Speed to Market: Hospitals Tap Modular Construction to Meet Building Demand

By Eagle, Amy | Health Facilities Management, May 2014 | Go to article overview

Speed to Market: Hospitals Tap Modular Construction to Meet Building Demand


Eagle, Amy, Health Facilities Management


On May 22, 2011, St. John's Regional Medical Center, Joplin, Mo., was torn apart by a violent tornado. "The hospital was hit directly," says John Farnen, executive director of strategic projects for Mercy, the health system that operated the hospital. "Walls were blown in, elevator shafts blown apart."

The day after the storm, Mercy made the decision to rebuild, Farnen says. Less than a year later, they had.

The following April, Mercy opened a component hospital that the health system is using as an interim facility while the organization completes a much larger rebuilding project for its growing community. The 150,000-square-foot, two-story component hospital was designed and built in eight and a half months by Aspen Street Architects, Angels Camp, Calif., and Walden Structures, Mentone, Calif. "I've been doing design and construction a long time," says Farnen. "But eight months? I didn't think that was even possible."

The hospital is made of 224 structural steel components built in Walden Structures' California factory and shipped by train and truck to Missouri. The modular units already were under construction as the Joplin site was cleared and foundations and underground utilities were installed.

With modular construction and prefabrication, "the speed to market is incredible," says Jim Poole, senior vice president, construction and engineering firm Robins & Morton; prefabrication helped the firm to build MaineGeneral Health's 640,000-square-foot Alfond Center for Health, Augusta, Maine, in less than 25 months. And the quality of components built in a controlled environment can be "superior" to those built in the field, adds Ken Fennell, LEED AP, division manager of preconstruction, also of Robins & Morton.

A growing number of health professionals are turning to modular construction as an efficient means to create quality facilities. "It's definitely here to stay," says Chip Cogswell, national health care director, Turner Construction Co., New York City. "Anybody who's not doing it isn't paying attention."

Off-site advantages

According to the Modular Building Institute, an industry trade group, modular construction is the process of building a structure off-site, under controlled conditions, using the same materials, codes and standards as conventionally built facilities, in about half the time. Buildings are produced in modules that, when put together on-site, reflect the design intent and specifications of the most sophisticated traditionally built facility, says Tom Hardiman, CAE, executive director, Modular Building Institute.

Prefabrication is the process of assembling smaller building components in a factory setting and transporting them to the building site for installation, explains Andrew Quirk, senior vice president and national director of construction and development company Skanska's Healthcare Center of Excellence.

When building under controlled conditions, quality goes way up, says Quirk. The off-site setting is a safer, more comfortable work environment that tends to attract the best workers, he says. It also can provide quality assurance opportunities that may not be available at the hospital site. For example, work crews can monitor connections on a factory-built building facade to make sure joints are tight and waterproof, making it less likely the joints will fail in the field.

"With a production line, you can work out bugs early," comments Mark Taylor, vice president of permanent modular construction for PCL Construction, an international group of independent construction companies. This is especially important for repetitive parts of the design, like patient rooms and bathrooms. If a design calls for 200 rooms, "you can build 200 right," particularly if you aren't working with several different framing, plumbing and drywall crews, he says. "The more variables you have, the harder it is to have a consistent product," Taylor notes. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Speed to Market: Hospitals Tap Modular Construction to Meet Building Demand
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.