Tomasz Modzelewski, CEO, Polcom Group
Tomasz Modzelewski, CEO Until recently, the construction of a building in a factory was a far-fetched dream. Yes, there were attempts to do so in the past; however, the technology was still nascent, and apprehensions stemmed from a 1968 U.K. prefabricated apartment tower collapse. The mindset about prefabricated buildings needed to be changed to bring the construction industry to adopt technological tools to achieve the desired efficiency. The development of CAD solutions in recent years has opened up the space for modular thinking. Low cost, high-quality modular buildings are possible, thanks to the utilization of production line manufacturing with all the modern methods of factory management like LEAN, six sigma, and 5S; the application of such methodologies and techniques is not possible at a traditional construction site. One company that has probably introduced and mastered a whole new spectrum of technology solutions is Polcom Group.

Coming from Poland, one of the largest exporters of furniture, Polcom Group has transitioned from a family-run furniture business to an approved provider of premium modular building systems and interiors for the hospitality industries worldwide. “Around 2010, we started our first modular hotel in London and since then delivered 12 hotels in the U.K., U.S., Canada, and the Carribeans,” says Tomasz Modzelewski, CEO of the firm. “Our steel based structures, welded with sharp accuracy are blocks for buildings in seismic areas, downtowns and remote locations.” The structures manufactured by the company can be as high as 30 stories.

Polcom Group: A Whole New Spectrum of Modular Technology

Because of their experience and dedication to delivering quality furniture, the company considered welding and manufacturing, especially in the hospitality market. Today Polcom Group has three pre factories - steel factory in Gdynia, furniture and modular fit-out in Chojnice. The production facilities provide controllable and adjustable environment to manufacture modular building solutions. Every corner of the module is approachable from every side, which allows fit-out efficiency optimization. The vertical integration of high-end finishes - from raw materials to ready to use products gives the client the confidence that the design, manufacturing and installation is done correctly, resulting in ample savings by avoiding cumbersome coordination on-site.

Modzelewski emphasizes the importance of involving all construction authorities from the very beginning of the design project to get all the necessary approvals, including TCO and other licenses for operating in public spaces. “We encourage our clients to play an active role during the design phase to ensure that the final project is achievable within reasonable budgets,” says Modzelewski. The company has worked in tandem with its clients to deliver products faster than traditional construction activities. Even in the pandemic, when the construction industry was severely hit due to government-imposed restrictions in various geographies and non-availability of labour, Polcom Group devised a way to keep the factory operational and deliver the modules. For a U.S. based client, where the quality checks are paramount, Polcom Group employed streamed video transmission to provide full in-depth view for the inspectors. All the welding connections and the crucial fit-out, especially all MEP, were approved via the video transmission. This was an element of improvement in the company’s R&D, a process of managing quality control standards, managing the communication with the client, making it easier for the client to control the quality of the building.

Information technology has given a means and methods to provide customizations needed to maintain the competitiveness of the final product, and Polcom Group has leveraged them to deliver value to their clients and optimize costs and time. Using the new spectrum of technology, the company aims to reach the pinnacle of production management and product customization comparable to the automotive industry, yet doing away with the popular notion of modular being a repetitive solution of one-size-fits-all.