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Understanding Modular Construction
For centuries, people have invented and reinvented machines over and over again with a goal of convenience and efficiency in mind. Simultaneously, the construction industry has seen it’s fair share of advancements. In today’s world, modular construction has revolutionized the construction industry and forever changed the building process.
Modular Construction: What Is It?
Most machines are assembled piece by piece, meaning that each part is made separately and each complete component is placed in conjunction with the rest until a finished product is accomplished. This process can be considered one of modules or, several steps, ensuring a final product identical to the plan of origin.
By definition, modular construction is when a building is constructed part-by-part away from the site and later assembled at the designated site. In comparison to “traditional construction”, every step, standard, and tool used remains the same. The only difference being that every aspect of a modularly constructed building is built separately off site and only put together once each piece is complete.
Advantages Of Using Modular Construction
There are three main advantages to utilizing modular construction.
Constructing buildings in a modular cultivation facility doesn’t generate as much waste as the traditional method of building on site. When each part of a building is designed and constructed separately, materials are better protected from the elements and therefore better utilized. In addition, since the parts of the building are constructed in a cultivation facility instead of on-site, any wasted materials left over can be recycled and reused for future building opportunities.
When construction takes place in a cultivation facility, materials are better kept dry. Minimizing the amount of moisture in building materials increases the air quality of the final building.
Another benefit of modular construction is the ability to disassemble or remove any module of the final building, making renovations, expansions or even relocations less costly and allowing the same materials to be refurbished and used again. A lesser need for raw materials also decreases the amount of energy exhausted for the construction.
A modular building takes half the time to construct than a on-site construction. With modular construction, the site can be prepared and the modules can be built simultaneously. Another contribution to the speed of modular construction is the removal of weather related delays.
When modules are built in the controlled setting of a cultivation facility, the risks of accidents, miscalculations, and other worker-related mishaps are reduced.
Modular Vs Site-Built Construction Schedules
Every construction process starts with Design & Engineering followed by Permits & Approvals stage. As mentioned, modular construction allows for multiple construction stages to be undertaken simultaneously. For example, the next stages of Plant Construction and Site Development & Foundations can be done at the same time at different locations. From there, Install & Restoration is done, marking the end of the project and saving the rest of the time.
However, for site-built buildings, the Site Development & Foundations and Plant Construction cannot happen at the same time. They have to be done one after the other. After that, Site Restoration is done. All these stages consume much more time as compared to modular construction.
Varieties Of Modular Construction
There are two types of modular construction techniques: permanent and relocatable.
With Permanent Modular Construction (PMC), new modules can be integrated into an existing site-built buildings or occupy their separate space as stand-alone solutions. PMC modules ensure a higher quality, energy efficient, time saving final product when compared to on-site construction.
Relocatable Buildings (RB) are also available. With a RB module the ability to disassemble, relocate and reassemble or even repurpose become possible. Typically, RBs are utilized for schools, medical clinics, site offices, or any temporary need.