Both in the United States and abroad, modular construction companies are making the news. In the United States and Europe, many companies are struggling to build enough residential and commercial buildings to fit demand. These companies are turning to modular construction to make their timelines and budgets. As 2018 continues, the construction industry will see an increase in modular construction units and companies.
What is Modular Construction?
Modular construction is an off-site production of specific units. These units can be structural or decorative, from prefabricated concrete walls to a fitted bathroom. These structures can be permanent or relocatable and use the same materials as traditional construction. The units are built in factories to the job’s specifications using local and national construction standards then are transported to the site for installation.
While modular construction companies use the same materials as traditional construction they use less material overall. They can accomplish this because they produce units in factory conditions. Many modular construction companies, such as Mobile Modular, use recyclable materials when they prefabricate units. This way they also reduce the amount of waste left around.
How Modular Construction Saves Time and Money?
Modular construction companies can save construction companies a lot of time and money. Anecdotally, construction crews can put together student housing or hospice suites in a couple days rather than weeks or months. Using the building plans, a modular construction company can prefabricate everything from the exterior walls, supports, lay flooring, add ventilation, wiring and more. Once they’ve made everything at the factory it is transported to the site.
Factories and construction companies schedule transport and fabrication to match project timelines and ensure unit delivery and installation go smoothly. All the field crew has to do is assemble the pieces at the site. This reduces the number of field workers necessary at a site and can cut back on the overall cost of labor. It also reduces some of the human error in building, reducing the need for change orders and other unexpected expenditures.
Which Industries Benefit the Most from Modular Construction?
Marriot International chose to build a 97 room hotel using almost entirely modular construction. Modular construction companies experienced renewed interest since the hotel’s completion two months ahead of schedule. While many European countries use modular and prefabricated construction for their residential construction, the United States primarily uses it in commercial construction. However, since the increase in residential housing projects with limited resources and manpower, many believe that modular construction could be the solution.
Changes in Modular Construction?
One of the big changes to modular construction is the technology around the design and fabrication process. Using BIM software, or other construction design software, companies can create an accurate working model of the site. This model can be distributed to the modular construction companies. Modular construction companies can take the designs and fabricate each needed part to the design’s specifications. This way unit will fit together properly, which can reduce time and costs.
Since modular construction companies adhere to the same building codes and standards as other construction companies, the units are structurally sound. Of course, modular units can be temporary or permanent, and standards will differ between the two. But with the changes in lightweight and sturdy building materials modular construction is more transportable than ever.
Why Modular Construction Companies are Increasingly Popular?
Modular construction has many benefits, but it won’t work for every project. One of the main problems with modular construction is that once an order is placed any additions of changes can be very difficult. Modular construction and prefabrication isn’t a good option if there will be last minute changes. It also currently isn’t good for mixed-use or office buildings since these buildings tend to change the space over time to fit tenants.
Construction projects are notoriously long, whether residential or commercial. It’s possible to reduce project completion times through modular construction. This is causing an increase in companies turning to modular construction companies for projects that require multiple of the exact same unit. For commercial projects such as student housing, hospitals, and hotels, modular construction is finding its niche. Modular construction can be a great benefit to projects requiring multiple cloned units.