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Prefab - The Future of ASC Construction?

Ambulatory Healthcare Design Lab (AHD*lab) seeks to explore innovations in healthcare design and construction. To that end we will be hosting occasional guest posts by industry members who are innovating and blazing new trails in the sector. This post on prefabrication is a guest post by Jon Winton, president of Synergy Med Global Design Solutions Inc., whose vision is to make healthcare better through streamlined development, delivery & construction of complex, clean clinical environments and deliver a safer environment to patients and staff.


Speed, Efficiency, and Cost Savings with Prefabrication

The landscape of ambulatory care is shifting. More procedures are moving out of traditional hospitals and into ASCs, driven by factors like lower costs and improved patient convenience. To meet this growing demand, the healthcare industry needs faster, more efficient construction methods. This is where industrialized construction comes in.

Market Drivers for Industrialized Construction in ASCs

  • Capital and Labor Market Pressures: Financial constraints and a tight labor market are forcing healthcare projects to seek innovative solutions.
  • Proven Success of Prefabrication: Prefabricated components have already demonstrated significant improvements in time, schedule, and quality for ASC fit-outs. Modular construction is becoming standard in US healthcare, catching up with other developed nations.
  • Shifting Towards Larger Prefabricated Elements: Forecasts suggest the trend will continue, with larger building elements produced off-site becoming a prominent aspect of ASC project delivery.

Traditional Construction vs. Industrialized Construction

Traditional "stick-built" construction requires all materials and labor on-site. This leads to challenges in organization, waste management, and oversight, requiring significant space and resources.


Here's a sobering fact: Construction productivity has declined roughly 20% in the past two decades, while manufacturing productivity has soared by 80%. Industrialized construction, with its focus on off-site manufacturing and controlled environments, offers a natural progression towards a more efficient solution. Projects built using industrialized methods benefit from:

  • Fewer materials needed
  • Reduced labor requirements
  • Faster construction timelines
  • Minimized waste

Design for Manufacturing and Assembly (DfMA): The Key to Prefabrication Success

The traditional approach in Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) has emphasized project uniqueness. However, ASCs share many commonalities. By focusing on these commonalities and refining frequently used elements through Design for Manufacturing and Assembly (DfMA), we can achieve greater efficiency and predictability in the construction process. This doesn't limit creativity - it frees up resources to address the more complex and unique features of each ASC. Prefabricated components offer flexibility in scheduling, cost certainty, and project bandwidth by focusing on standardized elements.

Imagine a Fully Prefabricated Operating Room Installed in Just 19 Days

This is the kind of speed and efficiency that industrialized construction can bring to ASC projects.

Prefab OR(Courtesy of Synergy Med)

The Advantages of Industrialized Construction for ASCs

  • Faster Time to Market: Get your ASC operational quicker and start capturing revenue sooner.
  • Reduced Waste: Minimize construction waste through controlled, off-site manufacturing.
  • Consistent, High-Quality Deliverables: Prefabrication ensures consistent quality across projects and reduces the risk of on-site errors.
  • Enhanced Safety: Controlled factory environments typically have better safety records compared to traditional construction sites.
  • Focus on the Unique: Prefabricated components free up resources and expertise to focus on the unique design elements and functionality of each ASC.
  • Cost Certainty: Prefabrication reduces cost overruns typically associated with traditional construction. This allows for better project budgeting and financial predictability.

Challenges and Considerations

While industrialized construction offers significant benefits, it's important to acknowledge some considerations:

  • Project Assessment: Not every project is a fit for prefabricated components, i.e. partial renovations of old buildings.
  • Upfront Planning: Successful implementation requires a collaborative approach and upfront planning between designers, constructors, and manufacturers.
  • Finding Qualified Contractors: Identifying contractors experienced in industrialized construction methods may require additional effort.

Embrace the Future of ASC Construction

Industrialized construction offers a compelling solution for building high-performance ASCs faster and more cost-effectively. By embracing this innovative approach, healthcare providers can meet the growing demand for outpatient surgical care while delivering exceptional patient experiences.


Ready to explore how industrialized construction can benefit your next ASC project? Contact us today for a free consultation:       Synergy Med Global Design Solutions Inc.

Hardaway|Sziabowski Architects is a leader in ASC design. Contact us using the form below or at if we can help you with your facility.