Economical feasibility of prefabricated solutions in healthcare design and construction industry

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For almost five years, healthcare design and construction sector is in my focus.
I started my experience in this field from design proposal of health-improving and rehabilitation center in Moscow which was my master thesis in Moscow Architectural Institute (MArchI) in 2012. After graduation I also worked as an architect in large architectural bureau which is specialized in design and construction of healthcare and resort facilities. Healthcare architectural typology is one of the most complicated ones because it deals with great number of technical and technological issues, which dictate the final spatial and design solutions in many ways. Moreover, technical regulations and demands in this type of buildings are one of the strictest ones based on the core functions and nature of the process. To find a rational balance between technology and architectural aesthetics in healthcare is a great challenge for architect.

In 2013 I started my MSc Architecture program in Politecnico di Milano in order to extend my architectural vision and to get European experience and understanding of the profession of architect. Because of the fact that I already had experience in the healthcare sector at that time, I chose the topic of healthcare as my graduation subject in Milan. There is a special department in Politecnico di Milano dedicated to design problems of healthcare facilities. The head of the department, professor Stefano Capolongo, was my supervisor of the graduation project which was dedicated to modular and prefabricated solutions in healthcare design. The main focus of my thesis was to design spatial solutions for general hospital where all functions and departments can be arranged into modular and prefab scheme by using the same span of the structural grid. Questions of modularity, transportability of the modules to the construction site, universality of the layout which allows to put different functions within the same module were the main ones in my research. In order to test my hypothesis and findings I designed renovation project for the real general hospital in one of the Russian provincial cities. The idea behind this step was to test possibility to extend existing healthcare facilities in a modular and prefabricated way which allows to minimize interruptions in the daily activities of the hospital while being under renovation, reduces time schedule for the renovation project in construction phase and increases the quality of the complete work based on in-factory production and assembly process.

The focus of my Milan project was mainly on spatial and technological aspects of modular healthcare design. Since I am particularly interested in medical design and construction sector, as I already mentioned, I decided to continue my research in this field while working on my graduation project in TU Delft on Management In the Built Environment Master program in order to understand the entire process of modular construction not only from architectural, but also from managerial, technological, logistic and financial points of view. The main question of this research is whether modular solutions in hospital construction more economically feasible than traditional on-site construction methods, considering the entire life cycle process of the hospital building? By answering this question, I will understand and evaluate financial, managerial and logistical aspects of hospital construction, which will give me the complete picture of effectiveness of modular construction in hospitals.

I would like to say thank you to my mentors, Peter de Jong and Ruben Vrijhoef, who supported me along this year and organized a number of interviews with the set of experts who helped me to get the picture of processes in modular construction. Special appreciation to all experts and specialists, who kindly agreed to meet and answer to my questions. All their interviews can be found in appendixes of this report. Special thank you to my family who supports me in my career and helps me to get the things I am working on.