Modular vs Traditional Buildings

Buildings in the UK have traditionally been built from bricks and stone. Other forms of construction have been primarily shunned; however, with developing technology, changing needs and new generational ideas, there has been an opening for a new construction method to take the top spot. Modular buildings have come forward to solve the problems of diminishing budgets, high living costs and increased demand for affordable housing. They are both energy efficient and fast to create, often providing long-term solutions to housing needs.The UK government has recognised the benefits of modular buildings and produced a £3bn fund to make sure modular buildings are the norm for construction companies. Both modular and traditional projects start the same in their construction process. Once projects are ready for site work, they take a very different approach

What is a modular building?

Modular construction involves the use of prefabricated parts that are constructed in a factory with volumetric construction. When you need to construct a new building, modular buildings are the way to go. They offer predictability, consistency and quality control because they’re manufactured under factory standards and production line speeds. From start to finish, modular construction is far more efficient than traditional techniques in terms of time and money spent.

What is traditional construction?

Traditional construction is where the primary structure is constructed entirely or mainly on the construction site. This method, also known as stick-built, is the conventional way of building that has been used for generations as the primary construction method for new buildings. 

Cost differences between modular buildings and traditional construction

Modular offices have a higher availability than traditional office buildings and can be completed in a much shorter time frame. This lowers construction costs, as well as the design and planning changes that are often necessary due to certain markets being oversaturated. Furthermore, assembling modular structures in a factory is done at an optimised production rate. This means that there is no waiting for the arrival of materials like with traditional construction projects.

Modular buildings can be easily paid off in a variety of possibilities, in a number of ways: either secured through a framework agreement or private. Many modular building companies also offer leasing agreements. Building in modules is becoming more popular for commercial and public buildings. This means that a building can be returned to its manufacturer once the length of lease has ended or the property’s purpose has been fulfilled. It’s unrealistic to expect this from a traditional building.

With the help of the Government, these financing options will link with a previously established £3 billion framework from DfE. This free framework is available to Local Authorities, Diocese and Academy Trusts

Environmental impacts of modular buildings compared to traditional construction.

  • The importance of health and safety is taken into account in a factory-based manufacturing environment thanks to the regulations for factory floors.
  • Waste is minimised to help reduce the project’s carbon footprint. This means that fewer people are travelling to the site and modules are produced directly to spec using computer-aided manufacturing. Because of this meticulous attention and planning, only the necessary components are needed, which reduces waste.
  • The construction work will not result in any traffic pollution, noise pollution, or construction diversions.
  • Modular buildings can be recycled and reused and, when made to modern standards, will come with energy-efficient design. They’ll also have high quality products that reduce the chance of toxic substances polluting the environment.

The time associated with modular buildings

Modular buildings are becoming more and more successful in the construction industry because they’re faster than traditional methods.For example, a modular construction takes about half the time as traditional excavation and it is being widely adopted. About 90% of firms currently using modular buildings report having quicker schedule times, with 10% of them experiencing reductions in project duration by four weeks or more.

Contact the Portable Building Sales team for more information about our modular buildings and temporary building services available nationwide

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