What A Year for Modular!
It’s been a challenging and rewarding year for Nadler—and also for the modular industry, the nation, and the world.
Nadler Modular Construction has been keeping you posted on some of the smaller (but important!) and larger (epic, even!) projects we’ve been privileged to be a part of this past year.
From rapid response medical spaces, to safer classrooms, to erecting small cities, we’ve been involved in a wide scope of modular installations—and we’ve barely scratched the surface of modular’s potential.
What does the future look like for modular?
Forecasts for 2021 and beyond all point to significant expansion in modular’s use around the world. Industry projections are for modular’s share of the construction industry to grow up to 6.9%, by 2023, with a value up to USD $157 billion.
Even before the global coronavirus pandemic pushed demand into overdrive, the fastest-growing sector of modular construction has been healthcare. Temporary medical trailers can be trucked to a site and set up in hours, and projects ranging up to whole hospitals can be delivered up to 50% faster with modular techniques—while creating minimal disruption to existing operations and patient care compared to traditional construction. Nadler expects to continue expanding its participation in this sector.
As new and improved materials become available, modular’s capabilities continue to grow. As we recently noted: far from being limited to one-story structures, even skyscrapers are within the capabilities of today’s modular construction.
Future projects will rely on the latest engineered wood products, new higher-strength steel and other structural metals, and emerging technologies such as 3D-printed concrete. Emerging future materials can be expected to push the capabilities of modular construction even higher.
The incoming administration in Washington is expected to be very proactive on climate issues, and modular has a vital role to play in this area.
Modular’s factory construction techniques are already significantly reducing materials waste and energy costs compared to traditional construction, and this advantage is expected to increase in the coming years.
Engineered wood products continue to improve, with far less waste and increasing advantages in strength and versatility over conventional lumber, while remaining a sustainable and biodegradable resource and a significant atmospheric carbon sink.
Steel has always been a preferred material because of its light weight and strength, and as regulations tighten and global demand increases, careful management of inventories and supply chain will become increasingly important. Look for new alloys and other metals and materials emerging to fill the gaps.
Industry participants who stay informed on these trends and agile in their operations and marketing will see real benefits in the near future.
Economy and Society
The numbers have been crunched, and the facts are in: most design and construction firms using modular and prefab enjoy significant increases in productivity, volume and quality.
While construction as a whole has been impacted like the rest of the economy by the coronavirus pandemic, continued growth in some sectors and its status as an “essential” industry has resulted in demand for qualified workers remaining strong and employee compensation and union contracts holding steady throughout 2020. Industry leaders expect recovery to begin in 2021, and the hope is it will trend sharply upwards towards normal levels.
Protecting construction workers from transmission will need to remain an industry priority, as one disputed study points to higher infection rates in this group.
Managers and supervisors should exercise sustained vigilance to protect their teams and avoid project delays and shutdowns.
Let’s have a healthy, safe, and profitable new year, everyone! Contact us today to learn how we can help.