Modular construction is the construction of buildings using modules or prefabricated sections. Manufactured off-site, using assembly line production, modules are fabricated from standard building materials and are built to meet or exceed the building codes of conventional buildings. They can be manufactured without compromising on quality and can meet sophisticated design specifications, including matching existing building aesthetics. After manufacture, the modules are delivered to the building site where they are installed in any specified configuration before being connected together to make an entire building. After assembly, modular buildings are effectively identical to conventional site-built buildings.
If you have been paying attention to the conversation about affordable housing or environmental sustainability in construction, you may have heard of modular construction.
Here are some advantages:
- Manufacturing can occur at the same time as foundation and site work, reducing construction time
- Factory manufacture means less waste as inventory is controlled and building materials are weather protected
- Factory manufacture also reduces the risk of weather delays
- Prefabrication causes less site disturbance
- Modular buildings can be disassembled and recycled reducing the overall demand for building materials as well as energy use
- Manufacturing in a factory-controlled environment means less air pollution
Scott Flynn founded indieDwell, a modular home company that grew from a one per quarter build to 10 per week in the first four years. IndieDwell began by focusing on affordable modular homes made from shipping containers. Although shipping containers are an amazing form of recycling, they’re very complicated to use, especially for commercial projects which have more restrictive codes. So, because indieDwell’s mission is to put as many people into high quality, healthy homes as possible, they are in the process of switching to a steel studded frame system. Like the shipping containers before them, the modules will be high performance, energy efficient, durable and sustainable. And the new modules will lower the price of homes even further.
Scott is manufacturing change. Listen in to my podcast conversation with Scott to learn more.
Image from PxHere