The elements of the type of construction that are commonly known as “turnkey” are produced in-house through an industrial process and under a series of controlled conditions that guarantee high quality, flexibility and short delivery times, improving the economy considerably.
Modular technology is developed continuously every day, and the interest and awareness of architects in this type of construction is increasing.
The modular construction is becoming an attractive alternative in more and more areas, and turns out to be necessary to meet the future needs of homes, offices and service buildings.
There is compelling evidence that modular building is the way to go for all new construction-related projects.
It’s almost safe to say that anyone can’t tell the difference between modular construction and on-site construction.
But the most important thing about this whole thing is how modular buildings really help people who will surely notice the difference: the owners, developers and municipalities that reap the benefits of modular construction.
What is a modular building construction?
To get the concept even clearer, it is important to say that prefab modular buildings are basically a regular wood frame building that is only built with prefab room modules in a controlled factory environment.
It is an environmentally friendly way of constructing regular buildings because there is almost no waste produced, there is little or no disturbance on site, and the main building material, which happens to be wood, is a renewable natural resource.
It is important to mention that modular construction follows the same standards as on-site construction and due to regular testing at the factory, the constructions are usually even better than the built-on-site.
Why is modular construction gaining so much popularity?
Modular construction services is known and has been used efficiently and profitably for decades.
This type of construction is becoming more popular every day due to:
The technological revolution
The use of digital modeling along with new manufacturing techniques have expanded the vision and change is naturally modular construction.
Decrease in skilled labor
Modular construction alleviates the labor problem as fewer workers are needed to lift and finish the job.
The perfect combination for growth
The combination of new technological possibilities, increased quality standards , customer demands and the desire for a faster return on investment are aspects that modular construction easily encompasses.
Building materials for modular buildings
The two modular construction materials used in the structural frames of most units are wood and steel, with the latter being the one that has the most unique advantages.
When the first modular-type constructions were made, wood was the favorite construction material, and today, in fact, it is still the most used to carry out this type of project, because it is a material that can be obtained in abundance and because its initial costs are much cheaper.
However, wood frame modular buildings have different types of limitations that can be more costly for long-term repairs.
Its main disadvantages are:
- Strength – Lacks the strength needed to support large construction projects, especially multi-story ones
- Safety: Wood is flammable and vulnerable to fire, which could seriously damage the structural integrity of the building causing a total collapse.
- Durability – It has a tendency to warp over time, resulting in lower-quality build in the years after completion. Combined with its susceptibility to pests and mold, wood can be the most expensive option in the long term, considering repair costs.
- Sustainability: it is one of the most wasted materials used in modern construction.
The other great material choice for building modular frames is steel, with several significant advantages over wood.
The advantages of using steel are as follows:
- Strength – Due to their strength, modular unit frames constructed of steel can support taller structures.
- Safety: Steel is known to be a non- combustible material, which makes it one of the safest options and also helps reduce the risk of serious structural damage due to fire.
- Durability: Steel is a material resistant to warping, pests and mold, which means that construction with this material can better preserve its strength and quality for much longer than wood, without the need for significant repairs.
- Sustainability: Steel is one of the most widely used construction materials, with an average of only 2% wasted during the course of a project.