When we talk about the future of construction, we are really talking about a future that is pretty much already here. The construction industry is in the midst of a profound change in which construction is being carried out. Today’s construction is advancing past traditional methods. Construction companies around the world are leaving hard construction behind and are adopting modular construction methods for its numerous benefits.
With traditional construction methods, what you’d usually have is a site-built operation. Materials are shipped to the site and the entire structure is built up from the ground. These structures are usually stick-built: built with lumber as a frame or with concrete and brick. Drywall is generally used for the walls, with additional patching and painting, plumbing, electrical, windows, tiling, flooring, ceiling, and roofing added. This process can involve numerous sub-contractors trying to coordinate their activities to get the job done, and the task can be delayed with weather conditions that could even ruin building materials and drive up costs. Build sites are also vulnerable to vandalism and theft.
This process usually involves downtime if there is a workplace involved. Nothing can be accomplished while the construction continues. Nearby equipment and workspaces have to be covered with tarp or walled off. The entire process can be time consuming and resource-intensive.
What many construction companies now are adopting, however, is modular construction. What modular construction generally involves is the manufacture of building components in a factory. These building components are then transported to the build site where they are quickly assembled and installed.
This method enjoys many advantages. Fewer resources are used to produce these types of buildings. Construction time is greatly reduced. Most of the process occurs indoors so there is less risk of weather disruptions. Business downtime is reduced, as modular buildings are rapidly constructed with minimal site disturbance. Some projects have even been known to take place as staff worked within the construction site.
There are other advantages. Whereas a building built with traditional construction methods is often fixed and permanent, often requiring demolition or structural alteration to alter, modular buildings are flexible. With their various components, they can be built to take on the function of any kind of building that is needed. Then after they are built, they can easily be altered, expanded, or downsized without structural alterations. Many types of modular buildings can even be moved to other locations and reused if the need is there. This is the future of construction.