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Business Case Analysis for Industrial Modularization

Publication No
Final Report
Publication Date
Oct 01, 2023
Research Team
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CII challenged RT-396 to address the essential research question: “When is the appropriate time for modularization planning, and how should a company develop a business case to support the modularization decision?”

In response to this question, the team provided the following solutions:

  • Standardized modular terminologies and definitions – RT-396 defined or updated the terms currently used in the industry (i.e., modularization, site construction, offsite construction, prefabrication, preassembly, module assembly). In addition, to improve industry understanding of offsite construction concepts, the team categorized module types by their size and in terms of how they are fabricated, shipped, moved to a site, and set.
  • Modularization barriers and barrier breakers – The team identified the top 10 barriers for the implementation of modularization in capital projects and how best to overcome these barriers.
  • Recommended modularization timing – RT-396 recommended timing points for considering modularization during early activities and at key decisions to increase the chance of successful modular execution and to realize the full benefits of modularization.
  • The Modularization Business Case Analysis Tool for Opportunity Framing – The team designed this tool to help users make informed decisions by reviewing key modularization drivers and considerations during early project phases. This tool also helps users understand the enablers and barriers related to modularization and addresses new drivers like ESG.
  • The Modularization Business Case Analysis Tool for Assessment and Selection – This powerful tool identifies the optimal extent of modularization for projects during the later phase of Project Assessment and Selection. This tool provides a comprehensive analysis of costs and savings linked to varying percentages of modularization to help users identify the optimal level that will result in a successful project completion.
  • The ESG Modularization Assessment Tool – This ESG (environmental, social, and governance) tool helps users determine an appropriate modularization strategy that aligns with ESG principles and practices during the Project Assessment and Selection phase. This tool generates impact scores by assessing the potential impact of the modularization strategy on each of many ESG factors identified by the team. 
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