A New Generation of Modular Buildings – How Far Has Pre-Fab Come?
Hearing the term prefabricated people of a certain age will associate it with the prefabricated houses from the end of the second world war built to solve the housing crisis at that time. 156 000 prefabricated buildings were constructed in the UK between 1946 and 1948. The concept has been around for longer. There are reports from the sixteenth century of the emperor of India Akbar the great using the prefabrication technique. Today we tend to refer to this type of construction as modular building.
What is a prefabricated or modular building?
Modular building construction takes the form of individual sections built at a different site to the construction site. The sections of the building are transported to the prepared site where they are easily put together. Historically modular building construction took place in a workshop or an area where the construction material and labour was available. Over a period, the process has become more commercial and has moved into industrial premises.
Why is modular building popular?
These buildings have become more popular since as construction techniques and products have developed the benefits have also increased.
- Quality. With the construction taking place in a controlled environment void of any negative factors such as temperature rain or bad light quality it is possible to supply a superior product.
Service integration. The industrial process is suitable to install services such as plumbing and eclectics ready for construction.
- Cost. This style of industrial construction lowers the cost, especially since there are no delays due to harsh weather. Reducing expensive Labour construction costs is possible by using this Health and safety friendly environment.
- Bespoke design. This style of construction is perfect for bespoke design and makes for limitless ideas. Companies such as Elite Systems supply complete solutions for modular design and construction.
What are modular buildings used for?
Originally modular buildings were perfect for quick build low-cost temporary housing. As materials have improved and developed over the years the idea of modular construction has transferred to an ever-growing number of building types. Construction of The Eifel Tower employed this method. It became a popular method for constructing buildings rapidly, perfect for buildings requiring quick expansion or a temporary addition. With the ability to easily and rapidly design and construct using a range of products in a quality-controlled environment modular building are popular in a variety of areas.
- Industrial buildings
Today and the Future.
Modular buildings are no longer temporary structures but are, as we have seen incorporated into the mainstream construction of all building types. The technique will grow more popular worldwide in the future as products and techniques continue to improve. In fact, modular design is now being worked upon for the future when man plans to visit Mars.