A New Era for Modular Design and Construction Research Report


Over 90 percent of all global infrastructure projects, according to The Economist, are either over budget or late, perhaps due to today’s worldwide capital projects getting evermore complex and larger in scope. It seems the engineering and construction industries have accepted this as a fact of life in the business.

Labor costs comprise 20 to 50 percentĀ of total project costs. Labor productivity has declined, hours have been increased, and overall output has decreased. Labor estimates can often be inaccurate, suggesting increased project complexity and underperforming workers. In reality, about 50 percent of current positions in the construction sector can be automated. As more and more venture capital gets injected into modular construction, it’s becoming clearer that modular can shift the landscape on which we design and build.

The need to resolve the industry’s inefficiencies alongside the exodus of baby boomers from the workforce has pushed industry stakeholders around the world to take a step back and re-examine the status quo. FMI’s research shows 38 percent of owner organizations have a high acceptance level of modular. Katerra, for example, is helping lead the charge by building projects the same way Toyota would assemble a car. They recently secured $865 million in R&D funding, a sector the built environment doesn’t invest into often. Nearly 50 percent of FMI’s respondents, however, still prefer traditional design-bid-build approaches.

How can today’s modular design and construction pull engineering and construction out of its 50-year productivity rut and set the foundation for a new business era?

In this report, you will learn:

  • How the industry feels about offsite building, and statistically, whether contractors are struggling with, ignoring, or embracing the process.
  • Key industry drivers facilitating this shift.
  • How to manage the change disrupting the built landscape and how to embrace new innovation without risking your business.

Last year, juggernauts like Google, Marriott, and Starbucks embraced offsite construction. With especially massive momentum, offsite is sweeping through the construction business like a hurricane of change. How can you embrace the winds of change and not fall victim to their strength? BuiltWorlds has partnered with FMI Corp to bring you this research brief on how modular construction and design can help spur a new era in the built environment. Contractors can stay ahead of the curve by taking heed of these insights.

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