Sunday, September 8, 2019

“Total Integrated Modular” - The Question of the Week

Modular construction has become not only the newest way for investors and developers to build multifamily and hospitality, it is also about to give them something rather unique that could change the construction industry in the US.


That unique idea is Total Integrated Modular, "TIM".

Today’s developer has entire departments dedicated to designing and sourcing contractors to build out their developments. The hospitality, affordable housing and even the low income housing developers across the US usually have the same services in-house.

But what would happen if a developer or investor only had to be concerned with the Master Plan engineering and everything else would become the purview of say, the modular factory. Everything from structural and architectural design to approvals to manufacture, delivery, set and finish?

For developers, after the "Net Developable Area" is determined, putting together all the design teams, contractors and manufacturers is much more time consuming and capital depleting than most would admit.

The commercial investor/developer has all those but may have far less of a demand for unique design than the housing developer.

The biggest problem to overcome is who is this “Superman” of modular construction? Will it be the General Contractor, the people running the modular factories or maybe a new entity that oversees and directs everything.

What would have been sheer conjecture just 10 years ago is rapidly becoming reality. With new technology coming on-stream almost every day enhancing all phases of the project, the idea of one company being the ‘go-to’ source is almost and maybe already is, a reality.

BIM, A/R, CLOUD, Elasticsearch, V/R, video conferencing and almost instantaneous blending of everything from initial drawings to manufacturing, all the way to the final cleaning of the project is now possible for a single entity to control.


And so, this is the “Question of the Week”:

Would Developers and Investors turn over control of their projects to a single source?

4 comments:

Harry Burling said...

Good question. I understand there are some major developers in England already putting something together that sounds very much like this.
They are so far ahead of us in modular construction. If it does happen lets hope we are not left behind.

Anthony said...

I definitely think that this would be extremely beneficial to the industry as a whole. If one entity took over complete control from design through completion of a project it would mitigate all the issues that arise on a project when (as it happens now) each entity "hands off" their portion of the project to the next entity. One of the big problems that I see occurs with the current process is that no matter how many meetings, conversation, etc. are done between all entities in the process, number 1 does what they are responsible for and doesn't look how any/all of their actions will affect number 2, 3, 4...etc. And number two doesn't for 3, 4, 5...etc. It is just process set up for failure and MANY, MANY, MANY of the problems are born out of this purely by poor design. One disadvantage of this new system is cost and responsibility - who will pay the "fee" for overseeing the project and who will be responsible for the "hiring" of the entity in charge? Something that needs to be discussed and worked out to make this process work. My opinion, putting these two things aside, I think it would be the MOST successful process in moving our industry to a much more successful platform on many levels. Let's talk and move forward!

Coach said...

Anthony, This is already happening in the UK. Check out this website and try not to be jealous.

https://emeraldmodular.com/

Anonymous said...

Maybe if the single source had all of the disciplines in place as an integrated team. However, when many of the current production facilities have issues integrating purchasing; engineering; production; and service/warranty don't look for it to happen soon. I would like to see feedback from the field and buyers working with emerald modular for its performance relative to its marketing docs.