FROM THE JULY ISSUE: Faster project delivery, increased productivity and safety, and reduced costs all are benefits touted by modular construction advocates.

Anyone who’s been on a construction site knows that traditional construction methods are inefficient, time-consuming and costly. At each step, productivity is lost as crews wait for each other before they can move on to the next level. Delays caused by miscommunication — either on the jobsite or in the design process — routinely throw off the construction schedule, which costs time and money.For such reasons, some in the plumbing and mechanical industry have long been proponents of prefabrication and modular construction.

Now, however, the time to shift to off-site manufacturing-style production on a large scale finally seems at hand.“While modular (or prefabricated) construction is not a new concept, it is attracting a fresh wave of interest and investment on the back of changes in the technological and economic environment,” stated a 2019 report from management consulting firm McKinsey & Co. “Recent modular projects have already established a solid track record of accelerating project timelines by 20 to 50%.”