Skip to content

Modular Commercial Construction: A Disruptive Plumbing Technology

One of PHCPPros’ key plumbing trends for 2019 is tied to a strong growth area in the construction market – hotel rooms. That trend, prefabrication of building modules, is proving to be beneficial to the plumbing trades, where labor shortages have made jobsite-built projects more unpredictable and costly. And the latest data on rising construction costs, up 4.48% from the same time last year, points to worker shortages as a main factor in that increase.  

Why Modular Commercial Construction Makes Sense

Any market that experiences labor shortages must make adjustments if it is to continue to thrive. In plumbing, one such adjustment is the move toward prefabricated bathroom pods as well as mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) racks that help contractors accelerate schedules and use less onsite labor. MEP racks are corridor-length panels pre-wired and pre-fitted with ductwork and piping, and stubbed out to the corridor for final connection by local trades after they are shipped to the jobsite.

Boosted by an initiative of Marriott International, which challenged the modular industry in 2014 to employ modular building technology as a viable newbuild alternative, prefabricated hotel rooms have become disruptive in a number of positive ways, driving quality control and productivity increases by building in states where skilled labor is more plentiful.

Advantages of Modular Construction

In 2017 Marriott announced that it would accelerate modular construction of its North American hotels, having concrete evidence that the advantages of modular construction include:

  • Concurrent jobsite preparation and pre-construction engineering
  • Safer, climate-controlled working environment
  • Streamlined work processes
  • Efficient deployment of human and technology resources
  • Better controls over quality workmanship standards

When a mere fraction of the remaining work – making all of the final tie-ins – is left to the local trades, the cost advantages should be obvious. While not all regions of the country are noticing this shift yet, chances are it will take hold in the not-too-distant future as contractors (especially those that use CPVC), realize the relative ease of managing a plumbing project that uses a lightweight piping material and handheld tools as well as has a short learning curve to become a competent installer.

Consider Corzan® CPVC Pipe for Modular Commercial Construction Projects

Corzan CPVC pipe and fittings provide a track record of more than 50 years of consistent performance to commercial construction. Corzan Piping Systems’ simplified solvent-weld system requires no torches for installation, and mechanical joining requires no curing time whatsoever, a plus for modular construction. For an overview of how Corzan Piping Systems have delivered reliability to the hospitality industry, visit our CPVC for the Hospitality Industry page.

Request Technical Support