How Mechanical Contractors Are Leading the Industry in Modular Construction

We first visited Hill Mechanical Group's modular fabrication shop back in 2017. Captured in the video shown above, we learned then about Hill's process of leveraging building modeling, digital fabrication, and other advanced techniques in the prefabrication and modularization of everything from ductwork to modularized hospital bathroom pods.

This year we have heard from leaders of major mechanical contractors like U.S. Engineering, Limbach, and Hill Group about how they have progressed in the field, adding new software and robotics, advanced supply chain technology, augmented and virtual reality and honing a lean manufacturing approach to lead the industry in the Design-Manufacture-Build revolution.

The three presentations below, collectively offer a deeper look at where, why and how mechanical contractors are leading the trend to increased modularization and we learn from them the keys to successfully leveraging modular processes on building projects.

At our Summit, Modular Case Studies with US Engineering

Using the metaphor of puzzle pieces being preassembled and organized, U.S. Engineering President, Tim Moormeier, walks us through the case study of modularization at the University of Colorado Hospital. He walks us through what they modularized, how they leveraged BIM and other technologies to do it, where the approach can evolve from there, and the impact of Covid on modular. (Members can click the image below to watch the presentation.)

Limbach and MSuite: The Expanding Role of Emerging Software in Modularization

In another example of how hospitals and mechanical contractors are leading the way in off site manufacturing, Mark Lamberson, National VDC Manager, Limbach Holdings Inc. & Britton Langdon, CEO, MSuite joined us for on our October Project Management call to walk us through their approach to modularization in the case study of a $450 million replacement hospital for McLaren Greater Lansing. (Members can click the image below to see the presentation.)

Our Machines Report Provides More Insights on Manufacturing in Construction

Machines Report and Other Research

For more on construction's movement toward manufacturing processes, read our Machines Report and find other relevant research and recordings below.

Revisiting Hill Mechanical With Advocate Aurora Health for Lessons on Lean Manufacturing, Modular Tech and Contract Approaches.


In our 2017 visit to Hill Mechanical (see the video at the start of this article), we focused on how Hill delivers modular in their shop. In the session recording below, we look at their long standing partnership with Advocate Aurora Health, the philosophy behind that partnership, the deliverables associated with it, and how the full potential of modularization can be unlocked in partnership with a committed owner over time. Victoria Navarro of Advocate Aurora Health join the conversation, offering an owner's perspective on the journey to a more efficient and productive capital program. (Members can click the image below to watch the presentation.)

Key Takeaways:

  • Mechanical Contractors have long understood fabrication in mechanical systems and have progressed to prefabrication of multi-trade modules.
  • BIM is integral to modularization, and specialized software to support modularization is now being developed.
  • Lean Manufacturing techniques drive modularization efforts affecting contract structures and supply chains.

We will be focusing more on modularization and prefabrication in the weeks and months to come. So, if you are interested, subscribe or join to stay engaged. Meantime, below is a bit more of what we've looked at on the topic so far this year.

More Reports on Modularization:

More Presentations on Modularization & Prefabrication:

Featured Member Companies in Modularization Software (Click to Learn More):

About BuiltWORLDS:

BuiltWorlds is the buildings and infrastructure industry’s leading platform for open innovation, keeping companies in the worlds of engineering, construction and related fields informed and connected, and helping them find avenues to collaborate for their own strategic success and for the betterment of the industry, as whole. For more information about BuiltWorlds, visit the BuiltWorlds Network