Learning Center

September 18, 2019

Modern Modular Part 1:  Modular Dormitories on the Rise

Modular dormitories are growing in popularity among colleges and universities seeking to keep up with growing demand for on-campus housing while eliminating the delays associated with traditional construction.


Building a college or university residence hall, also called a dormitory, has added responsibilities beyond those ascribed to the construction of other building types. College dormitories must also maintain the educational environment of the campus, which means causing as little disruption to the surrounding area as possible, and above all, being ready to receive students when classes start. 

Undergraduate enrollment in the United States has increased by 27% since 2000 and is expected to continue to climb through 2028, pressing colleges and universities to accommodate the portion of those students who elect to live on campus. 

Unlike typical apartment buildings or condominiums, dormitories need to be move-in ready to coincide with the beginning of the academic term. If a school is unable to meet the needs of its incoming student residents, it must deny housing to those who may have previously been granted residence, increase the occupancy of existing dormitories, or provide temporary housing. These contingencies are the source of headaches for students and faculty, and can even result in significant damage to a school’s reputation. Such was the case for Purdue University, the center of a public relations crisis in 2018, when news outlets reported students were living in makeshift dormitories due to insufficient housing. 

With so much at stake and enrollment growing, colleges and universities are under more pressure than ever to ensure their residence halls are completed on schedule. With traditional, on-site construction notorious for delays, it should be no wonder why campuses across the country have been turning to modular construction for these new buildings with increased frequency. 

For instance, Dutchess Community College required a new residence hall to accommodate nearly 500 students. A building of such scale would have required several months of construction and disruption to the campus with traditional, on-site methods. Delays would have meant months of additional distractions and a prolonged deficiency of student housing.

Instead, Dutchess Community College turned to Deluxe Modular.

By fabricating the modular units in our Berwick, Pennsylvania facility, Conklin Hall was fully assembled on the Dutchess campus in just 40 days, ready to receive students exactly on schedule.

Watch Conklin Hall take shape below,
or download the full case study here.

Dutchess Community College

This experience is not unique and is, in fact, becoming ever-more common. Muhlenberg College, which assembled five new modular dormitories throughout a summer, and Yale, which assembled one over the course of a single spring break, are just two on the quickly growing list of institutions taking advantage of modularization as an efficient means to increase resident capacity or replace aging structures. 

With schools able to open high-quality buildings in a fraction of the time compared to less-efficient methods, modular construction is fast becoming the standard for student housing construction. 

To learn more about how modular construction with Deluxe Modular can meet your college or university's project deadlines, Book a Meeting with a modular professional. 

Topics: Modular Construction

Read Next: The Ultimate Guide to Modular Construction

This guide is intended to help you sort through the confusion, give you an in-depth understanding of the modular construction process, its benefits and challenges, and help you determine if modular construction is right for you.


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