Web exclusivity: Modular, a good choice for luxury
As the popularity of modular construction in the hospitality industry continues to grow, its use in upscale and luxury properties is also increasing.
“From an owner’s perspective, the main reason modular building is a good choice is that the cost of traditional building continues to rise, making modular building a more economically viable option,” said Suzie Hall, Founder / CEO of The Cornerstone Collective. “The biggest savings are in the speed to market and the certainty of the schedule. The drastic reduction in change orders in the construction process is at the root of this. So from an owner / developer perspective, it’s very appealing and very convincing.
The modular process allows more control over the end product. Through modularity, an entire room, including plumbing, electrical and FF&E, is manufactured outside of the hotel site in a factory. When completed, the prefabricated units are transported to the hotel site, where the basic hotel podium has already been built. The units are stacked with the help of a crane, after which the workers finish the building on site, including electrical, plumbing and other finishing work.
For Mitch Lund, project manager at Fulcrum, construction consultant, modular construction can be used for all types of hotels, but it is the choice of materials used that makes the difference. “Really, the hotel rating (ie mid-range, high-end, luxury) has no real effect on volumetric modularity, as it is mainly a question of specification of the finishing materials rather than build quality, ”he said. “High-end finishes like counters, flooring, light fixtures, appliances and the like don’t know they’re in a modular building. “
Hall agreed. “In luxury and upscale, what do customers want and expect? she said. “They expect peace and privacy and that feeling of relief and luxury when they walk into a space and want to hear the music and hear the water if it’s on the water. You usually don’t get this experience very easily with traditional construction.
Lund noted that the build quality demanded by upscale and luxury hotels is playing into the hands of some manufacturers and modular methods. “First of all … as each module has its own floors and walls, the separation and insulation between the rooms is doubled,” he said. “A modular hotel is probably the quietest hotel you will stay in.”
“With the box module approach for the bedroom, every finish, every fixture, every piece of FF&E and artwork can be customized to the level of any other luxury brand,” Hall added. There are no limits to this.
Lund also said that with robotics and automation making their way into modular manufacturing, the precision robotics demand requires that it actually use # 1 lumber instead of # 2 lumber, adding: “From the start, even the materials used are of the highest quality, which precisely corresponds to the values of the luxury and upscale hotel industry.
He continued, “With the modular steel framed elements, as required by high-rise hotels, the material accuracy is quite equal to or better than that of luxury or high-end on-site construction, since the manufacturing environment, as opposed to working at great heights and under unpredictable or adverse conditions, is much more conducive to higher levels of quality and precision.