Does modularity trump usability? Assessing modular facility solutions for the public sector

Riikka Kyrö, Tuuli Jylhä, Antti Peltokorpi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review


Western societies are currently facing major demographic changes, due to phenomena such as urbanization, ageing of the population, and migration. The changes place a lot of pressure on public services, and consequently on facilities, including schools, day-care centres, and health care facilities. The purpose of this study is to examine the potential of modular facility solutions
to respond to these demographic changes and related facility needs in municipalities. The study focuses on a case study of one Finnish hospital campus, where leased, modular facilities are in use. The facilities are analysed in from the perspective of usability. The study utilizes semistructured interviews of producer representatives and end-users. Observations during site and factory visits comprise complimentary data. Based on the findings, the modular facilities of the case study are restricted in height, width, and length, which impose some functional limitations. Regardless, the facilities were found usable in their current use. In addition to size and technical limitations, short lease periods and the expected reuse of the leased facilities were found to limit customization. Interestingly, issues such as architectural quality, were irrelevant to the users.
Instead, the users values workplace comfort and support of work activities, which the modular facilities support. More collaboration between producers, end-users, and municipal decision makers, is encouraged to further enhance usability through an appropriate level of customization of the modular facilities.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of European Facility Management Conference (EFMC 2017)
EditorsSusanne Balslev Nielsen, Per Anker, Rikke Brinkø
Place of PublicationLyngby, Denmark
PublisherDenmark Technical University
ISBN (Print)9788750211129
Publication statusPublished - 2017
EventEFMC 2017: European Facility Management Conference - Madrid, Spain
Duration: 25 Apr 201728 Apr 2017


ConferenceEFMC 2017: European Facility Management Conference


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