07 Aug New, Smart, Modular
Modular construction is rapidly becoming a mainstream construction technique. What is limiting its progress? The preconceptions many people have about the modular method. During the twentieth century, modules were seen as a way of producing thousands of cheap, identical homes for baby boomer families. This has given rise to the belief that they are inflexible and impossible to customise, and that they are only for people who cannot afford traditional construction.
Modern modular construction methods are a far cry from these early buildings. They are designed to be permanent, meet all the stringent quality and safety regulations and, most importantly, look good. The industry has moved upmarket – buildings are manufactured for everything from chain stores to top football clubs. While the assembly line production methods are still utilised, helping to reduce project time by up to 70% and cost by up to 50%, buildings are bespoke and every feature, including the shape, is chosen by the client.
Sooner or later, modular construction will be accepted as the norm. So, more importantly, what of the future? Time and expense means that traditional construction methods are impractical over a certain size. Modules, however, can achieve anything through careful design, and the world’s tallest buildings will soon be brought to site in pieces on a truck. After having already been constructed in the virtual world of CAD to check the quality, of course.
The characteristic modern vibrancy of modular buildings will change the way our urban areas look. The cracked render and dirty brickwork of traditional buildings will be found only in museums; smart, colourful, reconfigurable buildings will rule the skyline.
Today’s society has a faster pace than ever before. Technology means we can communicate instantly with anyone in the world, and we want things sooner and better. Trends change quickly, and industries need to be flexible to keep up with them. Modular buildings provide the solution. No customers at your new McDonald’s franchise? Call the crane in, move on.