One compelling reason to consider modular construction is its positive effect on our environment. According to the Modular Building Institute, modular techniques are “inherently” green. Not only is it the right thing to do, but modular construction also translates into real cost savings. Here are some of the ways in which modular is “green.”
Less Waste, Less Cost
Modular buildings can be re-configured and re-used at a different location. This capability reduces waste, landfill usage, and raw materials required at the new site. Thus, modular buildings are not demolished, but rather dismantled and reassembled to new specifications on existing or new work sites.
Modular buildings are created off-site, reducing reducing waste by up to 90%. Savings are realized mainly through reduced need for limited-use materials (e.g., cardboard, shrink wrap, wood pallets, etc.)
Additionally, off-site construction facilities store materials indoors, reducing the amount of damage and waste due to weather and other environmental conditions. Up to 90% of a modular structure is completed in a setting that uses dry, weather-protected materials. Factories building modular units often pre-cut lumber, resulting in less scrap. And, the scrap they generate can either be used for other projects or recycled.
Factory use reduces transportation costs: less job site transportation saves costs associated with fewer drivers, less fuel, and lower risk to items being transported.
Factories also provide better access to pipes, outlets, and fixtures to enable better sealing. This results in greater, long-term energy efficiencies for the duration of the completed structure.
One of the many environmental benefits to modular construction is reduced pollution. Air quality increases and noise pollution decreases around construction sites when modules are manufactured off-site. Fewer deliveries of materials to the construction site means less noise, congestion, and vehicle-induced pollution. Off-site production also translates to fewer construction vehicles on-site for shorter periods of time.
Factories for modular construction must comply with regulations, which help protect the environment from harmful waste from construction by-products.
Modular construction also equates to exceptionally fast construction time. In fact, a 57-story modular building in China was completed in just 19 days. In the United Kingdom, several McDonald’s franchises were constructed in four weeks using modular techniques.
Vertex BD is a flexible building design tool especially suited to modular construction applications, automating the creation of architectural drawing sets, panel fabrication drawings, material reports, manufacturing data, and architectural visualizations, all from one building model.