Modular Construction at University of Michigan


These bathrooms are for the U of M Munger
Graduate Residence. We’re building 730 bathrooms. The owners were 100% behind us on the prefabrication
of these modular bathrooms. We’ve extended it even further with the project with modular
pipe racks, portions of the room are modular. So they’re seeing the benefit in not only
cost and schedule but also safety-wise. We’ve significantly cut down on the amount
of waste. Not only is it a LEED project where everything is sorted in terms of waste but
we’ve cut down on waste in terms of even the drywall we have the manufacturer cut it to
our specific length. Even the plumbing is going already cut to size.
Areas on each floor haven’t even been constructed yet the bathrooms themselves are already built,
already completed, ready to be installed. So all that time is saved. So things are happening
almost simultaneously. Not having to deliver all this material makes
it much easier on the trade contractors. They can focus much more on quality of the product.
With less workers on site in these small confined areas things don’t get damaged as easily.
Things go in faster. Things go in better. At the modular bathroom warehouse, it’s all
consolidated into one area. With modular construction we simulate not
just how all the internal components work for a module but how these packages are safely
and efficiently delivered to the jobsite. Once the modular units are brought to site
we actually simulate how they’re brough off the truck and lifted up the leave-outs and
what the actual process is to get these into the facility.
So we take these construction assemplies and look at the pinch points and what the realities
are for workers to unload and deliver and even how we might custom make crates to make
sure they’re safely placed at each location. The quality of these bathrooms being done
in modular fashion actually has better quality. There’s better quality control, there’s better
tolerances. No one would really know that, you can’t see it, it’s not visually apparent.
We know building them how much better they are just because the controlled environment
that they were built it in. But the student moving in would never know the difference.

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