We’ve talked about the efficiency of modular construction in general terms. How it saves on labor and energy and resource costs. But what we often don’t think about are the many more subtle ways you save time, money, and effort by manufacturing modules instead of engaging in hard construction.
Think about construction crews for instance. Depending on how well the project is planned, how materials are managed and what stores of materials the construction crew will have ready at the site, minor mistakes can be smoothed over or they can cause huge delays and efficiencies.
For example, many construction crews run their workers back and forth from hardware stores, plumbing supply depots, and lumber yards as they need more materials, especially if changes need to be made or there are miscalculations on required materials.
This can be highly time consuming, especially if adjustments need to be made in a rural area where potential supply outlets can be miles and miles away. These sorts of inefficiencies can account for more working hours, gas being used up as workers make supply runs, materials being wasted, plans being altered, resulting in demolished sections, really anything.
With modular construction, all of the planning and manufacturing happens at one site, in a controlled factory setting. Everything is planned out advance, and then the manufactured modules are brought to the build site, usually in one trip, where they are cleanly installed and then the project is done. Through planning and controlled manufacturing, many of the errors that can arise during the course of hard construction simply dissolve in this case, ceasing to be possibilities. Of course, mistakes can be made anywhere really; but with modular construction, a mistake can be found and corrected much more quickly and efficiently, especially considering the nature of the module itself.
Modular buildings can be taken apart or expanded at will, without the need for demolishing, due to the flexibility of the building’s components.
It is one thing to make processes more efficient through planning and streamlining and coordinating, but modular construction achieves a new plateau of efficient construction by completely altering the methods of construction themselves.
Expect more of these hidden efficiencies to start popping up and giving us pleasant surprises.