New Standards Address Modular Construction

Standards are intended to promote consistency of regulatory requirements for off-site construction processes

By HFT Editorial Staff
November 17, 2021

As healthcare facilities managers continue to face the competing challenges of expanding facilities and holding down construction costs, many have taken a closer look at the benefits and challenges of off-site construction, also called modular construction.

Now, the International Code Council and the Modular Building Institute (MBI) have published two new comprehensive standards that will accelerate the off-site construction industry — ICC/MBI 1200-2021 Standard for Off-Site Construction: Planning, Design, Fabrication and Assembly and ICC/MBI 1205-2021 Standard for Off-Site Construction: Inspection and Regulatory Compliance.

The standards are intended to promote consistency of regulatory requirements for off-site construction processes. As the building industry continues to face multiple challenges including workforce availability, affordability, job site safety, building quality and sustainability, the expanded use of off-site construction, often called modular or prefabrication, is one approach that has risen to address these challenges.

“The Code Council family already offers multiple solutions to support the safe and efficient use of off-site construction. However, as we continue seeing a surge in global demand for off-site construction, we knew more guidance would be necessary, to add consistency to a global market” said Dominic Sims, CBO, Chief Executive Officer, International Code Council. “The new standards align perfectly with the Code Council’s mission to ensure building safety. The standards are also part of our commitment to encourage affordability, in this case by lowering the regulatory barriers to trade, that off-site products often face by having to navigate a patchwork of regional regulations.”

ICC/MBI Standard 1200-2021 addresses important facets of the off-site construction process, including planning, designing, fabricating, transporting, and assembling commercial and residential building elements. This includes componentized, panelized, and modularized elements. ICC/MBI Standard 1205-2021 addresses the inspection, approval, and regulatory compliance of off-site residential and commercial construction components, as well as their assembly and completion at the final building site. This includes permitting, in-plant and on-site final inspections, third-party inspections, the role of Industrialized Building Departments, state modular programs and the authority having jurisdiction.

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