Modular building involves off-site construction under controlled conditions, in some cases up to 95% complete, allowing for onsite assembly in almost half the time of traditional onsite construction. As a result, the buildings can be occupied sooner therefore creating a faster return on investment and the modules can be produced with a far greater finish. 60-90% of the construction process is completed inside a factory which in turn prevents the worry of poor weather conditions which can cause severe delay to a projects’ delivery. It also produces far less waste and reduces the risk of human error. Once construction is complete, the modules can be relocated, dissembled and refurbished for new use.
Permanent modular construction refers to the process of manufacturing easily deliverable modules as single or multi-story solutions in sections off-site.
A relocatable modular building is exactly what it says on the tin; a partially or completely assembled building which abides by codes of conduct and is built in a building manufacturing facility using the modular construction process. They are often refurbished and reused many times and transported to different locations. This is ideal to provide temporary space to be used as classrooms, construction site offices and even accommodation etc.
Demand vs supply
After the Second World War, Britain built more than 600,000 temporary prefabs in 10 years using spare factory space, and in the Sixties, prefabs were used to temporarily swell supply. The UK built 425,000 homes in 1968, in part thanks to prefabs. Prefabs refer to several types of building as technically, any home that has parts built in a factory to then be delivered for onsite assembly falls within the category.
Today, London is thought to require 60,000 new homes per year. Advanced technology means factory-built homes are far more attractive than post-war prefabs. Developers, housing associations and major companies and manufacturers have seen plenty of interest to justify investment in building modular home factories. Legal & General (L&G) expects to install its first factory-built modular homes on site in the second quarter of 2018.
Developer Berkeley Homes have acquired a site and intends to use it for a 160,000 square foot modular housing factory. The builder said it already had “a team of specialists” to design the factory space and test the first components.
Modular construction company Low Carbon Construction (LCC) is aiming to deliver 10,000 homes a year from 2019 using innovative temporary ‘onsite’ factories. LCC intends to use temporary modular factories that it calls ‘Offsite/Onsite’, which are assembled on the development site and then removed once building is complete.
GKR London Property Recruitment have just returned from MIPIM 2018 where modular construction was very much the topic of discussion. There is real positivity in the market due to new technologies which are ever improving the speed and quality of building delivery. What are you doing to keep up?