher than present use.
However, most interesting growth is expected in practices less widely used now:
- Prefabricated multi-trade assemblies, which involve the work of several trades combined together (such as a corridor rack in a hospital) will be used by 58% of those doing prefabrication in general—up dramatically from the 33% using this approach now.
- Equally dramatic growth is seen among those doing modular construction in the use of full volumetric approach, in which entire parts of buildings (such as bathrooms or hotel and hospital rooms) are delivered preconstructed onsite and assembled together. A striking 61% expect to employ that method at least 10% of their projects in the next three years, up from just 44% of those doing modular construction who report using this method currently.
“It comes as no surprise to us that more developers and GCs plan to use modular construction over the next few years,” said Tom Hardiman, Executive Director of the Modular Building Institute. “The lack of adequate housing and the shortage of skilled labor, coupled with chronic cost and schedule overruns are leading more people towards this process.”
And when it comes to benefits of use:
- About 90% report that they achieve improved productivity, improved quality and increased schedule certainty when using these methods compared to traditional stick-built construction.
- 80% or more also report that they see improved cost predictability, reduced waste and increased client satisfaction.
- Improved schedule performance, decreased construction costs and improved quality are also the top drivers for increasing their use of prefabrication and modular construction in the next three years.
“Dodge’s research clearly shows that prefabrication and modular construction are providing significant improvements and efficiencies, and charting a new course in our industry,” says Jon Dommisse, Director of Strategy and Corporate Development for Bradley Corp. “Throughout our almost 100 years, Bradley has kept a close eye on emerging trends that impact our business and customers. We appreciate the partnership with Dodge in helping us examine innovative opportunities to hone our business strategy.”
The use of building information modeling (BIM) is also tied to the experience of those benefits. Among those using BIM on the majority of their projects, 60% credit it with improving the schedule performance of their prefabricated or modular projects, and 50% with improving budget performance. “BIM improves the prefabrication and modular process by providing the means to accelerate the design early enough to take advantage of these approaches and then offering certainty during the entire process,” says Steve Jones, senior director of industry insights at Dodge Data and Analytics. “Having these tools helps enable the industry to invest more in the use of multi-trade assemblies and volumetric construction in particular, and may be contributing to the strong growth expected in these areas.”
The greatest growth in the use of these methods will be in building types in which they are already well established, such as healthcare facilities, hotels and motels, multifamily and college buildings and dormitories. However, a sizable percentage also expect low-rise offices, K-12 schools, public buildings and commercial warehouse to experience a high frequency of use of prefabrication or modular construction.
The Prefabrication and Modular Construction 2020 SmartMarket Report is available for free download at https://www.construction.com/toolkit/reports/prefabrication-modular-construction-2020.
About Bradley: For over 95 years, Bradley has created the most complete and advanced commercial washrooms and comprehensive solutions that make industrial environments safe. Bradley is the industry’s leading source for multi-function hand washing and drying fixtures, accessories, partitions, solid plastic lockers, as well as emergency safety fixtures and electric tankless heaters for industrial applications. Headquartered in Menomonee Falls, Wis., USA, Bradley serves commercial, institutional and industrial building markets worldwide. For more information visit https://www.bradleycorp.com.
About MBI: Founded in 1983, the Modular Building Institute (MBI) is the international non-profit trade association serving modular construction. MBI strives to keep up with the latest trends of the modular/offsite construction industry and has expanded its membership over the years to include architects, owner/developers, and general contractors. As the Voice of Commercial Modular Construction (TM), it is MBI’s mission to expand the use of offsite construction through innovative construction practices, outreach and education to the construction community and customers, and recognition of high quality modular designs and facilities.
About Dodge Construction Network Dodge Construction Network leverages an unmatched offering of data, analytics, and industry-spanning relationships to generate the most powerful source of information, knowledge, insights, and connections in the commercial construction industry. The company powers four longstanding and trusted industry solutions—Dodge Data & Analytics, The Blue Book Network, Sweets, and IMS—to connect the dots across the entire commercial construction ecosystem. Together, these solutions provide clear and actionable opportunities for both small teams and enterprise firms. Purpose-built to streamline the complicated, Dodge Construction Network ensures that construction professionals have the information they need to build successful businesses and thriving communities. With over a century of industry experience, Dodge Construction Network is the catalyst for modern commercial construction. To learn more, visit construction.com
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