The Modular Construction in the Industry
Modular construction is the rising star of the 21st century. Modular construction is a design process where a building will be divided into modules, which can either be assembled side-by-side, end-to-end or stacked. Modular construction is adaptable to anyone’s needs, be it individual, or professional. The modules are efficient, comfortable, reliable, and solid. Created in a factory, they come pre-equipped with components that just need to be linked on site.
In some countries, such as the UK and Australia, modular homes are becoming increasingly accepted, although they remain uncommon. In Japan, the concept is gaining popularity due to the constant improvement both in design and quality, as well the capacity to easily be rebuilt in case of earthquakes. In some cases, a modular home looks [just like](https://www.huduser.gov/portal/Publications/pdf/Perceptions_of_factory_construction.pdf) an ordinary home.
Have you ever wondered whether modular construction was a good fit for you or your company? Let’s take a walk.
Building modules remotely allows for a reduction in the amount of construction workers during the construction process. The quick assembly on-site doesn’t require as much manpower or materials. This reduction of labour costs has a direct impact on the final bill.
Modular construction is two folds: the construction of the modules off-site; and the construction of the foundation on-site. There is an evident gain of time since the work can be done simultaneously. The modules are being fabricated according to the client’s demands. Meanwhile, another team can work on prepping the area where the modules will be assembled. Once the modules are finished, they are transported onto the construction site, which has been prepped for the assembly. They can be transported easily. The modules are deposited on a lightweight foundation and juxtaposed against each other, like legos. The modules are quickly assembled on site. You can expect a shorter deadline, and decreased sound nuisance, since most of the work is completed off-site.
Modular building can comply with the regulations, such as electrical standards, performance standards, energy standards, and accessibility standards. Choosing modules doesn’t require a compromise on safety, or space, or efficiency. In fact, choosing modules doesn’t require much compromise at all, as it operates just like a regular building.
Modular buildings are just that - modular. It will be easy to add a level, change the setup of the design, add new blocks if needed. It is a versatile option that does not require a huge amount of work (or money) to modify when needed.
Since all modules are created in the same factory, quality-control can be optimized and done regularly. This results in an effective feedback loop, that can have direct repercussions on the quality of the modules.
Modular construction has a huge potential. It can be deconstructed, refurbished in another manner for another project. It can be relocated elsewhere. It can be reused for another purpose than its primary use. It can be sold, either as a unit or per module for new uses. Modular buildings are like Buzz Lightyear, they can be updated “to infinity... and beyond!”
In the introduction, we talked about Australia’s slow warming up to modular homes. This is explained by the massive scale of the continent, and the fact that building on-site can quickly get expensive. Modular homes and other types of buildings, can be delivered all over the country at a lower cost, even if it is built off-site and brought to the designated space afterwards. This allows for all the population to benefit from quality construction.
Reusing materials from one building to another reduces the demand for raw materials allows for the creation of a brand new building without needing to start everything from scratch. But even without reuses, building the same modules consistently allows the manufacturer to record the exact amount of material needed. According to the UK group WRAP, up to a [90% reduction](http://www.wrap.org.uk/sites/files/wrap/Modern%20Methods%20of%20Construction%20-%20Summmary.pdf) in materials can be achieved with modular construction.
Modules are, by design, small compartments that, stacked together, can create a whole building. Therefore, they are quite little, and these smaller shapes can be limiting for some events (large gatherings for instance). If having a large or very large space is important for you or your event, then modular building isn't for you.
Because of the way they are built, the aesthetic quality can leave something to be desired. Modular buildings will not follow a baroque style, or be ostentatious. They are practical buildings that have limits when it comes to interior design, so they may not be suitable for all purposes.
Modular construction entered the system after the [Second World War](https://www.designingbuildings.co.uk/wiki/Modular_buildings) when rebuilding was a priority. However, due to their unattractive exterior at the time, their use didn't become popular until recently. Nowadays, with their new look, they are the perfect alternative to regular buildings. The structure can hold steady from 10 to 50 years, not unlike classic structures. Variable both in size and configurations, able to support multi-storeys, they've become quite the trend. But their early reputation sticks to them, and it will take a few more years to turn the page.
In China, a hotel was created out of these [modular structures](https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/modular-building-china-commercial-construction). Standing tall at thirty storeys high, rivaling Brooklyn's [thirty-storey](https://www.designingbuildings.co.uk/wiki/Tower) residential building, these types of buildings could very well become part of our everyday environment in the near future.
Space Designer 3D’s capacity to act as a design tool is a great advantage to builders working with modular construction. You could modelize the various modules and let the customers create their own design, or try out various design options for their needs. On the end of the salesperson, a click of a mouse lets them change a module into another shape or change the configuration, saving precious time.
Take our [school in Saint Martin](https://www.spacedesigner3d.com/en/gallery/ecole-saint-martin), made up almost exclusively of containers. This project aims to provide those children with an easy-to-build yet resistant school made of containers that follows the anti-cyclonic construction constraints. Another example, that of a [residential building](https://www.spacedesigner3d.com/en/project/bfb70c737b263714eaca49712c6bf522a1afde76), which could also be a work office, created for the company [Marathon Modular](https://www.spacedesigner3d.com/en/project/bfb70c737b263714eaca49712c6bf522a1afde76) in Australia, showcases the various uses one can make of containers to create full-scale buildings. The stackable nature of the building allows for various colours schemes, arrangements, sizes and many options to recycle the modules once its purpose reaches an end.
Modular construction should be considered as a force to be reckoned with in the future, able to provide diverse options for construction both economically and aesthetically advantageous for all.