Why MRI Buildings are Made for Modular Construction

As we’ve mentioned in the past, just about half of SMM’s business focuses on medical facilities. We specialize in this niche, and have built a solid reputation as one of the best in the field. What’s more, within the healthcare sector, we’re developing specialization in MRI modular units. 


MRI units carry hyper-specific building requirements, and thanks to our experience with medical-grade modular construction, SMM is well versed. With steel framing throughout, MRI units (Type 2 noncombustible buildings) are outfitted with RF roof shielding, cryrogen vents to keep the equipment cool, and other specs, sited via crane on a permanent foundation at an at-grade finish. These buildings are typically quite small, ranging from 500 to 700 square-feet — making them the perfect candidate for modular construction.


One of our first MRI units was commissioned by Inspira Health Network in New Jersey for a brand new Inspira Oncology Center. Though it was initially intended to be a stick-built construction project, we won over the architecture firm with the evidence that modular would be a better fit, and in the end designed a building comprised of about eight different modular sections — one of which was an independent MRI unit. The project was completed in just 331 days, and ultimately won a prestigious design award by the Modular Building Institute: best in its class for Permanent Modular Healthcare under 10,000 square-feet.


Because MRI units call for such specific equipment, we maintain partner relationships with a wide range of suppliers to serve our clients. We do all of the spec legwork in advance so that our clients’ buildings are move-in ready faster than stick-built construction. Together with these partners, we’re able to get our clients’ units operational faster, so that they can serve more patients sooner.