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Before You Go Modular, Here’s What You Should Know

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Technology is moving at rapid paces today, breaking conventions and restructuring beliefs. Sometimes, this progress moves at a pace that is pretty remarkable, and nowhere is this more evident than when you look at modular construction. A lot of people aren’t familiar with the phrase, but modular construction is gaining in widespread popularity across the globe. For those who are unfamiliar with modular buildings, they are permanent or temporary home or office constructions created in a factory and then assembled on-site.

Modular buildings differ from traditional mobile homes or office trailers though. Mobile homes are basically constructions that have been built onto a chassis that is attached to wheels, allowing for convenient relocation, but has limitations in terms of size and rigidity of the home. Modular construction, also known as prefab buildings, are instead built at a manufacturing site according to one of many predetermined designs that the buyer can pick from and then customize according to their needs.  They can also get a completely customized one-off design based on his or her requirements. These buildings are then transported in parts to the site of the construction and quickly assembled into a completely constructed building.

Now that you have an idea of what modular buildings are, here are some essentials about these buildings you should know before you venture into purchasing your own modular buildings.

Need to know: Modular Buildings

·         Cost effective. Modular construction is a lot cheaper when compared to the more conventional on-site building construction method, and this is due to a variety of reasons. Firstly, because the construction occurs off-site, the process is faster and more streamlined, saving on labor costs.

Secondly, because this construction happens indoors (in a factory), it is not impeded by changing weather conditions – this is one of the biggest reasons that conventional construction is usually delayed.

Thirdly, like any other mass manufactured product, modular buildings enjoy the advantages of economy of scale. This means, because the manufacturer can buy the raw material and machinery required to create these buildings in bulk, he saves a huge amount of money, savings that are then passed onto customers.

·         Speedy Construction. While these modules are being built in the factory, the foundation is prepared on-site. So essentially, the two phases take place simultaneously. Once both are completed, it is just a matter of transporting the modules to the site and assembling the building. No project will be affected by any delays due to the weather or other reasons, so it is the ideal and quick solution if you need units such as mobile offices to be built on any construction site.

·         Versatile and customizable. Modular construction is also very versatile in terms of usage. They come in all shapes and sizes based on the user’s requirements and can be customized to fulfill their exact needs. Modular buildings such as mobile offices and portable classrooms can be easily used for commercial and education needs. The best part though, is that each individual buyer can tailor-make the construction to his exact requirements, and because of their factory-built construction, adding units to the build is a very easy process.

·         Safe. Modular construction is actually safer than conventional buildings, as stated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency or FEMA. According to an exhaustive building performance review conducted by FEMA in the wake of Hurricane Andrew in ’92, that lasted “1,500 man-hours of effort toward the site survey, documentation of observations, and an evaluation and assessment of building performance” FEMA found that “Overall, relatively minimal structural damage was noted in modular housing developments. The module-to-module combination of the units appears to have provided an inherently rigid system that performed much better than conventional residential framing. This was evident in both the transverse and longitudinal directions of the modular buildings.” This was way back in 1992, almost 24 years ago! Today with improved materials and methodologies, along with regular inspections, modular construction is stronger and safer than ever before, with modern modular buildings (depending upon the manufacturer) capable of withstanding up to 175 mph winds.

·         Eco-friendly. Due to the factory-built nature of prefabricated builds, the carbon footprint created through transportation of building materials on-site, and wastage created through the packaging of all this material is all eliminated. Furthermore, damage to the soil and surrounding environment of the site is also mitigated due to the nature of modular builds. Apart from this, most modular construction firms also employ eco-friendly materials in their construction process and reuse materials from previous builds for greater sustainability.

·         Completely legal and insurable. Modular buildings are considered on-par with their conventional counterparts in terms of legality. This means property loans are structured in the same vein and can be used to purchase modular buildings as well. Property insurance works in the same way for modular construction as it does for conventional property owners too. Lastly, property and homeowner tax is identical for modular construction as it is for traditional builds.

As you can see from the above list, the hype surrounding modular construction in the last decade or so is easily justified. The advantages this type of construction brings to the table are numerous, and as such, modular buildings are a very viable option for those seeking to construct new property.

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