Modern Project Management

(ISSN: 2317-3963)

Modular Construction

Gert Noordzy
The Chinese University of Hong Kong Macao
Richard Whitfield
East-West Institute for Advanced Studies. Australia
Gérard Saliot
Eric Ricaurte


The construction industry, especially for new hotels, faces steadily increasing pressure to improve productivity and reduce environmental impacts. This paper explores these pressures and examines whether modular and prefabricated construction approaches and technologies can help achieve the desired goals. Modular construction is explained and its potential benefits and risks regarding new hotel construction are considered through references to relevant literature and anecdotal evidence. We conclude that modular construction has considerable promise, but it necessitates substantial rethinking and changes to the practices traditionally adopted in new hotel development. Moreover, in the authors view, while modular construction can be an important contributor but is not a complete solution to more quickly and efficiently building better hotels that are more sustainable. It must be complemented by other changes to traditional hotel development methods.

In Noordzy and Whitfield’s previously published conception of the new hotel development life cycle, adopting modular construction methods mostly impacts the Delivery Stage, while leaving the Conception and Operations Stages largely untouched. Compared to the Delivery Stage for a traditionally built new hotel, adopting modular construction specifically necessitates considerably expanding "up-front" design efforts and substantially changing the contractual and working relationships between the developer, architect, interior designer, construction contractor, sub-contractors and specialist consultants. At the same time, it greatly reduces the hotel pre-opening team's traditional involvement (and workload) in the fit-out and final acceptance testing of the finished property.

Keywords: Project Management, New Hotel Development, Project Life Cycle, Hotel Openings, Hotel Management, Hospitality Management, Asset Management, Modular Construction, Sustainability.



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