Modular Construction: An Important Alternative Approach for New Hotel Development Projects
By Gert Noordzy, Richard Whitfield, Gérard Saliot and Eric Ricaurte
Tuesday, 14th December 2021

Abstract: 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.

Graphical user interface, application, Word, website

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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.

Illustration: Site Built vs. Modular Construction Schedule

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The complete report is available from The Journal of Modern Project Management HERE or contact the authors.

Gert Noordzy is a hotel opening specialist and organizational project management expert. He is managing director of Northside Consulting and Adjunct Assistant Professor at The Chinese University of Hong Kong. Gert is the author of Project Management of Hotel Opening Processes. He can be reached at gert.noordzy@northside-consulting.com

Richard Whitfield is president of the East-West Institute for Advanced Studies. He has been a professor at several universities in South East Asia and Macau. Richard’s undergraduate and doctoral degrees are in manufacturing from the University of Melbourne, Australia. He can be reached at rcw@ewias.org

Gérard Saliot is the founder and CEO of Euro Asia Management Group. In 2014, he established HMD (Hotel Modular Development) to design, engineer and fabrication of modular solution for the hospitality industry. Gérard has been involved in the development of various modular and prefabricated resort projects in Asia Pacific, including the Meridian Adventure Dive Resort in Raja Ampat. He can be reached at gerard.saliot@euroasia-group.com

Eric Ricaurte is the founder and CEO of Greenview, an international consultancy catalyzing innovation and best practice in sustainability and ESG. Greenview’s clients include most of the largest hotel companies as well as hotel owners and developers, event organizers, cruise lines, NGOs, DMOs, OTAs and industry organizations including the WTTC and UNWTO. Eric’s notable industry work includes launching the Cornell Hotel Sustainability Benchmarking Index, Green Lodging Trends Report, Destination Water Risk Index, Hotel Global Decarbonisation Report, and Hotel Owners for Tomorrow Coalition. He can be reached at eric@greenview.sg

Northside Consulting is a boutique firm specializing in the tactical and strategic aspects of hotel opening processes. www.northside-consulting.com

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