What Is Modular Construction & What Are The Benefits?
What Is Modular Construction?
Modular construction is the process of constructing buildings and manufacturing them completely off-site and under controlled factory conditions while using the same building codes & standards as conventional construction projects. This form of construction is likely the most complete form of prefab construction. The boxes, or modules, are produced in a factory before being shipped to the construction site, where they are erected and pieced together. There is a wide range, in terms of completeness, of these modules. Some customers will order an empty module, which they will complete on-site.
Meanwhile, others prefer to order modules that are complete with flooring, built-ins, appliances, and more. Modular construction has become a prevalent option lately due to its quick completion, cost-effectiveness, and efficiency. Modular construction can be divided into two main categories: Permanent Modular Construction (PMC) & Relocatable Buildings (RB).
Permanent Modular Construction
Permanent modular construction, like relocatable buildings, is a sustainable building method that utilizes lean manufacturing techniques to prefabricate single – or multi-story buildings in modular sessions. PMC modules can be crafted as additions to existing buildings or as standalone structures. These modules can also be finished with MEP appliances & interior finishes in less time than their on-site built counterparts.
Relocatable buildings are either partial or complete assemblies fabricated in a manufacturing plant with a modular construction process. Though these types of modular buildings are capable of being relocated, these buildings still meet all building codes and state regulations. Because they are designed to be set up in various locations throughout the course of the building’s lifetime, relocatable buildings can be reused multiple times. These buildings are not permanently affixed to real estate but are installed under manufacturer guidelines and local codes. Some common applications of these types of buildings include Schools, medical clinics, & points of sale. Relocatable buildings also ease of relocation, fast-installation, low-cost, reconfiguration, flexibility, & accelerated depreciation for accounting purposes.
The Benefits Of Modular Construction
When compared to conventional construction, modular construction has many benefits that can be immediately reaped. While the efficiency, sustainability, and cost-effectiveness of a modular building can easily be seen, there are some benefits that deserve a deeper look.
Modular building projects, which are largely crafted inside of a controlled factory setting, can be completed between 30%-50% faster than their conventional counterparts. This is made possible because while most of the project is assembled within the confines of a factory, on-site and foundation work can be completed simultaneously.
Elimination Or Weather Delays
Due to the fact that 60%-90% of the construction process takes place within a closed factory, the protected environment mitigates the impact of unfavorable weather. Off-site constructions
Off-site construction allows for more effective enforcement of quality and safety guidelines. Building materials are protected from unfavorable weather at all stages of construction, which is a common cause of imperfections in outdoor projects.
As previously mentioned, modular building projects can be divided into two categories, permanent modular construction projects, and relocatable building projects. Relocatable buildings can be disassembled and relocated for new purposes, reducing the demand for raw materials and energy usage during construction. Even if a project is built with permanent modular construction, recovering materials and modules are much simpler than in conventional building projects.
Less Material Waste
Unlike conventional construction projects, in modular construction, waste is eliminated by recycling and controlling inventories.
Because the vast majority of construction takes place in a controlled factory setting, materials remain dry at all stages of construction. Therefore the level of moisture in new construction is reduced, which ultimately improves the air quality and helps control mold, dust mites, and other organisms that thrive in humidity.
Along with the added environmental benefits of working in a controlled factory, there are also added benefits of safety for the workers responsible for the construction of these projects.
Because modular buildings are designed to withstand the stresses of transportation and lifting, they are generally more robust than their site-built counterparts. Once shipped and transported, modules are then securely joined into a whole integrated assembly.
Since 60% – 90% of the project is completed off-site, modular construction allows business owners to continue working while renovations are being done. This reduction in disruption also applies to the business owners in the surrounding area.
Aside from reducing waste, Modular construction is leading the market in the utilization of eco-friendly materials. A wide range of materials becomes available when the construction process can be completed under a controlled factory setting.
Affordability is one of the defining features of modular construction. When multiple similar pieces can be constructed all at once, both money and time are saved. Modular construction is handy for projects with identical buildings since modules can all be produced in a series.
Modules are designed as independent units and can be soundproofed to block noise once they are assembled together.
The Disadvantages Of Modular Construction
While Modular construction can be incredibly beneficial for specific projects, there are some disadvantages when it comes to using modular building in the housing sector.
Because modular construction projects are designed to be shipped and transported to the job site, the size of the modules needs to be taken into meticulous consideration. Alongside the consideration of the size, the method of shipping and transportation must also be taken into careful consideration in order to determine which method will cause the least amount of damage to the structures. This can be a drawback because the size of individual rooms is typically smaller than those found in conventionally built homes.
Financing for modular homes can also be quite tricky as banks usually issue loans that go through two distinct stages. These are known as construction-to-permanent loans. In many cases, owners cannot get a traditional loan until construction on the home is complete. Financing these types of projects upfront becomes a challenge in this case.
In some places, local authorities may not allow for the building of modular homes. This fact can take away the possibility of building housing using modular construction and will force potential homeowners to settle for conventional construction if they had harbored hopes of building their homes using modular construction techniques.
In many cases, especially those of commercial construction projects, Modular construction can reduce waste, increase safety for both materials and the workers responsible for the production of those materials, reduce construction times, reduce cost, and can lead to less disruption for both business owners and businesses in the surrounding area. While Modular construction may not be suitable for all projects, it is definitely an option that many may want to consider when designing and constructing their next project.