Understanding Offsite Construction: Modular Build Reaching New Heights
Earlier this week, US industry publication Construction Dive reported on the tallest modular hotel in the US. The CitizenM Bowery hotel, which opened in New York City last month, is 21 storeys in height with 300 modular guest rooms.
On the technical side, this project involved a conversion to a modular structure. Contractors DeSimone divided the building into three primary sections; the first section, from the ground up to and including the fourth floor, is still cast-in-place, with a 36-inch slab and up to 38-foot spans to support the modular components. This supports 15 storeys of modular guestrooms. The final two storeys consist of structural steel framing. According to the Construction Dive article, the building also features
“a lateral system consisting of a standalone concrete core and a blade shear wall between the two northern modules”.
Bang on trend, this new hotel features a 4,000 sq.ft. plaza, a contemporary rooftop restaurant, and co-working space.
Hotel accommodation and other PRS offerings, like student accommodation, are the most common use cases for this type of modular build, given the identical make-up or uniformity of the rooms. We have seen a huge move towards offsite construction for PRS projects across Ireland, the UK and Europe in recent years as project owners look for greater certainty, time and cost efficiencies, and, most importantly, compliance with the latest safety and building regulations.
It is interesting to see that the offsite construction sector in the US is, only now, achieving heights that were achieved and surpassed in the UK almost a decade ago. Back in 2009, our team was involved in the construction of the then tallest building in the world built utilising offsite construction methods. Victoria Hall, part of the University of Wolverhampton in the UK, is a 24-storey, mixed-use, modular apartment complex of four buildings. This one project solidified modular design and build as a credible alternative for site owners looking for the most efficient, contemporary construction solution on somewhat restricted sites. Since then, offsite construction in the UK has experienced rapid growth.
In fact, Evolusion are currently working on a 44-storey offsite modular building, which will be tallest modular building in the world.
About Evolusion Innovation: The team at Evolusion Innovation has been involved in over €2 billion worth of offsite construction projects across Ireland, the UK and Europe over the past 15 years. View our current career opportunities at www.EvolusionInnovation.com