Why is demand for modular construction continuing to grow?
Modular construction is definitely a growing trend. Demand for our modular solutions is rapidly rising year-on-year and there are a number of drivers.
The sustained delivery of high quality, permanent buildings constructed offsite demonstrates how far modular technology has advanced in recent years. This further strengthens customer confidence in the approach and increases both demand and repeat business.
The shortage of skilled labour is now even more severe following Brexit and the Covid19 pandemic which means more clients and contractors need to turn to offsite solutions to achieve greater certainty of delivery on time and on budget.
Reducing the impact of construction by moving more work offsite and into a factory, is particularly critical on hospital and school sites and is another significant driver. There is also a push from Government to encourage more projects to be assessed for suitability for offsite construction as the approach will increase productivity, affordability and reduce impact on the environment.
What are the benefits of modular construction?
The benefits of modular construction have been well documented and all still apply. Building offsite means much less disruption because you on site for less time. Quality is equal or better than in-situ construction. Programmes are significantly faster for earlier occupation and there are important environmental benefits.
There is little difference in the cost of offsite compared to in-situ construction but modular solutions have financial benefits by ensuring earlier occupation for a faster return on investment, earlier revenue generation and greater certainty of delivery on budget.
Can offsite manufacturing help construction become more sustainable?
Offsite construction is a highly sustainable method of construction. Modular buildings should be designed to incorporate recycled materials. Components are manufactured to the precise size required which reduces waste. Our factory generates zero waste to landfill and there are huge reductions in deliveries to site, reducing carbon emissions and congestion in towns and cities.
The quality of buildings manufactured offsite is inherently better and so the facilities can be heated and cooled more efficiently.
When a modular building reaches the end of its life, the structure can be reconfigured, repurposed or recycled.
What does the future hold for modular construction?
Looking forward, buildings will need to be more flexible and adaptable to change, presenting tremendous opportunities for modular construction.
There are huge lessons to be learned from the Covid19 pandemic, which highlighted the need to make facilities more interchangeable and futureproof. Offices can become wards or buildings may need to be relocated to different sites to meet changing local needs. This means assets will be considered differently whilst still needing to meet the same standards for build quality and comfort.
We believe more buildings will be leased to reduce capital expenditure and after the leasing period, modular facilities can easily be removed, relocated, reconfigured or refurbished.
The modular housing market has become more crowded, driven by skills shortages which are particularly severe in the residential sector. Fast-track building solutions are beneficial to address shortfalls in social housing stock and move tenants off waiting lists more quickly so demand for modular in this market will continue to rise.
Poor build quality is still very prevalent in the private housebuilding sector, creating opportunities for modular homes where there is far better quality control in a factory. It is also easier to achieve the required levels of productivity and meet regulations such as fire and acoustics using offsite manufacturing.
The drive to net zero presents enormous opportunities for offsite. Modular solutions are a simpler route to achieving low or zero carbon construction and manufacturers need to be leading the way in this area.