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A Guide to Modular Construction

Table of Contents

  1. Challenges of Traditional Construction Methods
  2. Modular Construction Defined
  3. Benefits of Modular Construction
    • Quick Turnaround
    • Reduced Labor Costs
    • Minimal Environmental Impact
    • Superior Quality
    • Versatile and Scalable
    • Economic Advantages
  4. Major Applications of Modular Construction
  5. Innovative, High Quality Modular Solutions by Commercial Structures Corp.

 


 

Introduction

Modular construction techniques continue to evolve, surpassing traditional methods by offering superior value, performance, and efficiency. Building components that are prefabricated, transported, and assembled mon-site in a modular fashion offer a forward-looking approach to commercial construction needs, ultimately exceeding the cost-benefit ratio for both owners and installers. From reduced build times to innovative design standards, modular construction has increasingly become a popular choice across a wide range of industries.

 


 

Challenges of Traditional Construction Methods

Today’s building construction companies are faced with compounding challenges in cost control, quality, code compliance, environmental impact, efficiency standards, productivity, and more. Coupled with new, disruptive technologies, cultural resistance (doing things the old fashioned way), and a lack of skilled labor, an industry crossroads has developed that has significantly impacted its bottom line. Whether it’s a simple or complex project, builders are forced to work within extremely tight margins and navigate their operations with little room for mistakes or surprises.

traditional construction challenges

Traditional construction projects often are subject to greater margins of error.

Every aspect of the project, from material delivery to quality control, becomes subjected to a greater margin of error. For example, cold weather can affect build progress and material integrity, miscommunication between parties can bring construction to a standstill, and precise tolerance requirements are rushed due to last minute changes.

There’s a lot of moving parts in traditional, on-site construction that requires pinpoint coordination, scheduling, and thoroughness. Quality can easily fall by the wayside as soon as the first unexpected issue arises. Along each phase of construction, the owners of the building are at the mercy of numerous variables that could prevent the job from getting done on-time and within budget.

Time is of the essence when building from the ground up. On-site, traditional construction relies on good weather in order to maintain progress, protect materials, and ensure that the job is performed accurately. Traditional construction processes are subjected to worker productivity, supply abundance, and communication challenges between all of the contractors and subcontractors involved.

As companies look toward more innovative ways to get the job done, modular buildings offer an attractive approach to increasing profitability and streamlining operations.

 


 

Modular Construction Defined

Modular construction features all of the hallmarks of traditional construction methods, but with a more refined, forward-thinking, and systematic approach to building. In modular construction, prefabricated building sections are created off-site in an environmentally controlled facility. The very same materials, code compliance, specifications, and design intent are applied. However, each section or “module” of the building is constructed separately, transported to the site, and assembled.

 


 

Modular building construction is 30% to 50% faster than traditional methods due to complete sheltering from weathering elements that could affect materials, delivery, and personnel.

 


 

Benefits of Modular Construction

Modular construction combines the very best aspects of traditional construction with a meticulous, unhampered approach by incorporating industrial engineering and assembly line methods in order to maximize building efficiency. Among its main benefits include:

Quick Turnaround

Modular building construction is 30% to 50% faster than traditional methods due to complete sheltering from weathering elements that could affect materials, delivery, and personnel. Meanwhile, site planning and preparation is performed in unison, ensuring that installation can occur quickly and efficiently upon arrival. Supply is easy to coordinate for factory made, prefabricated buildings, since they ensure a single source for all construction materials. The entire process is turnkey, managed, and coordinated by a single company with their own in-house team.

Reduced Labor Costs

modular construction benefits

Modular construction optimizes resources like labor.

All construction is performed within the factory and highly trained personnel focus their efforts on each modular component. Using assembly line practices, the components undergo an extremely efficient building process that decreases labor time, increases productivity, and optimizes resources. Since prefab construction is performed under one roof, the team is free from weather delays or scheduling changes. In traditional construction, one change to a construction schedule can have a cascading effect on all of the teams involved, thereby driving up labor costs.

