I'm a paragraph. Click here to add your own text and edit me. I’m a great place for you to tell a story and let your users know a little more about you.

I'm a paragraph. Click here to add your own text and edit me. I’m a great place for you to tell a story and let your users know a little more about you.

How much time can you save by using modular construction methods?


It is best to think about modular solutions on a continuum with traditional build speeds on one side and the ultimate in fast build construction, stackable structural units, on the other.  As one moves between these two points, the speed of construction changes.  An analysis of this can be found below.  For how this speed affects total build cost, click here.  

Gantt chart analysis - medium sized hotel


The following slideshow depicts the changes to a simplified project Gantt chart for a medium sized hotel as one moves from a conventional build scenario to then using light weight steel for the stucture of the building in conjunction with bathroom pods and then, finally, replacing the room including the bathroom with a stackable structural room module.  It is based on the research of Lawson, R M, Grubb, P J, Prewer, J, and Trebilcock, P J. Modular Construction using Light Steel Framing: An Architect’s Guide (SCO Publication P272). 


Hover your mouse over the slideshow to see the commentary starting at slide 1/11 that will explain the key changes to the timeline as the build method is changed from conventional to the two selected modular methods.  Click through the time saving below:



Masonry build

Dry walling

Panelised systems

Non-structural pods

Structural pods

50% saving

5% saving

Traditional  brick and mortar structure with in-situ cast floors.  Services are then chased into brickwork


24 weeks

4 weeks

Internal walls are completed using drywalling

Complete volumetric structural room modules manufactured off-site as  complete modules and then delivered to site to be stacked on top of each other

Complex units incorporating most of the services (water, plumbing, electrical, HVAC) like bathrooms and kitchens are manufactured off-site as complete modules and then delivered to site

Summary of indicative time savings


The graphic below provides indicative time savings (installation through to de-snagging for practical, works and final completion) of each method when compared to the traditional build baseline for building a medium sized hotel.  This reflects the findings of The McGraw-Hill Construction SmartMarket Report on Prefabrication and Modularization which surveyed construction managers and found that 43% believed that usage of modular construction methods decreased schedules by more than 4 weeks.  Note that the savings reflected below for non-structural pods are those associated with the pod on its own without any other change to the build method, whereas the savings on the timeline above are for bathroom pods when used together with light weight steel framing in the rest of the building.


10% saving

Internal walls (all or only those with services) are created as panels and then installed on site

1 week

2 weeks

2% saving

Click to go to next article: Does modular cost less?