Modular construction methods are gaining traction in the hot life sciences sector, as developers look to get projects done faster and more efficiently. A new study on the life sciences industry from consulting firm CRB found that 63 percent of biotech and pharmaceutical companies surveyed plan to use preconstructed or modular methods as part of their expansion projects in the next five years. The report’s authors said life science companies are looking to innovative construction methods like modular more for the benefits it delivers like adaptability, scalability, and resilience.
Using modular technology in the construction process can be beneficial in a number of ways, according to the report. Modular methods can streamline regulatory compliance, an issue that often causes project delays. Developers can use a template from one project and scale it to other projects, and any regulatory feedback can be applied to future iterations. Modularization can also help improve operations and make it easier for project teams to adapt designs. Developers can start with a buildout that meets some basic needs of design, and then have the ability to add as they need from there over time, which can actually shorten the entire process.
The life sciences sector has been firing on all cylinders over the last several months, driven by scientific advances in gene editing discovered a decade ago that have fueled the continued formation of companies and therapies. There is nearly 20 million square feet of life science space in the U.S. set to be completed in 2022 and 2023, according to Cushman & Wakefield. While modular has often typically been touted as a way to get affordable housing built at scale, applying the construction method to life sciences is a new trend. With so much demand at the moment for new biotech and lab facilities, coupled with the Biden Administration’s recent investment in the biotech and biomanufacturing sector, the emergence of modular construction in the life sciences comes at just the right time.