GRAFTON — The Aurora Medical Center in Grafton on Wednesday installed the first of 20 modules that are part of a new 16-bed, 8,000-square-foot expansion at the hospital.

The modules, which were brought in on semis and hoisted into place by cranes, are considered more sustainable and environmentally friendly than typical construction. Estimates are that modules can reduce waste by up to 90% because construction is done off-site.

“A modular build was selected as part of Advocate Aurora’s dedication to sustainability as there is less waste since the unit is produced in a controlled factory setting, and shorter construction time, which requires less energy and onsite pollution,” according to an Aurora press release. “The new unit was designed with patient experience and safety in mind. Once each module is installed, the final touches will be completed for both the interior and exterior of the expansion.”

The three modules delivered to the hospital already contained patient rooms and bathrooms.

The addition will be located at the western end of the medical center campus between the existing patient tower and diagnostic and treatment areas of the hospital. It is expected to be open by late summer or early fall.

The 550,000-square-foot hospital, which opened northwest of Highway 60 and Port Washington Road in 2010, has 132 licensed beds with six additional observational beds. Those beds accommodate patients who come in for treatment and may not be well enough to go home, but don’t necessarily need to be admitted to the hospital.

The modules being installed will provide 16 additional observational beds.

“Our continued progress on the expansion is an exciting step towards providing increased access to high-quality care for our community,” said Aurora Medical Center in Grafton President Michelle Y. Blakely. “We look forward to the ways this expansion will benefit our patients and our team members.”

Aurora Medical Center in Grafton intends to add around 24 team members to accommodate the expansion.

The medical center currently provides a broad range of services including cardiac care, orthopedics, minimally invasive and traditional surgical services, emergency care and neuroscience.