Modular Building Systems is a method of construction, not a building type. It greatly differs from temporary buildings, such as construction trailers or mobile homes. These are custom-designed commercial buildings just like their site-built counterparts. Using modular does not change the design, structural system, or finish materials options available to the owner and architect. The only difference is in the method of construction.
After the design is finalized with an architect, construction plans are sent to a factory where the majority of the building is erected. Development team then uses prefabricated elements for as many building components as possible. Everything from walls and mechanical systems to painting and carpet can be completed on the assembly line. The difference is that 60% to 90% of modular buildings are completed offsite in a controlled production environment, including all MEP, fixtures, and interior finishes
While modules are assembled at the factory, site work can begin at the same time, such as laying the foundation or prepping utility connections. This greatly decreases the time needed for total construction. A modular build is often completed 30-50% faster than conventional structures.
Once the modules are ready, they are shipped to the site and fastened together. The final construction stage includes completing exterior systems such as cladding and roofing components and internal spaces like lobbies, stairwells, and elevator shafts.The beauty of the finished building is that occupants will not be able to tell how the structure was built.
60% reduction in build time
Exceeds Energy Code by 33% on average
Scalable design to meet future enrollment growth
Superior acoustic environment
Able to develop in Multiple Markets
This technique can produce a single building, an addition, or a campus setting, but it is most beneficial for projects with highly repetitive spaces. Think of duplicate rooms common to schools, dorms, offices, apartment housing, senior living, and hotels.
Modular construction has also been used for standalone buildings, such as banks, chain restaurants, satellite bureaus, and retail. Any building without irregular layouts or large expanses will benefit.
The only limitations to size are those dictated by material use and code. For example, the world’s tallest modular building in NYC is over 33 stories and under construction. Buildings can occupy any square footage specified and are easy to expand. Modular construction is also a great way to add an addition onto a traditional building.
The Core Benefits From factory precision to faster installation, modular construction offers an attractive range of advantages:
1) MORE Efficient Scheduling: One of the greatest benefits is the ability to dramatically reduce the time needed for construction. Factory efficiencies allow building components to be completed quickly and without weather delays. No more contracting with multiple crews – the factory has all of the key player’s onsite to handle multiple building requirements.This makes modular construction suitable for owners who need buildings quickly, properties with hard dates for occupancy, and areas where seasonal weather restricts or even halts construction.
2) IMPROVEMENT on jobsite Nearly completed modules ease the need for site equipment and staging areas, making them ideal for complicated sites. Perhaps your property is in a remote location or has accessibility difficulties. You may be in an urban or campus setting and have a narrow building site. Modular construction is likewise a great alternative for areas where an experienced or affordable labor force is difficult to come by.PMC affords a cleaner worksite with fewer disruptions. With the majority of work completed offsite, issues such as noise, dust, debris, and weather complications are greatly reduced.The lower numbers of people, equipment, and traffic at the worksite also decreases the number of construction hazards. The chance for accidents and related liabilities caused by such a volume of people.
3) JOBSITE Waste Reduction: Because the factory process decreases the potential for errors, material use is more carefully monitored. By controlling inventory, resources and building materials are better protected. An assembly line also offers more opportunities for recycling throughout the process.Modular really works well with lean construction – it’s engineered to cut out any construction waste. For example, steel studs are usually cut to a standard length and shipped to a jobsite where they’re cut to the needed size. Instead of wasting 2 feet of metal, the studs are created on the factory line to the exact length required.”
4) DEVELOPER Quality Control: Just like a car assembly line, a prefabricated building module has built-in quality checks. Modular building factories are dedicated to crafting highly effective buildings with inspections at each station, eliminating on-the-fly decisions or unexpected complications that can occur in the field.The construction process is carefully engineered to create a sequence of steps that is repeated precisely on every module. After installation, capital improvements to extend the building’s life, such as HVAC or roof replacements can be made on the same schedule as a conventional building. The same maintenance and inspection requirements common to traditional facilities will also apply to modular buildings.
WHAT are modular buildings ? are comparable to buildings strictly built onsite in terms of quality, life span, and materials used for construction. They are not intended to be relocated, though individual modules can be replaced.
5) LONG term sustainability As with traditional buildings, modular construction easily incorporates sustainability. Specify the use of recycled materials, LED lighting, high-efficiency mechanical systems, and sustainably harvested wood and low-flow fixtures just as you normally would.While the process itself affords more opportunities for sustainability, other green benefits include:
Improved IAQ – Moisture reduction, use of dry materials, and time for off-gassing result in fewer VOCs.
Compatible with LEED – Modular buildings can compete in the same categories as traditionally built ones. They can even yield an advantage in credits for Sustainable Sites, Materials and Resources, and Energy and Atmosphere.
Reusable – Whether you need a new layout or your building has been damaged, modular buildings can be disassembled so individual modules can be replaced or refurbished.
Tighter Envelope – PMC typically results in a tighter envelope, which improves energy efficiency. This is due to the durability required for transportation and the lack of weather complications such as moisture and water intrusion.
Renewable Energy – Modular construction can accommodate alternative energy sources, from solar panels to a geoexchange system. Buildings can also be designed so renewable energy can be added down the road.
“Greater use of prefabrication, preassembly,modularization, and off-site fabrication techniques and processes. It has created the implementing of greener processes using these materials to build and deliver more a sophisticated and complex building type.
More and more customers are turning to modular for multi-story, steel framed structures, health care facilities, educational structures, and large scale military projects.Always known for its time saving advantages, modular is now being recognized for being a more resource efficient and greener process to build with.
Turn to USModular, Inc. for more information on the modular build process.