‘Paradigm Shift’: Modular Construction Breaks Out of the Box

Modular construction in action at the Sturgis School

We were excited to discover a recent article in Architectural Record highlighting an important paradigm shift in modular construction. For a long time, modular construction has focused on single family homes. At Studio G, we recognize that this unique method of construction (in which building components are built off-site then transported and assembled on site) has tremendous potential beyond small residential applications. We began investigating opportunities to build larger multi-story projects using a ‘kit of parts’ approach. For clients who appreciate high-quality sustainable design but feel limited by tight schedules and budgets, modular construction can often be the answer.

A recent example is the SturgisCharterPublic School in Hyannis, MA. For this project, Studio G’s design called for 96 factory-built modules to compose a new permanent 50,000sf building. Incredibly, the modules were erected over a period of only three weeks. The design team and students watched as the large gift-wrapped boxes were delivered, unwrapped, fitted with cables, and hoisted into place by crane. What followed were many more weeks of finishing the interior and exterior, the entrance canopy, the landscaping etc.  The result is a durable, beautiful and innovative building that was built efficiently with minimal waste, on time and on budget. We are currently using similar factory-built construction for an 18,000sf classroom building for Innovation Academy Charter School, which could represent an anticipated savings of between 15% – 40% over conventional construction.

Kit of Parts: Diagram courtesy Shop Architects & Architectural Record

The article in Architectural Record echoes our positive experience with factory-built applications, and hints at one potential for future development, especially when constrained by budget and/or schedule. Author Joann Gonchar, AIA, describes the design process and payoffs for several new projects, ranging from a 102-unit studio-apartment building in Los Angeles, to a 350-unit, 322-foot-tall tower in Brooklyn’s Atlantic Yards. We are glad to see other designers and clients thinking creatively when it comes to modular construction.

We look forward to new opportunities to utilize this exciting method in our own work.

To read the full article from Architectural Record, please click here: http://continuingeducation.construction.com/article.php?L=5&C=943

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5 responses to “‘Paradigm Shift’: Modular Construction Breaks Out of the Box

  1. I am looking forward to the outcomes of the Star Apartments & B2 projects, successful outcomes have the ability to propel modular forward as an advantageous alternative to conventional construction

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