In recent years, modular integrated houses can be considered an assembly technology in the field of construction. The construction of houses is mainly assembled using pre-made modular construction, which has the advantages of dexterity in assembly and easy construction.
What exactly is a modular building?
Modular construction is a process in which buildings are built off-site and controlled under factory conditions, using the same materials and designed to the same specifications and standards as traditional building facilities, but in half the time. Modular construction is also a bit like a generic term, and it includes several different types of buildings.
Volumetric modular buildings, whole or part of a room — including walls, floors, and ceilings — are built in a factory environment and then transported to the final site for assembly. This type of building is suitable for both permanent and movable modular projects, including non-movable buildings and movable buildings; such as hotels and temporary classrooms.
Panel building refers to the process of constructing interior/exterior wall panels in a factory environment, then transporting them to the construction site and arranging them on the construction site. The rest of the building was built on site.
What are the advantages of modular construction compared to traditional construction methods? Can it really save costs?
Modular construction certainly saves costs, but that’s not its main benefit. The main benefits of modular construction are time savings and a faster return on investment. Since modular buildings allow the industrial assembly to occur at the same time as site preparation, the total time of the building structure can be greatly shortened. Usually, when the site is ready (foundation leveling, pipe laying, concrete pouring, etc.), the modules built in the factory can be placed. For example, a modular hotel can open 30%-50% earlier than a conventionally built hotel and start generating revenue.
Other benefits include improved worker safety (workers all work in a safe, controlled environment rather than at unstable altitudes or less controlled environments), increased productivity, and increased certainty of progress (with modular construction, the chances of delayed changes and weather delays are greatly reduced), and increased cost predictability.
Modular construction is considered a more sustainable option than traditional construction methods for the following reasons:
More flexibility and reusability. Modular buildings can be dismantled, and modules can be relocated or renovated for new uses, reducing the need for raw materials and minimizing energy consumption to meet new needs.
Less material waste. Eliminate waste by recycling materials, controlling inventories, and protecting building materials when constructing factories.
Improves air quality. Since the modular structure is basically done in a factory-controlled environment using dry materials, the possibility of large amounts of moisture in the new structure is eliminated.
Can it be used for any type of construction? In what cases is it more convenient to choose a modular structure over a traditional approach?
Any type of building can be built modular. But for this to happen, the building must be conceived and designed this way. When time is of the essence or space is precious, modular structures are usually chosen.
In Europe, for example, urban areas are often restricted by roads and other buildings, so traditional construction (bringing materials and workers to the site for a long time) can be discouraging. With a modular structure, you need a crane and fewer people to build the building in less time. Also, in narrow urban areas, reducing noise pollution is an added benefit.
What are the specific technical requirements for adopting it? Are there safety requirements or design restrictions?
Traditional construction can be a smoother process, in which design changes are introduced even after construction begins (which often leads to delays), while modular buildings require design professionals to collaborate and get their work done ahead of time. It is in this process that modular buildings — especially permanent ones — often rely on advanced BIM to assess energy performance and determine the most cost-effective efficiency measures. The design is then handed over to the manufacturer for industrial prefabrication and construction.
In terms of design limitations, modular buildings are built according to the same building codes and specifications as traditional buildings and are almost indistinguishable from “stick” buildings. The modular structure can be used anywhere, from single-family homes to multi-story office buildings.
Throughout the prefabricated building industry, prefabricated construction results in shorter construction times, better quality, less reliance on subcontractors, and less trucking, thus reducing pressure on local infrastructure, reducing waste, reducing cost overruns and stronger schedule control.
Like toy structures made of LEGO bricks, modular buildings can be configured in almost any way; like the latter, the parts that make up the structure are prefabricated on the factory assembly line.