You know a lot about hotels. You have experience in bringing together all the right players to build hospitality masterpieces. Now everyone is discussing the possibilities of modular and how it can save you time and money.
It sounds great, but where do you start? Is it worth it to investigate modular opportunities- or is it just a passing fad? Do I stay with my current process, or will I miss out on an amazing opportunity? Here at our new venture Modz4, we understand these important considerations- and the process of going modular. Let us be your guide:
As the first step, let’s find out if modular is right for you!
1. Is modular right for my project?
Ask yourself the right questions to determine whether your project is a good fit for modular.
- Can the bay widths of my units be accommodated with modular?
- Am I in a high-priced labor market?
- Am I in an urban environment where construction may be a major disruption?
- Do I want to fast-track the construction schedule for this project?
- Am I going to build a ground floor podium on my project even if I use traditional construction?
If you answered yes to any or all the questions above, modular might just be for you!
2. Do I need a specific type of GC to build a modular project?
- This is not a requirement, but something we highly recommend.
- Modular projects have unique challenges compared to traditionally framed builds. Working with an experienced contractor will save you a great deal of time, money—and headaches.
- Modular construction is gaining traction but is still relatively new; with that comes likely setbacks. The entire project team, including the GC, subs, and design team, must work together to tackle potential issues early to avoid overall schedule delays.
3. When should I make the decision to go modular?
- The earlier the better. Modular projects require an entirely different design mindset and will be planned differently than a traditional project.
- It is important to discuss this option with your A/E team as soon as possible. If the decision to go modular is made too far into the process, it is likely that any time saved by modular will be lost in redesign time.
- We at Modz4 eliminate this client-side confusion by presenting designs (Concept) at the very first stage so that developers can envision the final product prior to committing to or paying for it.
- With our vast experience in the hospitality market, Modz4 team members are experts in design standards and permitting approvals; harnessing this kind of knowledge early on will simplify your process substantially.
4. Do I still need an architect and S/MEP engineer with modular?
- Architect and S/MEP engineering firms play an essential role in manufactured construction projects.
- We recommend hiring design firms familiar with offsite construction. Modular design demands sophisticated coordination by an experienced firm.
- A modular manufacturer prepares plans, outlining the specific design of the modular boxes. However, it is the responsibility of the architect and engineers to take these plans, coordinate them with all the other disciplines, and design an overall structure that meets adopted building codes.
- They will also be responsible to act as the Architect and Engineer of Record for the entire building design.
- Modz4 does exactly that and much more. Find out how we can make modular work for you.
5. I’ve designed a traditionally framed project. If I choose to go modular, will I need a redesign?
- Modular projects have double demising walls that typically increase the thickness between every unit bay, thus increasing the overall footprint.
- Also, modular units will be limited on the bay width, MEP configuration, and floor-to-floor heights; therefore, these items must all be redesigned.
- If you are considering a modular project, you should make this decision early to avoid lost time in redesign.
6. What types of modules are available in the market?
- You can choose from steel or wood modular units, based on your project needs.
- Steel modules are more sturdy and provide better stability for mid- to high-rise projects.
- Wood modules are comparatively lightweight and ideal for low-rises.
- Modz4 designers understand your hotel’s geographical location, code requirements, franchise standards, and optimal configuration of design choices to fit your modular project.
7. What is the cost of modular units?
- Cost varies greatly depending on the location, building use (e.g., hotels, dorms, apartments), and franchise requirements, if applicable.
- The decision to use wood or steel further determines cost.
- Right now, wood modular construction is—for the most part—cost neutral with traditionally wood-framed podium construction.
- We recommend reaching out to the modular manufacturers early, so they can provide you with general budgeting numbers specific to your project.
8. Does my financing structure need to change for a modular project?
- In contrast to typical construction, 60−70% of your entire construction cost to purchase the modules is needed up front. This is much different than a traditional construction loan draw, and many lenders will need to be educated on this process.
- It’s wise to involve your lender during the initial phase if you are considering going modular. Some lenders might need time to figure out lending terms.
- The good news is, lender trust is increasing as modular is becoming more common. The most reputable brands, like Marriott, are embracing modular construction.
- Additionally, knowledgeable designers like Modz4 can walk lenders through the modular process to facilitate lender understanding and trust.
9. How does modular construction shorten my project timeline?
- Modular units can be produced offsite at the same time your team is building the foundation and podium at the project site.
- As a result, modular construction can typically reduce build-time for a standard 4- to 5-story, 100-unit building, by three to six months when compared to traditional construction methods.
- With that said, it may vary greatly depending on the specific project program and site conditions.
Do you have more questions to determine whether modular is right for you? Ask away!
Next week, I discuss on-site and factory happenings as well as shipping and inspection. You can directly reply to this email or reach me at [email protected] for queries.
After next week, I will be sending all modular newsletters from my new list at Modz4. Make sure you sign up and don’t miss out!
Check out these designs by Modz4!