Modular construction certainly isn’t anything new. However, the rise in popularity it’s been having lately within the health sector (perhaps even more in the education and residential ones), shows exactly why it’s not one of those trends that die as quickly as they start.
This is owed to the numerous benefits the modular concept provides (something that becomes clear to anyone who knows what sustainability is at its very core). Thanks to this, it’s an option that proves to be significantly better than the on-site built alternative. And, it’s safe to say it’s the construction of the future.
Why Choose a Modular Design in the Health Sector?
When it comes to hospitals, medical and aged-care facilities alike (where time and space are of the essence due to the increasing accommodation demands and Australia’s ageing population), it goes without saying that modular hospital construction is the way to go. To be able to explain this, we need to look at the production process which is what differentiates it from the on-site counterpart.
Modular buildings, called as such because of the modules they consist of, are fabricated in controlled facilities with the controlled environment. This means that the usual risks that affect the on-site buildings are eliminated from the start. Hence the elevated quality of the modules and the sturdy construction afterwards. Of course, the high level of precision latest technology has made possible, stemming from the strict controls and codes used throughout the whole process of fabrication of the modules, isn’t to be underestimated either.
Moreover, without the said risks, such as weather, insect infestations and theft, modular buildings are finished in a timely manner. Within weeks that is. And when you don’t have any delays that could potentially put the construction to a halt, there are no extra costs to pay. This is why this option is both affordable and time-saving. And all this without being at the expense of quality. This is particularly at the benefit of those working in the health sector and patients equally, now that space is in demand in the densely populated big cities.
Likewise, thanks to the various inspections that occur throughout the process, following specific guidelines and building codes with the production of the modules as well as with assembling them, there are safe working conditions. As such, it makes for an environment where it’s possible to reduce the risks related to accidents and injuries that result in absence and compensation claims.
Room for Flexibility
Though in appearance modular hospital construction doesn’t differ much from the on-site counterpart, it offers a great deal more flexibility with the customisation of design, both with the exterior and indoors. Moreover, the aspects of location, spatial needs and taste all have a say in the modular project.
Even in cases of short notice, modular happens to be the better option as it can serve as either temporary or permanent solution. And there’s the possibility to fit in an extension within an existing hospital or healthcare facility be it in the form of an additional room, headwalls, laboratory, office, dialysis facility, storage room, bathroom, or even a whole new ward for example.
In addition, this is also the reason such buildings are ideal for situations when disaster strikes and a medical facility is needed urgently. Modular no longer means uniformity when it comes to materials and style (as it used to decades ago) so the design possibilities are endless.
Speaking of materials, they can be used to the advantage of construction based on the specific requirements influenced by the location or healthcare sector. Therefore, you get an end-product in favour of the environment as well as the patients, staff and community. To exemplify, depending on where the modular hospital construction is being built, whether it’s an area that’s particularly noisy or humid, the right materials would be used as the solutions to these issues.
In the case of noise, the answer would be to implement materials that are helpful with blocking out noise, whereas with humidity the key is in incorporating ventilation. Furthermore, making the most of natural light, improving indoor air quality, and improving heating and cooling (both of which are also great with reducing the energy bills to a certain extent), proves that opting for modular is an energy-efficient decision too. Simply put, creating a comfortable environment that would provide a sense of calm for the patients, the visitors and staff, is guaranteed.
Since more than 80% of the work is done off-site in a factory, it’s needless to say there’s a significant reduction in the noise synonymous for the construction of a conventional building unbearable for the neighbours. Further, having in mind that peace and quiet are especially important for the recovery of some patients, this is another advantage of modular. With some projects, it’s even possible to finish up the assembling task within a weekend without causing any obstruction to the function of a hospital or healthcare centre.
Aside from this, there’s a reduction in the traffic on the site, project-related. So there’s truly an efficient atmosphere allowing for hospital operation to carry on as usual that one can’t expect to get with traditional construction.
Reduced Impact on the Environment
As mentioned earlier, the modular concept has to do with sustainability which can be seen through the choices of materials, like low VOCs, no formaldehyde, and getting in the habit of reusing and recycling. However, it would be incomplete to discuss this aspect without even saying a word about waste. As most of the process happens off-site with the highest precision, there’s controlled use of the materials and what’s left of them is further used for other projects. In other words, this kind of construction is perfect for handling the problem with waste that ends up on landfills.
Other than reducing the site waste, a step at the benefit of the environment, there’s also the chance to cut down on clean-up costs afterwards (once the work is complete). Not difficult to see why modular hospital construction is ideal for healthcare that requires high standards of safety and health!