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August 19, 2020

Modular Goes Mobile: Industrialized Construction for Healthcare

Welding during prefabrication

Modular construction has been experiencing something of a renaissance over the past decade, powered by new tools and digital workflows that help to bring industrial levels of productivity and efficiency to the construction process. That means faster build times and less waste, greater predictability, and reduced need for skilled workers, for starters.

When the current crisis hit, the ability to add healthcare facilities quickly and nimbly became more important than ever. Modular construction offered much-needed benefits and solutions, from makeshift hospitals to temporary intensive care rooms.

A recent piece from Marketplace features an interview with Chris Giattina of BLOX, a modular construction firm that has always focused specifically on the healthcare market. Before the pandemic, their main business was building permanent hospitals in four to six months, instead of the year or more traditional processes require, and in places where construction labor is scarce. But when a surge happens, communities can’t wait four to six months to respond. Now, BLOX is using their industrialized approach to create Mobile Intensive Care Units (MICUs) that can be picked up and transported wherever they’re needed.

“We’re trying to make these MICUs a permanent and flexible asset that helps serve the health system going forward.” —Chris Giattina, CEO, BLOX

Chris Giattina explained the basic BLOX process in his AU 2019 Theater talk. By manufacturing modules and assembling them into rooms in the BLOX factory, then shipping them out to building sites by rail and truck, it’s possible to assemble a permanent hospital much the way Boeing assembles its Dreamliner aircraft. Watch the full talk:

Chris Giattina explains the BLOX process in the Theater at AU 2019.

Ready to learn more about what’s possible with modular construction and prefabrication? Check out this related learning content:

Revit for Modular Design, Prefabrication, and Repetitive Layouts

Showcasing the Stavanger University Hospital in Norway, Bridget White and Kristoffer Tungland introduce new workflows in Revit for the design of modular and prefabricated components.

Prefabrication Holds Many Keys for Emergency Buildings in Times of Crisis

From temporary hospitals in tents and hotels to mobile medical facilities to accelerated construction of permanent structures, Redshift looks at how modular and prefabricated approaches can help us through the current crisis.

Reaching New Heights with Modular Construction

Manufacturing hotel rooms in Poland and shipping them to New York is a faster, cleaner, cheaper, safer way to build a hotel. Greg Thompson shares the process Skystone used to build the NoMad Hotel in New York City.

There’s always more to learn. Autodesk University resources are ready when you are.