The Advantages of Modular Construction

As an expert in the construction industry, I have seen firsthand the benefits of modular construction. This method, also known as external construction, involves assembling components in a factory under controlled conditions and then finishing them on site. It is also referred to as remote manufacturing for construction or OSM. Today's modular construction companies have advanced to a level of sophistication in design and construction that rivals traditional site-built structures, making it a popular choice for architects, developers, and property owners. Volumetric Building Companies (VBC), a world leader in the construction sector, is a prime example of a company that utilizes modular techniques to build the future.

Recently, VBC chose the Maestro Smart 9 heat pump as the ideal comfort solution for their modular housing project in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This project consists of 60 modular housing units and showcases the capabilities of modular construction. While modular construction has gained popularity in recent years, there are still barriers that need to be addressed for its widespread adoption. The public sector plays a crucial role in this by modernizing building codes and removing barriers to obtaining more housing. With advancements in CAD systems, additive manufacturing (3D printing), and manufacturing control systems, modular construction has become more efficient and precise.

Components are built off-site and then delivered to the desired location for installation into the final building design. The approval process for modular construction can be complex due to local and state building codes that may require additional inspections. However, the benefits of this method far outweigh any challenges. Superior quality and reduced completion time are just a few of the advantages that permanent or relocatable modular facilities offer to homeowners and institutions. These facilities can be used for education, healthcare, hospitality, and other commercial and government applications. Permanent modular buildings, such as prefab houses, are built to standards equal to or higher than traditional site-built properties.

This ensures high levels of quality control and makes them a reliable option for various construction needs. The hybrid construction approach of combining modular and traditional methods allows for additional requirements to be met that may not be achievable through the exclusive use of a modular building. There are different types of modular construction, including “flat package” solutions, façade systems, and those where most of the construction is completed off-site before being delivered and assembled. While modular construction was once associated with temporary structures, advancements in quality, design, and size have expanded its applications. A relocatable building is another type of modular construction that involves building structures with a completion level of 80% or higher on the manufacturing floor, including interior and exterior finishes. Modular buildings are structures that are built in a factory before being transported to the site for assembly.

This method is not only efficient but also allows for flexibility in design and functionality. Whether it is a stand-alone installation or an addition to an existing structure, modular building construction is a proven method for creating functional and adaptable buildings that can integrate into any environment. Terms such as “off-site construction”, “prefabrication”, and “modular construction” are often used interchangeably. However, they all refer to the same method of building structures off-site before assembling them on location. As an expert in the industry, I can confidently say that modular construction offers numerous benefits and is a reliable option for various construction needs.

Kaitlin Schwisow
Kaitlin Schwisow

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