If you’re looking for a solution to rising interest rates and construction prices, address skilled labor shortages, reduce jobsite waste and get projects done faster, modular construction may be the answer. However, many architects and engineers are hesitant to adopt this approach because they don’t want their design to be compromised or think that the technology lacks the functionality and flexibility to execute certain project typologies.
Modular construction essentially shifts the build process away from the jobsite and into a pre-fabricated factory setting where, for most buildings, 80 percent of the structure is made before it arrives on site. Groundworks and crucial onsite tasks still take place, but time savings can be massively significant—up to 50 percent.
Because the module fabrication takes place in a controlled environment, building delays caused by weather, materials shortages or even planning issues are eliminated. Moreover, offsite team members can work without interruption and the building modules are often fully outfitted with flooring, cabinets, plumbing, electrical and drywall before they arrive on site, eliminating further delays.
In addition to speeding up construction times, the reduced reliance on onsite resources helps minimize project cost overruns. In fact, many WoodWorks clients have seen project costs reduced by up to 30 percent through a modular construction uk approach. This is largely due to reduced rework and labor costs that come with time delays. The prefabrication process usually happens alongside initial design and early foundation construction, delivering a critical timesaving benefit. The simplified construction process also limits who’s needed onsite to execute on design plans and assemble modules, which further cuts overall project costs.
For example, the Good Samaritan pediatric trauma center in Long Island was built using modular construction to reduce the building schedule by 40 percent, saving substantial sums of money on contractor wages, mobilization and demobilization costs. By reducing the number of workers needed on site to operate heavy machinery or wait for construction equipment like cranes, the project was finished on time and on budget.
Another significant financial and environmental benefit is the reduction in carbon emissions. Many modular buildings are designed to be fabricated offsite, then transported to the site on flatbed trucks and craned onto a preset foundation. This significantly lowers the total number of deliveries to the site and slashes transportation-related carbon emissions, which are responsible for a large percentage of construction-related pollution.
Additionally, modular construction requires less storage of materials at the jobsite, which means fewer trips to and from the site, further lowering emissions. This is in contrast to conventional construction, where contractors need to store a huge amount of material on the jobsite—which is messy and costly, and creates security risks from theft.