Five Reasons Why Off-site Modular Construction is the New Favorite
What is Off-site Modular Construction
Up until the last decade, we have always known construction business is to be conducted on project site. However, with the advent of technology, a new method of building has come up. This is called Off-site Modular Construction, and it is shaking the construction industry at the roots.
In this process, portions of a building are constructed in remote factories or fields that are specifically set up for that purpose. They are built using the same design and materials - but since they are being built in a factory for that express purpose, the construction takes about half the time. These “modules” are then carried off to the project site and are assembled there to reflect the original design of the entire project.
Growth in Modular Construction Business
There has been an increased demand for off-site modular construction, ever since the construction industry has rebounded up since 2013. Experts project that the market has progressed by 26% between 2014 to 2017.
An estimate is that the projected growth for the period 2018 to 2020 is by 4% every year. Such promising verticals can be associated with the resurgence in sectors such as education, offices, and retail. It is also a gift from with increased market for locality accommodation on infrastructure projects.
Architects, developers, and constructors are all gradually becoming aware of the plethora of benefits offered by technological innovations associated with the modular construction industry. From hotels, retail, offices, public buildings, apartment blocs to simple homes - all sorts of construction projects can be assembled with offsite modular structures.
This method of building is a favorable alternative to regular on-site construction, and it is durable and cost-effective. The main reason for that is the offsite modular building offers great quality and flexibility. It is also faster to finish the project with fewer expenses. Also, when it comes to counting the environmental impact and guaranteeing sustainability, there is no match for off-site construction methods.
Advantages of Off-site Modular Construction
Modular construction is quickly breaking records with the modern constructors and civil engineers. Here are 5 reasons why prefab buildings are so popular today.
Better quality assurance
A modular constructor’s numero uno priority is to provide quality products and quality service. Due to the modules being built under standardized process and training and in facilities set up for that express purpose, the quality of the modules and, in turn, the building, becomes greater than the older on-site process, which has to be customized for each project and site. Furthermore, the use of the latest technology for taking accurate measurements practically eliminates the potential margin for error present with traditional construction methods. On top of that, multiple quality checks and stringent condition investigations are performed on each module both in the constructor facility and on the project site. This ensures that the final building meets the quality standards and safety requirements or even exceeds expectations.
Faster building process
Since the modules are produced in a designated facility, the hazards of on-site production, for example, weather issues, subcontractor delays, or security problems, are nil in this process. Also, the ready-made modules are built altogether with the most updated electrical and plumbing fittings and are given the trendy finishes even before assembly. This makes the construction process faster than ever since the builder does not need to worry about going step-by-step with attachments to the structures - it all comes prefabricated. Also, if a project is planned to have multiple buildings of the same type, or the buildings can be divided into exactly similar modules, the similar modules can be produced en mass and faster than assembly can finish. This enables the crew to erect multiple buildings at once within a very short time. On average, a building can be finished 50% faster with the modular process than it would be with the on-site process.
Light on the pocket
Modular buildings are significantly cheaper to create than conventional structures due to standardization, reusability, and the availability of ready-made blocs. Modular structures can be erected at 10% to 35% less cost than it would be in the on-site process. A major factor in play here is the reduced number of manpower required to make the building. There are also significantly less transport, machinery, and fuel required in the modular process. Not to mention that any standardized process creates much less waste than a customized process - and traditionally all buildings were custom-made. This ensures much lower expenses. For example, If a building constructed via traditional methods would cost $1000 to $3500 per square meter, It would cost around $800 to $2000/m2. What’s more, if you choose to utilize recycled modules for that building, the cost might drop to even $250-700/m2.
Reducing the environmental impact of a process is one of the prime factors in any project today due to emerging meteorological situations. Therefore, all developers, architects, and constructors must take into account how their project is going to impact nature. Better than traditional construction, the off-site modular construction process creates much less carbon footprint. The majority of the prefabrication process is performed indoors, so the dust, smoke, and gasses exerted by the module construction can be filtered off easily. Most of the modular constructors abide by the codes of green building certifications such as the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method. The designs, specifications, module construction, and site assembly are all guided by the best practice standards from these codes. Also, as stated above, standardized processing creates much less waste than the on-site method. This ensures the best environmental performance for off-site modular constructions. Not only that, most prefabricated buildings are almost 100% recyclable.
Since the construction process in the traditional on-site method is performed in steps and is highly customized, it consumes a lot of energy in tools and lighting, and a lot of fuel in transport and some machinery. But the off-site modular construction requires much less energy since they create modules en masse, and they also require much less fuel in transport since only the finished modules get transported to the project site, not much more. According to one study, modular construction cuts power usage by up to 67% and reduces transportation needs by up to 90%. Also, the short build time ensures that much less time is spent on projects increasing energy savings. Modular buildings are noticeably much more sustainable and energy-efficient as well, due to the use of recyclable materials, installation of energy-efficient glass, solar panels and other green features.
The flexibility, cost-effectiveness, low construction time, and eco-friendliness of the off-site construction method is quickly making it very popular among modern builders. It can be predicted that in the near future prefabricated buildings may become the new norms.