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Modular buildings: the advantages & disadvantages

Posted on 22/11/2018 at 10:30 AM by in Blog

Modular construction has taken the industry by storm, but how much do you know about the concept?

In an ever-changing construction industry, we are always seeing new concepts and ideas floating around. With the drive to find better and efficient ways to do things, we are always looking for the next big idea.

The concept of modular buildings is becoming more and more popular, so we’ve decided to take a look into everything surrounding this new craze.

What is modular construction?

Modular construction is the idea of constructing a building off-site and bringing it in once the work is complete.

Modular buildings can be created and assembled with the same materials and specifications as traditional construction, but in a factory away from the project site. After the structure has been completed, the sections will be transported to the project site and assembled shortly after.

The idea is basically to plan, design and fabricate everything off-site, with the aim of finishing projects in a shorter amount of time.

What are the benefits?

One of the main benefits to using modular construction techniques over traditional is that the work can generally be completed a lot faster, suffering from far less delays than the average project might.

We all know that projects can often get delayed because of a multitude of reasons, with weather conditions being one of the more frequent reasons. By assembling everything inside of a factory, the weather no longer becomes an issue and the work can be completed at an accelerated rate.

Modular projects have been known to be completed up to 50% faster than traditional construction methods, according to research. This kind of reliability can prove to be very useful when trying to successfully plan a project.

Using modular construction methods is also a very affordable option as well, for similar reasons as we’ve just mentioned. Delays are not only time consuming, but costly too, resulting in more money being spent on wages and potentially new materials.

Being able to use the same materials to build a modular building takes significantly less time to construct, therefore resulting in a reduction of costs, which is a positive for everyone involved.

Another benefit to building everything in sections is the reduced amount of injuries and accidents happening on-site.

As we’ve previously mentioned, construction sites can be potentially dangerous, so trying to find ways to reduce these risks only makes sense.

By manufacturing everything away from the project site, you eliminate a lot of the risks to injury not only to the workers but to the general public as well. Falling materials or harmful fumes can lead to potentially fatal injuries, so carrying out a large amount of the work away from the public is definitely a positive.

Modular construction is a very safe way of doing things, and you can rely on vigorous checks in the factory to ensure that parts will not leave the factory unless they are 100% perfect.

What is the environmental impact?

Due to the shorter construction timeframes, the amount of carbon emissions being produced will be much lower. This makes modular construction a much more environmentally friendly and sustainable way of making buildings, taking up to 67% less energy to manufacture.

According to research, off-site construction sees a 40% carbon footprint reduction compared to on-site construction.

A huge benefit to modular buildings is the fact that they can essentially be relocated without much trouble. This kind of flexibility comes in handy when trying to move, and being split into parts means that it doesn’t go to waste if the building is no longer needed, often being used for other purposes.

Another added bonus to constructing everything off-site is the noise pollution, or should we say lack of it. Construction sites can be really loud thanks to heavy machinery and large groups of people trying to work, but it’s not just the workers that have to put up with it.

Being able to manufacture everything away from the general public will result in a drastic drop in noise pollution, and will benefit all of the surrounding areas. Less noise means less complaints, and less time wasted on dealing with issues surrounding the amount of noise being produced.

With construction companies always trying to find ways to be more environmentally friendly, we think this might just be the answer.

What are the disadvantages?

With every pro comes a con, and while modular construction does have many benefits, it also has a few potential things that could set it back.

For example, a disadvantage to using modular construction methods could be having to restrict sizes due to transportation issues. Having very large sections to transport to the project site could prove to be troublesome.

Another issue that modular buildings are currently facing is the lack of faith in the quality of the properties, therefore resulting in a reduced resell value. There is a certain stigma surrounding modular construction, with many people believing that traditionally built properties have the upper hand as far as the quality of the build.

We could see a change in this opinion as modular building becomes a more popular method, but only time will tell.


Will modular construction become the blueprint for future projects? Is it simply a new phase that doesn’t hold up to traditional methods?

We’re excited to see what the future holds for the construction industry, and will continue to report on any interesting advances as far as modular buildings go.

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