- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 01 Apr 2020
Why modular construction is the cheaper and safer option for the healthcare industry
Healthcare providers need buildings that are cost-effective and safe to construct and use. There can be no room for delays, poor quality or on-site health and safety risks when the continued wellbeing and maybe even the life of a patient is on the line.
Modular construction can offer a speedy return on investment. The advancements in engineering, design and methods in modular construction over the years mean they could also offer a good solution for the healthcare industry. Here we present the reasons why modular construction can be both cheaper and safer than traditional bricks and mortar.
Although you still have the option for bespoke design choices, modular construction uses standardised techniques that do not require the services of an architect. The in-house design team can work with you on your individual budgetary and spatial requirements and produce a tailored healthcare facility. This design process can be delivered at a lower cost.
Modular construction can be cheaper because there is a long-term relationship with supply chain partners. There is no need for just-in-time delivery of components, which adds to the potential for delay and higher costs. Working with bulk materials results in the negotiation of lower costs. With guaranteed delivery comes a guaranteed schedule. Many of the costs of construction are incurred due to delay. There is little need for a contingency budget when dealing with a modular construction company.
 Reliable workforce
Costs are also reduced because all the tradesmen are available all the time. Unlike traditional builds where there are likely to be multiple subcontractors onsite, with modular construction, all the trades are employed to work on the line of production. They are always employed by the company, therefore always available. Many problems are caused on bricks and mortar sites by a conflict between main and sub-contractors; the client can often bear the cost of such conflict.
 Lower energy costs
The healthcare sector needs to look to the bottom line continually. Where and how can managers save money? Any money spent on heating or cooling a building is money that cannot be spent on caring for patients. Modular constructions are airtight. This can not only make them the eco-friendlier option, it can also reduce the costs of electricity and gas. With soaring energy costs for a building that is likely to be in use 24 hours a day, seven days a week, every day of the year, this can be a significant saving.
 Limited onsite disruption
It can be safer to opt for modular construction. Noise, dust and additional people and traffic can offer real danger for healthcare facilities. When people are trying to get well, having lots of construction noise is less than ideal. The dust can make it challenging to maintain clinical standards.
A modular constructor will do much of the work offsite. It is unlikely healthcare professionals will know much about the build, up until the point of groundworks, followed by the craning in of the buildings. Rather than years, the disruption is reduced to only a few months at most.
 Excellent fireproofing and sound-insulation
The healthcare industry demands high standards for safety. The nature of the construction methods, inside and away from the weather, using durable materials with the same skilled workmen each time means that quality-assurance is guaranteed.
A modular building can offer improved fireproofing and sound-insulation. Where evacuation is complex, such fireproofing is invaluable. In healthcare, where people are looking to rest, sound-insulation is a must.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- British post-war mass housing.
- BSRIA launches Offsite Construction for Building Services topic guide.
- Construction problems avoided by using a modular approach.
- Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DfMA).
- Factory-made housing
- Kit house.
- Modern methods of construction.
- Modular buildings in the educational sector.
- Modular classrooms: The Friars Primary School extension.
- Off-site construction.
- Plug and play skyscrapers.
- Self build home.
- Structure relocation.
--MTX 11:18, 24 Jun 2019 (BST)
Featured articles and news
Report includes sales vs production of compressors by type.
Government announces latest plans for growth.
Will the new requirements - once passed - go far enough?
These post-WWII modular buildings were unpopular, yet ubiquitous.
What's the verdict from the court of public opinion?
Shift to home-based work influences closed plan preferences.
An overview of the current state of the market.
Organisation offers best practices for construction and modification.
Heritage on the edge?
Prioritising tax considerations.
The four D creative process: discover, define, develop and deliver.
National Cyber Security Centre initiative is announced.
Reviewing trends and projections.
Legislation will establish initiatives to move towards net zero.