Minimal Environmental Impact

Prefabricated buildings are constructed with a Lean manufacturing approach that utilizes as much raw material as possible while reducing and optimizing waste. In traditional construction methods, large quantities of materials are delivered on-site in bulk, generating nearly 90% more waste than modular construction techniques. Prefabricated construction materials are recyclable, sourced in exact quantities, and require significantly less energy consumption to assemble. In addition, there is less noise, dust, and emissions to nearby communities when performed in a contained factory environment.

Superior Quality

Modular buildings meet the same quality control, building code, and architectural specifications as traditional construction projects. Through the use of the very same computer aided BIM software, builders are able to identify and analyze their designs for energy savings and building efficiency.

Design integration and construction approach is handled in the factory. They are able to standardize their materials, resulting in a more precise level of quality control. When built in a climate controlled environment, prefabricated building tolerances are not subjected to trapped moisture between components, hot and cold expansion/contraction, or sunlight deterioration.

Versatile and Scalable

Since each component is pre-engineered, modular construction offers an array of design opportunities. They can be integrated into either new or existing buildings, expanded in size, moved to another location, or reused by a different party.

Economic Advantages

Return on investment is maximized when purchasing a prefabricated building, as depreciation is significantly shorter than traditional construction. All aspects of the building construction process are consolidated to the factory and a team will manage the entire process more effectively than working with multiple, disparate parties. In many ways, the cost of the building process is greatly reduced in addition to the actual building materials.

 


 

Major Applications of Modular Construction

Industrial

In the industrial segment, modular construction offers a fast alternative to traditional buildings for various operating environments including manufacturing, mining, engineering, oil and gas, and more. Rather than building costly, permanent structures, modular construction allows industrial companies to quickly establish buildings that can operate in harsh environments. They can be transported and reused, thereby helping industrial companies save money.

Commercial

For commercial purposes, prefabricated buildings help companies control capital costs in various areas. Offices, equipment enclosures, mail rooms, storage areas, clean rooms, and reception areas utilize the economic advantages of modular building. Commercial buildings achieve greater flexibility and lower capital costs.

modular medical buildings

Modular buildings help health care organizations solve their expansion challenges.

Medical/Healthcare

In healthcare, prefabricated buildings offer a fast, economical, and sterile building solution for clinics, laboratories, clean rooms, bathrooms, and medical equipment storage. During disasters, prefabricated buildings and shelters can be quickly setup and deployed to help first responders, victims, and hospital staff. The speed, quality, and custom design of modular buildings provide a viable economic alternative that helps minimize costs for both the facility and patient.
 

Education/Community

Prefab schools, daycare centers, and classrooms can help lower taxes for public schools and help maintain affordable tuition for universities. Simple, safe, and sturdy, these modular buildings can be deployed as extensions to existing schools in order to accommodate student population increases. In addition, these structures can also serve to help shelter the homeless or act as a community center for residents.

Retail

Faced with increased competition, overhead, and leasing costs for retail businesses, prefabricated buildings offer a suitable economic alternative. Custom designed and installed on-site, all aspects, from lighting to plumbing, are incorporated for retail businesses. The cost savings in construction and maintenance, when compared to traditional construction methods, help retailers maintain their profitability when adding additional storage, employee space, or floor space.

Security

Security needs often change within an operation. Modular guard houses and control centers can be easily added and moved as necessary, enabling fast and cost-effective expansion of security operations in nearly any facility or location. The durability and long-term stability of prefabricated buildings help to establish a safe and effective base of operations for security personnel. We offer blast and bullet resistant options.

 


 

Innovative, High Quality Modular Solutions by Commercial Structures Corp.

Backed by 43 years of experience in modular building construction, Commercial Structures Corporation has been leading the way in state-of-the-art, prefabricated building technology and development. Our team applies the latest advancements in modular construction to solve the most pressing challenges in traditional building practices. Our buildings meet UBC and BOCA codes, ensuring a long-lasting, durable solution.

We work with clients across a variety of industries to understand their needs and develop solutions that help them achieve their goals. For more information on the benefits of modular construction, please contact us.