There are few building innovations that have garnered the level of excitement and enthusiasm that modular construction has managed to generate. As Construction Dive notes: “Hype for modular construction has hit a level of ubiquity.” And it’s not hard to see why. The construction industry is constantly engaged in an endless game of tug-of-war between owners and contractors vying for the perfect balance of cost and quality. As you’re probably well-aware, finding a mutually agreeable middle ground is largely why the construction industry has been unable to take the “next step.” But as our Miami contractor attorneys will discuss in this article, modular construction could be one of the solutions that the construction industry has been yearning for.
Breaking Records Has Become the Norm for Modular Construction
Today, it seems like everytime you turn around a new prefabricated building is being erected. These projects continue to push the boundaries, reaching new heights and lowering costs while simultaneously accelerating the speed of construction. Needless to say, in an industry ravaged by labor shortages, these are significant victories that can help keep the construction industry in the green.
However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that everyone is on board. Many project supervisors object to the use of modular construction, insisting that it is simply a niche or has yet to be proven. If you’re in this camp, it’s time to reconsider your priorities. Modular construction is here to stay, and you don’t want to be the one regretting your decision this time next year when colleagues who have embraced prefabrication are procuring the lion’s share of lucrative contracts.
Updating the Way Contractors Think About Modular Construction
When you think about modular construction, what images come to mind? Perhaps you envision double-wide trailers hauling single-family mobile homes, or perhaps you imagine simple, one-piece structures, such as the portables used by public schools to temporarily facilitate excess students. Regardless of what you think about modular construction, it’s time to erase your preconceived notions and embrace a new way of thinking. As more and more contractors — many of whom are likely your competitors — continue to integrate prefabrication into their building processes, the cost of projects will continue to fall. Those who cannot find ways to innovate on their existing process will most certainly be left in the dust. Can you afford to let this happen to you?
If your main qualm with modular construction is that it takes the building aspect out of your projects, it may be time for you to take a second look at how modular construction is performed. Although the individual pieces of the project are fabricated in an offsite facility, all of the primary assembly takes place on the project site. Let’s face it, most buildings are utilizing at least some form of prefabrication to expedite construction. You don’t want to be a stick in the mud when the rest of the industry migrates to modular.
$7 Billion Is Only the Beginning
In 2017, volumetric modular building, which involves three-dimensional structures that are built entirely offsite, accounted for approximately 4 percent of the entire construction market. All in all, these projects generated $7 billion in construction, but experts believe this number could more than double if modular construction reaches its estimated potential — 10 percent of the construction market. Contractors looking to innovate should look no further than modular construction. Of course, approaching new building practices with patience and diligence is essential to avoid any unintended legal ramifications. If you run into any legal trouble during your shift to modular construction, consult a Miami construction litigation attorney.
Arguably the most exciting aspect of modular construction is its potential to address many industry concerns, such as the labor shortage and the lack of multifamily housing units. Fortunately, the benefits don’t end there. With buildings being erected at record speeds and developers yearning for additional cash flow to grow and diversify project portfolios, modular construction is also helping contractors establish sustainable business models that consolidate building processes and simplify timelines. When up to 90 percent of a structure is built in an offsite facility, it greatly reduces the logistical complexity of construction projects.
Another huge benefit of modular construction is that it cuts down on “passing off” jobs from one contractor to the next. The more subcontractors involved in a project, the greater the strain on communication, quality assurance, code reviews, inspections, and other important considerations. Modular construction is designed in a way that mitigates the need for an excessive number of specialized contractors, leading to marked improvements in ROI and up to 50 percent increases in project acceleration. Over the next year, you can expect modular solutions to be utilized on a growing number of housing, healthcare, and hospitality projects.
Before you integrate modular construction into your building processes, consult our Miami construction litigation attorneys for assistance with all of your construction-related legal needs. We can make sure that your company has firm legal footing as you take on new processes and projects.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.