Modular wall systems have long been available in workplace solutions for commercial office and retail facilities, and now these systems are becoming more widely used in healthcare settings because of shorter building times, sustainable building practices, and flexibility. In the end, these reasons alone cannot only save health systems time and money but may also contribute to greater productivity.
Shortening the Construction Phase
As more hospitals and clinics are looking to architects for building solutions that offer adaptability, modular wall systems can be a useful tool due to a shorter construction schedule, meaning providers can have occupancy months ahead of schedule. If Owners can capture patient revenue ahead of schedule, the investment in modular may be recovered over a reasonable term.
Flexibility and Long-Term Affordability
Although modular wall systems are more costly than traditional construction, the flexibility offered cannot be compared. Over time, clinical settings require upgrades or renovations. Modular walls not only give facility planners and managers flexibility in reconfigurations, but they also result in less downtime. In the healthcare setting where time equates to money and success is measured by the number of patients seen in a given period, modular walls make good business sense.
Ease of Installation
Modular walls are easy to install; they can be relocated or dismantled without stress and are evolving to meet ever-changing healthcare requirements. Likewise, new suppliers are entering the marketplace with various products and price points to meet a variety of ongoing needs. Given how healthcare evolves, having effective options to keep up with medical advances adds value.
Modular wall systems can benefit underserved populations living in rural or economically depressed areas. The sick and elderly who reside in these areas are most vulnerable, and many providers have since made the commitment to extend care to these persons. These innovative wall systems are ideal solutions for outpatient care centers or rural emergency hospitals.
Without question, modular wall systems are worthy of consideration, and we’re seeing a good number of Owners who are considering prototype construction that can be site adapted with features such as standard panels with acoustics, wiring and lighting, and even the inclusion of walls that can be outfitted with medical gases. With the modular wall trend becoming more common in many healthcare settings, our team is poised to offer design advice and insights, and we look forward to discussing the significant benefits that will lead to better aesthetics, increased functionality, and ease of use.
* J.R. Robertson, AIA, ACHE – Principal-in-Charge and Healthcare Studio Leader