Modular Buildings – The future of construction?
An increasing population and the need for affordable housing has raised the use of modular buildings as being the way forward. Modular construction is not a new idea. It gained popularity shortly after the Second World War. It was a time when there was a need to replace the many houses lost because of the bombing. Today, the idea of modular homes has gained a new popularity due to a need for more affordable housing.
What is modular construction?
Unlike more traditional bricks and mortar construction methods, modular construction is different. The reason for the difference is this it involves the building of box-shaped sections in a factory. Being pre-built makes it possible to mass-produce sections quicker and at a lower cost. Equally, modular structures mean there is none of the traditional building you would expect to see at a construction site. It is only when the modules reach the construction site that they are put together. Modular construction is like a giant Lego kit. A building consisting of several boxed sections has more flexibility than a standard built home. By using modular parts in the construction, it’s possible to design a home that better meets customer specifications. They also make expanding a building at a later date more straightforward.
The future of modular construction
Many consider that modular buildings are the future of construction. There are several factors which influence this view. Things that are likely to raise the popularity of modular construction include:
- New technology.
- A changing economy.
- Improved quality standards.
- The loss of skilled tradesmen.
- Cost saving.
While modular structures may have, in the past, been labelled as generic or featureless, today this is no longer the case. Improved designs and technologies have changed that view. Today’s modules are now considered to be both well-made and modern looking.
What are the benefits?
As a way of building new structures, modular construction makes building a lot easier. The use of modules means that there are not the typical hold-ups associated with the more traditional methods of building. Because of improvements in technology and building methods, modular construction offers a variety of benefits. Apart from cost savings and faster completion time, the popularity of modular construction is rising due to things like:
1. Off-site construction
Building the modules for a new structure takes place in a factory. Costs are lower because of the mass production of modules. There are no delays due to things like bad weather or an available workforce, for example. It is only when the modules are built that assembly takes place on the construction site. By building in this way, it allows for faster completion time and reduced costs for the modular structure.
2. Cost Savings
As modules are prebuilt in factories, mass production means cost savings. For example, standard modules, like bathrooms, can be of a single design and specification. Other costs savings can come from there no longer being the need for the same number of skilled workers when compared with traditional building methods.
3. Quality Control
By building the modules in a factory, it allows for the application of exacting standards. They all have the same design and high standards. Because everything is prefabricated, the modules leaving the factory are always of high quality.
Because building the modules takes place built off-site, it’s a lot easier to control materials. The result is that there is less waste and more recycling. Since materials are not going to the construction site, there’s also less waste due to things like weather damage, for example. Compared to traditional building methods, there is less pollution with modular construction.
The functionality, opportunities and low cost all mean that the success of modular buildings will continue to grow rather than decrease. With the availability of customisation and functional designs, modular construction is no longer just a way of building homes. The benefits and cost savings available make it something that businesses are also starting to look at.