During the concept project phase, prior to having the architects and engineers spend countless hours laboring over the finest details when preparing calculations, drawing packages and specifications, a path for the project needs to be thought through.
The modularization approach should be part of this analysis allowing the team leaders to incorporate innovative design and fabrication where appropriate. Often, during the early stages, schedules and costs are defined, shortened, and lowered, depending on the project drivers. As specialists, we willingly accept the challenge and draw from our experience to help our clients be first to market or provide lower cost solutions.
Modularization applies and is required in certain markets due to various reasons such as geographical location, skilled labor, and schedule. The cost is always a decision factor when modularization is discussed.
Cost benchmarking data is factored for the specific project applications to help with the decision making for the project path. But how good is this data and how reliable, are the questions we frequently encountered when putting together modular construction estimates. At these early stages it is important to have a large, reliable in- house database for estimating, as well as knowing the leaders in the industry that assemble modules for various applications such as cleanrooms, mechanical and process equipment.
Once you decided that you want to modularize elements of your new facility, how should you go about it? What changes do you make to your engineering, procurement, construction, and compliance processes to maximize the benefits of modularization? Work with the design and preconstruction teams to integrate the modular approach into the project design and execution.
Integrating the procurement and construction teams early in the design phase will ensure that the cost benefits, site logistics and schedule are maximized. Sometimes there are site constraints and logistics that may have to be reevaluated as the project progresses with the modular approach.
Meet and discuss options with your modular vendors as part of the early planning to understand all of the benefits that their product may offer, and speak with your compliance team to see where skidded equipment may reduce commissioning time and costs in the field. The inclusion of all team members having a stake in the project throughout the process will ensure the project is on target with maximizing benefits.
Throughout the process, the cost benchmarking data is validated and updated. This allows for continuous improvement of the collected data to be recorded for the specific project including the latest information provided by vendors.
(Source: IPS – Integrated Project Services, LLC)