Years ago the idea of modular construction brought up images of trailers parked in place and temporary metal buildings that had a hard time staying warm. Hospitals and schools used to be the most prominent users of modular construction. However, an increased efficiency in the modular building business has started to take the focus away from stick building methods and towards these new building processes.
What Is Modular Building Or Construction?
Modular construction is the process of having all of the components of a structure pre-built in a secure and dry factory setting and then assembled at the job site. Most people who have seen modular construction have usually seen it used in association with the construction of a home. But as of 2016, nearly three percent of all commercial construction was done using modular methods. The use of modular construction is growing throughout the entire construction industry, and there are some very good reasons why modular is becoming the way to go.
An advantage that comes with this type of construction is that it saves time and money. Modular construction is done inside a climate-controlled factory where workers do not need to worry about battling the elements. Furthermore, construction companies do not have to worry about losing time to bad weather. Read our previous post about getting ready for winter weather here. It is estimated that a structure built using modular methods can be built 25 to 50 percent faster than standard stick building methods. This allows construction companies to save a tremendous amount of money on costs.
Questions That Arise With This Type Of Construction
One of the more significant concerns construction companies have about modular construction is that it could take jobs away from American workers. But the idea that foreign companies could create modular building segments that get used in American structures is not as threatening as many industry observers may think.
The shipping costs to get big modular building segments to the United States make the overall costs from foreign companies prohibitive. The other issue with foreign manufacturers is that they may use materials and methods that do not meet American building codes. It can be difficult to convince foreign modular construction companies to alter their methods to meet American specifications. All this, therefore, lessens the fear of jobs being taken out of America.
A Degree Of Accuracy Is Required
One of the elements of modular construction that can drive construction companies crazy is how precise the site preparation has to be in order for a structure to be built properly. With stick building projects, an imperfect foundation can be corrected by making adjustments onsite. However, when a modular building is used, that foundation has to be accurately level to within one-half of an inch or the whole thing will need to be rebuilt. American construction companies have learned to adjust to this unique facet of modular construction, but the idea that one wrong move could ruin the entire project does become frustrating at times.
Resolving The Problem Of Similar Looking Buildings
Modular structures used to look very similar, regardless of the type of structure they were. But as technology advances, modular construction companies are finding ways to offer plenty of variety to their clients.
It is now possible for architects to design modular structures with curves and other shapes that could not be done before. The reason for this new innovation is the desire for modular construction companies to capture more of the commercial market. This type of construction was almost solely done for residential construction until the 2008 recession. When residential housing fell off, modular manufacturers turned to the commercial construction world and have found an increasing amount of success there.
Modular construction still has some limitations based on the look and functionality of a structure. But if you are a construction company owner who is looking to save time and money on your next project, then you should take a long look at modular construction.
If you don’t want to go modular with an entire structure, then you can have your project’s heating, cooling, or plumbing systems built in advance and shipped after completed. Regardless of how you use modular construction, you can rest assured that you will save money on your next construction project.