By: Andy Coughlin, PE, SE
The modular construction industry is projected to grow globally at an annual rate of 6.9%, outpacing the growth of traditional construction.1 Modular construction has many advantages over traditional building methods, including improved quality control and shorter project durations. Factory-built systems are constructed in controlled environments with equipment and materials that are not feasible at congested job sites, and project schedules can be shortened when factory work and field work are performed in parallel.
However, modular projects may stumble without proper forethought: when fabrication takes place in a factory away from the jobsite, the building officials, inspectors, and engineers can have less oversight and less recourse to implement changes if issues are discovered in the field. Code compliance may also be an issue when systems are designed by factory engineers rather than the engineer of record. To mitigate these potential pitfalls, careful planning is required at the start of the project.