As Innovators, We Push Modular Design and Prefabrication to Prominence

Client:  Koch Modular Process Systems

Sector:  Chemical Process & Industrial 


On industrial construction projects—where cost, resource efficiency and tight schedules are always priorities—prefabrication and modularization are increasingly popular solutions. Engineering for modularization empowers us to solve a host of problems that plague the construction industry. Cost and schedule overrun, lack of skilled workers in a given region and the demand for sustainable solutions are all issues we can control with resource-maximizing prefabrication strategies. Modular designs allow shop installation of equipment, piping and electrical systems in a fully assembled structural steel frame to minimize field work, reduce erection time and minimize footprint size 
to fit into existing and crowded facilities. 


At AAES, we’ve gained much of our extensive firsthand experience in structural module design through our partnership with longtime client Koch Modular. This partnership goes back to the birth of our companies, decades ago, and has grown along with the size and complexity of the projects we have completed together. We’re proud to say we provide structural design services for Koch Modular on all their projects. This level of trust and collaboration is typical of the type of relationship AAES seeks to build with every client. 


While effective prefabrication is often a smarter, faster and safer way to work, the engineering side comes with a steep learning curve. With over thirty years of experience and hundreds of successful modular projects completed, AAES Engineering is an industry leader in structural design of steel modular frames. Modular designs present a number of structural design challenges that require specialized expertise and experience to ensure a successful installation. Modules must be designed with sufficient structural strength to support loads in two distinct ways: in their final, often vertical position, and horizontally as individual units during shipping and while lifting the modules into place. Manufactured offsite then shipped as a completed unit, modules must be properly sized to accommodate permissible shipping envelopes via road, rail or sea. 


Essential to AAES’ success is our ability to anticipate challenges and communicate effectively with contractors in the field to ensure a safe and cost-effective installation. Lifting massive steel structures and connecting them successfully is a challenge often compounded by existing structures already in place. Facilities built from prefabricated modules can be left as open structures, or connected in the field to form a single structural unit and enclosed in siding to match existing building elements. Complex detailing of steel structures to properly match with equipment and piping supports is another crucial skill we execute seamlessly on every project. 

Beyond modular steel design, AAES also has extensive experience in reinforced concrete design, foundation design for modules and freestanding vessels, complex seismic and dynamic analysis for rotating equipment, and stick-built structures where a modular solution is not preferable or possible.

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