As the modular market continues to ramp up, we’ll be featuring monthly segments containing prefabricated construction’s latest stats and trends. Come along as we share pertinent research and studies broken out by industry, and see how SurePods, along with other modular manufacturers, sidestep common construction challenges. In our first installment, we’ll take a look at pre-fab’s potential in hotel/motel applications:
Prefabrication and Modular Construction 2020
In October and November 2019, Dodge Data & Analytics conducted an online survey on prefabrication and modularization, polling architects, engineers, GMs/CMs, specialty/trade subcontractors and modular builders/manufacturers. The results of the landmark Prefabrication and Modular Construction 2020 SmartMarket Report overwhelming show that the future is bright for pre-fab.
In the hospitality market, where the majority of SurePods projects come from, statistics indicate pre-fab expansion is on the horizon:
- Based on a three-year forecast, hotels and motels are the second most likely building types for a high frequency of prefabrication and/or modular construction
- 50% of trade contractors projected high frequency growth for permanent modular construction in hotels/motels
- 37% of GCs/CMs forecast a strong increase in permanent modular for the hotel/motel market
- 30% of GCs/CMs see prefabrication’s future demand as promising
The report also called out New York’s citizenMTM Bowery, the world’s tallest modular hotel, to illustrate the potential benefits of going with a modular approach. With the citizenM Bowery project, Isaac-Daniel Astrachan, a principal with Stephen B. Jacobs Group Architects and Planners, architect for the project with Amsterdam-based Concrete Architectural Associates, found pre-fab to be an ideal solution to Manhattan’s lack of available labor and tough logistics.
Surmounting labor challenges, providing material savings
According to Astrachan, as shared in the report, modular “makes total sense” for hospitality and citizenM Bowery “because there’s so much repetition, and because it’s increasingly difficult to find skilled labor.” Though labor challenges are felt by the entire building industry, the Commercial Observer noted, “New York City is the most expensive place to develop in the U.S., and it’s hard to ignore the fact that rising labor costs, along with a shortage of qualified workers for certain tasks, are making it even pricier to build every kind of project, from office buildings to apartments.”
At SurePods, we see evidence of the lack of available labor every day. By bringing the bulk of bathroom work into the factory, SurePods requires fewer people on the actual site of the hotel or motel for ultimate efficiency. Fewer tradespeople are also needed on the factory floor, simplifying project management and reducing overcrowding in otherwise cramped bathroom pods. Since overcrowding frequently leads to damage onsite and time-consuming rework, prefabricated construction can result in superior quality and schedule savings compared with more conventional building methods.
Lastly, modular manufacturers can contribute to material savings. In New York, where the cost of construction is astronomical, citizenM Bowery was able to transport windows, thermal enclosure, fire-proofing, finishing, lighting and more contained in completed modules to limit transportation needs. With dimensions of 48 feet by 8 feet by 9 feet, the modules were able to ride on a flatbed truck. Aside from the ADA modules, the truck delivered the units at one time without a special convoy, helping overcome Manhattan’s tough logistics.
We at SurePods have also navigated our pods through areas with similarly tight logistical footprints, such as Kendall Square in Cambridge, Massachusetts. All building materials are sent to our pre-fab factory beforehand, leaving only the finished product to be delivered to the site for maximum material savings.