It is highly likely that most of you know what is modular construction — but for those who do not know it yet, we will tell you that a modular construction, also known as a modular building, is a process in which the building is constructed off-site. The construction is under controlled plant conditions, and the construction companies use the same materials and the same designing and standards as conventionally built facilities.
This is a brief definition, but there is so much more. In modular construction, buildings are produced in “modules”, and if you put them together on site, they will reflect the identical design intent and the specifications of the most sophisticated site-built facility.
At Harwal, we want to tell you some of the benefits of modular construction in our post today. So whatever you think about prefabricated buildings, you must know that modular constructions are greener, faster and smarter!
Modular constructions are greener
Nowadays, it is extremely important to take care of the environment. If a factory-controlled process is used, it will generate less waste. Moreover, it will create less site disturbances and it will allow a tighter construction.
Greater Flexibility and Reuse of Materials
One of the benefits of modular constructions is that they can be disassembled and the modules relocated or refurbished for giving them a new use. This way, the demand for raw materials is reduced and the amount of energy expended to create a building is minimized to meet the new need.
Less Material Waste
If you use modular constructions for building in a factory, the waste is eliminated by recycling the materials, controlling the inventory and protecting the building materials.
Improved Air Quality
The potential for high levels of moisture trapped in the new construction is eliminated due to the modular structure. The moisture can be considerably reduced by using dry materials in a factory-controlled setting.
Modular constructions are faster
The construction of modular units occurs at the same time with site work. This fact, allows that these projects are completed in half of the time than traditional constructions.
Reduced Construction Schedule
The projects can be completed from a 30% to a 50% faster than traditional constructions, because the construction of modular units can occur at the same time with the site and foundation work.
Elimination of Weather Delays
Between a 60 and a 90% of the construction is made inside a factory. This fact diminishes the risk of suffering from weather delays. This means that the buildings can be are occupied earlier — creating this way a faster return of the investment.
Built to Code with Quality Materials
Modular constructions are built to meet or exceed the same building codes and standards as classic site building structures. Furthermore, the materials used in modular construction projects are the same as the ones specified by the architect used in a conventional building construction — wood, concrete and steel among others.
Modular constructions are smarter
As we have mentioned before, modular constructions are built with the same materials as traditional construction — and they keep the same building codes and the same architectural specifications. Once they are assembled, they are practically indistinguishable from their site-built correlatives.
If you practice the indoor construction environment, you will be able to minimize the risk of suffering accidents and you will improve the related liabilities for your workers.
Better Engineered Building and Building Information Modeling
Permanent Modular Constructions (PMC) relies on advanced Building Information Modeling (BIM) for visualization to assess the energy needed for the performance and identify the most economical efficiency measures. PMC is the best option for using this technology due to the construction process is already a great collaboration of systems, materials and people.
Limitless Design Opportunities
Modular units have to be designed to fit with external aesthetics of any existing building and modular constructions. Once assembled, they are practically indistinguishable from any other site-building.
The two types of modular constructions
There are two existing types of modular construction — the permanent modular construction and the relocatable building. Let’s see the differences between them.
Permanent Modular Construction
The Permanent Modular Construction (or PMC) is an innovative and sustainable construction delivery method. The PMC uses the offsite, leans manufacturing techniques to prefabricate whole building solutions in module sections.
PMC modules can be integrated into site built projects or stand by their own as a solution and they can be delivered with MEP (Mechanical, electrical and plumbing). This solution allows that the fittings and the interior can be finished in less time. Furthermore, they can be finished with less waste and higher quality control compared to other projects that only use site-built construction.
A recent research executed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the National Research Council has supported the fact that modular constructions are efficient construction processes and its aim is to help the construction industry grow.
“Manufacturing building components off-site provides for more controlled conditions and allows for improved quality and precision in the fabrication of the component.” – National Institute of Standards and Technology and the National Research Council
Relocatable Buildings (Non-permanent modular construction)
According to the Modular Building Institute, Relocatable Buildings (RB) are assembled buildings that complies with applicable codes or state regulations and is constructed in a building manufacturing facility using a modular construction process.
RB are designed to be reused multiple times. It is quite easy, because they can be transported to different building sites. They are used for schools, medical clinics, construction site offices, sales centers, and in any application where a relocatable building can meet a space needed for a concrete period of time.
These buildings give you the chance to enjoy a fast delivery, an easy relocation, a low-cost reconfiguration, accelerated depreciation schedules and a huge flexibility. These buildings are crucial if you are looking for speed, temporary space, and ability to relocate.
At Harwal, we want to provide you the best building materials and systems — but apart from that, we want you to have the best information about the sector. So, if you have any doubts about modular constructions or about anything else, don’t hesitate to contact us! We will be pleased to help you anytime.