The process of modular (or offsite) construction is a greener, faster and more cost-effective form of construction that is rapidly gaining popularity. Though the first example of this unique construction method can be traced back to London carpenter Henry Manning as far back as 1837, the method was not fully embraced by the UK until the 1990s, where it has since seen a huge increase in demand.
Put simply, modular construction is a factory-produced, pre-engineered approach to building in which individual modules are constructed offsite and then installed onsite to an exact specification. There are thousands of modules manufactured annually in the UK alone, with the most popular sectors of application including:
- Public and health sector buildings
- Private and social housing
- Student residences
But how exactly does it work?
The fundamental principle that drives the method of modular construction is efficiency. The use of a hot rolled lightweight steel frame (LSF) structure provides a light yet highly durable foundation that allows for the quick and easy installation of the various components of a building.
The modules themselves are first blueprinted to the client’s exact specification by a team of experienced designers and architects. From here, the unique offsite manufacturing process can begin with the aid of state-of-the-art machinery.
Being offsite offers a greater flexibility to the interior design of any building, with the ability to provide far greater precision. As such, once the modules are transported onsite, they already form fully complete rooms and are subsequently ready to be assembled. With the ability to design a room unrestricted by the demands of external blueprints, you’re able to make interior choices without having to think about greater logistics. A modular bathroom, for example, could easily incorporate all utilities, from showers to bathroom radiators, by being constructed to their specifications offsite, without having to work around the logistical demands of the rest of the home.
Building materials used in offsite projects are among the most durable available, with internal walls improving sound insulation, fireproofing, and energy efficiency.
Why use modular construction?
The advantages of this construction method speak for themselves. Offsite manufacturing allows for projects to be completed significantly faster than onsite alternatives, with the possibility of delays and disruption being drastically reduced. Moreover, modular construction is an eco-friendly option, leading the market with the use of recycled materials. In addition to this, the factory-based manufacturing ensures less waste and less onsite pollution, with many modular construction contractors storing and recycling unused material for other projects – going some way towards tackling the issue of reducing the 135 million tons of construction waste in landfill each year.
There’s a reason modular construction is rapidly growing in popularity. This cost-effective, eco-friendly construction method uses elite engineering and manufacturing processes to provide an efficient and high-quality service. In a world where demands for speedy construction, a state-of-the-art build and a worthwhile return on investment only continue to grow, the future of offsite construction looks bright indeed.