Modular construction has gained so much popularity over the years because it addresses people’s concerns with conventional construction. Multiple factors can affect the structure you’re building, and it can be challenging to have everything it needs on-site. Here are some of the most significant advantages that you can get from using modules or prefabricated units for your projects:
1. MODULAR CONSTRUCTION OFFER BETTER QUALITY STRUCTURES
As processes became more streamlined and modular construction gained more traction, manufacturers employed stricter quality control over their assembly lines
Previously, the wood used on-site may not be protected from elements that can make it less ideal for the structure. It may not be evident at first, but problems may occur year after its construction due to a small oversight.
Issues similar to this and the continuous improvement in modular construction allowed manufacturers to offer better quality than those built on-site. Since modules are in a controlled environment, manufacturers have a better way of ensuring their quality. They’ve also streamlined the modules’ production, ensuring that their clients will always get the best quality that they can produce.
The only thing that the builder needs is to assemble these modules on-site, leaving minimal room for error. When used correctly, which is almost always the case, these modular buildings may have a longer lifespan that those built on-site.
2. MODULAR CONSTRUCTION IS CHEAPER AND MORE EFFICIENT
Sometimes, the project gets too big that it requires you to have subcontractors and other expenses that can drastically increase the project’s cost. This issue has been an unfair advantage when it comes to the cost because and on-site facility requires various things, adding to the total cost. Modular construction only needs to produce the same parts, making it more scalable. Since builders don’t need these modules for ongoing construction, they can order materials in bulk, further reducing their cost.
Aside from the modules’ cost, there’s also less downtime when you’re working on modular construction making everyone more efficient.
3. NO POSSIBILITY OF WEATHER DELAY
Furthermore, by fabricating the modules inside a controlled environment, worries about weather delaying construction of the modular units is virtually eliminated. It also provides workers safer and more comfortable conditions to be more productive and produce a higher quality product. Also, the modules arrive on-site usually outfitted with flooring, cabinets, counters, plumbing and electrical fixtures, and appliances, thereby needing little effort and time to be ready for use.
4. LOW VOLUME OF WASTE
According to a recent UK study, up to a 90% reduction in materials can be achieved with modular building. With the environment being a growing concern in the construction industry, modular strategies are becoming more popular to limit the amount of waste on each project. There are even efforts to maximize recycling within factories that put the building portions together.
CHALLENGES OF MODULAR CONSTRUCTION
Modular construction sounds progressive and remarkably advantageous. Yet, as with other construction methods, there are some real challenges that can affect success or failure of your modular project.
1. MASS PRODUCTION/LIMITED VARIETY
The only way for these modules to reach the site is by using trucks to transport them. In turn, this process limits the maximum size of modules that you can for the structure. Wherever the construction is, the maximum size for module will only be 4.87m wide and 22.86m long. It’s the size that trucks can carry, so you’ll have to be creative with your design to make bigger rooms or just settle with the standard sizes.
2. HIGHER AMOUNT OF COMPLEX DECISIONS/ FRONT LOADED DESIGN
It requires architects, engineers and contractors to be familiar with the intricacies of the modular fabrication and erection stages. For instance, the taller the building (higher modules stacked) the more attention is needed to how they are connected together to be aligned and how both modules and the exterior skin will allow for compression. This front-loaded design process forces buyers and owners to make final selections on things like finishes and appliances so they can be purchased well before the work even begins.
3. SITE CONSTRAINTS
Having a site where you want to build your structure doesn’t mean that modular construction can serve you. Keep in mind the two following factors:
• If your land is irregular shaped, meaning it’s not rectangular and doesn’t fit the modules, then you can’t use them. Unlike on-site construction that starts from the development stage, modular construction won’t adjust to the shape of your land – id it doesn’t fit, they can’t do anything about it.
4. DIFFICULT FINANCING PROCESS
Since modular construction requires purchasing and making things on a faster timeline, the bills are usually much larger earlier in the construction period than investors and lenders may be used to seeing and paying. Therefore, take time to work with the manufacturer and contractor to understand the amounts and timing of anticipated funding (create a projection by month) and update it as the project unfolds.
This will help to make sure that adequate monies are available to keep the job going and prevent mechanic’s liens. A related item is that someone representing the contractor, owner and bank should plan to visit the factory at stages of production to make sure that funds are being invested into your modules and not into somebody else’s (this is applicable for any type of funding of stored materials and pre-fabricated purchases).
While modular construction is beneficial in certain circumstances, it’s not without challenges and isn’t the answer for every project. However, we’re certain that you’ll be seeing a lot more modular and off-site construction performed into the future.