With the mounting concerns for environmentally safe practices in the commercial building industry, one of the biggest challenges that conventional construction increasingly faces is excess waste and lack of innovative practices to minimize and recycle it. According to the statistics from the US Office of Solid Waste, Building-related construction and demolition (C&D) debris totals approximately 160 million tons per year, accounting for nearly 26 percent of total non-industrial waste generation in the U.S. Sources of the building-related C&D debris waste-stream include demolition (accounting for approximately 48 percent of the waste stream per year), renovation (44 percent), and new construction (8 percent). (Source: http://www.epa.gov/greenbuilding/pubs/gbstats.pdf PDF file) This astounding amount of waste can in great part be attributed to the fact that architects and builders do not design commercial and residential structures with easy re-purposing or deconstruction in mind. However, in recent years modular construction industry has emerged as a pioneer in successfully employing a completely different approach to waste management- one that saves money and helps our environment.
Developers and architects serving densely populated urban areas across the US, UK, and Worldwide are quickly discovering that modular construction with its economical cost, controlled offsite construction, fast set-up and minimal site disturbances is the way to go on a wide variety of projects. Advancements in technology have taken care of the many previous limitations of prefabricated construction, making this time-tested, but previously not so popular method of construction, into a hot new trend. With modular construction, everyone wins: developers save money and time, business operations continue without interruptions, local communities are not disrupted by on-site construction, and the environment does not have to suffer from any excessive pollution and waste commonly associated with traditional construction.
Modular Construction Goes Vertical
For many decades, prefabricated buildings have mostly been one to two stories high. However, this trend is rapidly changing, as new advancements in modular construction now make it possible to build buildings as tall as 30 stories. One ongoing project taking place in New York City, is Forest City Ratner’s 32-story, 350-unit residential tower. After considering all factors, the company chose to go with modular construction, due to cost savings upwards of 20% compared to traditional construction, and an accelerated construction schedule.
In deciding between permanent vs temporary modular buildings, it is important to understand that each is a specific building type, but both utilize the same modular construction process. In the end, permanent modular buildings are indistinguishable from conventional construction, while temporary buildings look different and serve a different purpose. Determining whether you need a permanent modular vs. temporary modular building will depend on your long-term needs, budget, architectural design requirements, types of materials used and a number of other important considerations.
MODULAR CONSTRUCTION PROCESS