Modular Building Institute
Modular Building Institute

One-on-One Interview with John Buongiorno of Axis Construction

Exterior of Gotham Health from Axis Contruction & NRB, Inc.

MBI: Tell me a little bit about your company – how long have you been in business? Have you always been a “modular contractor?” How many modular healthcare projects have you done?

Axis Construction Corp. was founded in June 1993 and has been widely recognized as an innovator in construction, design and management services, consistently raising the industry standard for the building community.

Axis’ primary focus has been and remains in healthcare construction, with a team approach that encompasses pre-design consultation, on-site project management, and post-construction follow-up.

In 1999, Axis established a division dedicated to modular construction which enhanced the method of delivery options available to clients. Since then Axis has completed well over 25 healthcare modular projects.

Some completed projects include MRI and CT scan suites, a stand-alone linear accelerator clinic, an emergency room addition, a 13,000 sq. ft. health care clinic, a 22,000 sq. ft. health care clinic for special needs patients, and the company is currently completing a 19,000 sq. ft. healthcare clinic in NYC.

MBI: What do you see as the biggest advantage for using modular construction for healthcare projects?

By far the greatest advantage of “modular/off-site” construction is its speed to market. Most of the facilities we construct are revenue producing properties for our clients, meaning earlier occupancy translates directly to earlier cash flow. Additionally, the speed allows our clients to be able to provide new technologies before the competition, and that makes modular construction incredibly attractive

MBI: Are the owners/developers generally receptive to the idea of modular construction?

We have found that once the potential client has a full understanding that this method of delivery is no different than conventional construction in terms of codes, finishes, MEP systems, etc. they quickly embrace the concept and proceed with it. Also, with our portfolio of completed projects, seeing is believing and that makes our job that much easier.

MBI: One of the most common questions we get at MBI is about the cost of a modular project compared to a similar site-built structure. How would you answer that question?

We get asked that question all the time as well and it is a difficult one for sure. The bottom line is this— for the type of projects that we focus on and deliver, modular construction is “cost neutral” when comparing only a square foot cost to conventional construction.

Working harder, not smarter – The reality is actually the opposite of the old saying we’ve all heard 1,000 times. When it comes to construction, the answer always seems to be “we need more people.” The construction industry is one of the few remaining industries so heavily reliant on physical labor, embracing the “next man up” mentality. No time for training, gotta get the job done on time.

However, while the cost per sq. ft. is approximately the same, “modular/off-site” constructions allows the client to provide and bill for services 33 – 50% sooner because of the shortened construction schedule and quicker occupancy.

MBI: Do you see healthcare as a growing market for the modular construction industry?

We do see the opportunity for expansion in the healthcare market for modular construction. More and more, we are seeing the services being moved away from the mainstream hospital system to more neighborhood-based options. What we are looking at, and have been successful with, are full-service health clinics that are able to provide a multitude of services.

MBI: Thank you, John and best of luck in 2018!

This article originally appeared in the Modular Advantage Magazine - First Quarter 2018 released in February 2018.

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