The Leaning of Healthcare Prefabrication and Modularization Building Health

The Leaning of Healthcare  Prefabrication and Modularization  Building Health

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The Leaning of Healthcare Prefabrication and Modularization

As healthcare providers continue to drive efficiency in their processes, healthcare vendors are also utilizing efficiency solutions to support their customer’s desire to drive down the overall cost of healthcare.  The construction industry continues to see increases in productivity through management techniques such as Lean.  Prefabrication and modularization of building components are increasingly used by Lean practitioners to improve efficiency.

1 of 78 prefabricated bathroom pods Advocate Good Shepherd Modernization Program

McGraw Hill published a report on the impact of prefabrication of key industry sectors.  The healthcare sector was reported to have the highest use of prefabrication among all types of building construction projects, as well as the sector with the highest opportunity to implement such construction strategies.  Currently, nearly half of all healthcare projects implement prefabrication and modular construction and report that schedule and cost are the main drivers behind the use of prefabrication.

In healthcare, the scopes of work that are receiving the most attention to the use of modular or prefabrication solutions are:

Mortenson recently completed construction of the 831,000 sf, 360-bed replacement hospital for St. Joseph Hospital in Denver which had an aggressive schedule requirement.  Extensive use of prefabrication resulted in an 18% schedule compression.  Below are additional metrics realized as a result of prefab strategies:

Click here to read more about the prefab research study conducted on the St. Joe’s project.

The decision to implement modular or prefabricated construction has gained traction in the construction industry and this can be attributed to Building Information Modeling (BIM), new project delivery methods such as Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) and project management philosophies like Lean Construction.  These tools and strategies allow the industry to use proven methods that have effectively been used by other industries, particularly the manufacturing industry.  Prefabrication and modular construction have emerged as driving methods that benefit construction projects, and the industry as a whole, by increasing efficiency and lowering cost.  The most common benefits of prefabrication include cost savings, schedule acceleration, improved quality and safer work environments.  

Prefabricated multi-trade racks are located in all the corridors for the Advocate Good Shepherd Modernization Project.

Earlier this month, the Illinois Chapter of the Construction Owners Association of America (COAA) devoted its spring meeting to the topic of Modularization: Benefits that Owners Want.  The schedule, quality and safety benefits were largely echoed by the panelists that included:

York Chan, Administrator of Facilities for Advocate Healthcare

Will McConnell, Vice President with HOK Healthcare

Larry Arndt, Healthcare General Manager for Mortenson

Don Flight ,Group Vice President for The Hill Group

In Mike Bordenaro’s recap of the meeting, he summarizes:

York Chan stated that quality improvements and schedule reduction are valued benefits of modular construction, which Advocate is using wherever possible on all of its $1.5 billion in capital projects.  For example, if Advocate can deliver a suite of operating rooms a few weeks earlier than it has in the past as a result of prefabrication strategies, that can mean hundreds of thousands of dollars in additional revenue.  Additionally, patient experience is now part of payment requirements, so healthcare construction owners now are highly focused on facilities that are measurably satisfying. Modular construction supports this goal with improved quality.

As more metrics become readily available on the cost, schedule, quality and safety benefits of modularization and prefabrication, I think customers and project teams will increasingly adopt these efficiency tactics.

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