Modular: An Evolution in the Development of Modern Hotels
By Susan Furbay Vice President of Business Development, HVS | May 14, 2017
Though historically associated with residential and low-rise commercial buildings, modular construction has gone more upscale in recent years. What are the benefits, and what should hotel developers consider before going modular? The term "modular construction" once conjured images of small construction trailers or antiquated mobile home clusters just off the highway-not the most alluring draw for high-end developers and top-tier hotel companies, nor for their gentrified clientele.
Today, however, the concept of modular construction has evolved, with developers across the U.S. adopting a modular approach to building 2- to 4-star select-service, full-service, and even boutique hotels.
What is Modular Construction and What are Its Benefits?
Modular construction involves a process in which individual "modules" or "pods" are constructed or pre-fabricated off site within a controlled plant environment. The modules are then fitted together in ways that allow the unit to function as a unified structure.
Sounds simple, but it's important to understand how flexible modular construction is in practice. Developers can implement hotel bathroom pods or they can pre-fabricate an entire guestroom. Entire integrated, steel-framed hotel structures can be fabricated, transported, and stacked and sealed through the modular process on sites around the world.
While modules are being built at the factory, developers are busy breaking ground, laying the foundation, and performing grading operations at the building site. When the modules are complete with all fixtures and fittings, they arrive at a fully prepared site for installation and final finishes.