What is Modular Building Construction?
Off-site construction. Prefabricated construction. Modular construction. Factory Construction.
Whatever you call it, don’t let the name fool you. These are not the manufactured homes you are used to hearing about but represent a building technique trend that has been adopted by several construction industry leaders as an alternative to traditional on-site construction methods.
There are several advantages to this technique. The indoor controlled manufacturing environment and material staging allow for a higher level of precision and less waste during the manufacturing process. It allows construction to happen without weather delays and provides safer working conditions for employees. Despite its prefabricated construction, building structures can be configured to just about anything, using the same materials and designing to the same codes and standards as traditional construction.
The true gem of prefabricated construction lies in its ability to streamline the construction process and produce buildings in a fraction of the time compared to conventional construction.
Defining Modular Construction?
Perfect for businesses that need to get their building up and running without the long build times of traditional construction
Made up of modules that are prebuilt in a factory-controlled setting then transported and quickly assembled on location
Code compliant buildings constructed out of individual, prefabricated sections
More sustainable than traditional construction due to the efficient construction schedule and reduction of material waste during the construction process
Similar to traditional construction, virtually endless configurations and design options can be built to replicate the same look, using the same materials as traditional construction.
Mobile Office Trailers
A cheap alternative to traditional construction
Built with sub-par materials
Rest on top of a wheels and chassis trailer base
Built for short-term life spans
Common Modular Building Uses
Modular office buildings can be tailored to fit your needs, and a wide range of industries use them. Some of the industries and more common uses include:
Temporary sales office
Stackable offices, mobile offices, job site offices
Hospitals, clinics, dentist offices, training centers, laboratories, record storage
- Financial Buildings
Kiosks and bank buildings
Classrooms, day cares, school add-ons, cafeterias, lobbies
Coffee Shops, offices, sales offices, etc.
Churches, assemblies, schools, meeting & storage space
Bus stations, gas stations, convenience stores
Military, parks & recreation, post offices, public safety
Anything and everything outside of a normal scope building.
Types Of Modular Buildings
There are two types of modular building, permanent and temporary, that are defined by their foundation. Here are a few questions you should ask yourself to determine which type of modular building is right for you:
- How long will I occupy this building?
- How soon do I need the modular building?
- Is this modular building an addition to an existing building?
- How long do I need the modular building on this property?
- Do I want to lease or purchase this modular building?
Permanent modular buildings follow the same modular building process and sit on a permanent stem wall or concrete foundation. Businesses that are planning for a long-term stay at a fixed location are best suited for permanent modular construction (i.e. Healthcare and K-12 educational facilities).
These buildings also follow the same modular building process but sit on a more temporary foundation for ease of building relocation. Businesses that are planning a more temporary stay at their current location are best suited for a temporary modular foundation (i.e. construction offices).
Cost of a Modular Building
It is important for us to be transparent with our customers about how we price their buildings. Below are just a few factors that we consider when appraising the cost of constructing a modular building.
- Size of Unit
- Type of Material Used
- Site Preparation
- Delivery Location
- Complexity of Building
- New vs. Used Building
Modular Building Standard Specs
Federal and State highway regulations limit the maximum vehicle cargo width size to 8ft. Therefore, it is typical to obtain highway permits which allow for carrying wider loads. The common sizes range from 12 feet to 14 feet wide but can go up to 16 feet in width, depending on the project.
Federal and State highway regulations limit vehicle cargo lengths to 8 feet. Modern buildings range from 16 to 64 feet in length but can go up to 70 feet in length depending on local regulations.
Federal and State highway regulations limit vehicle cargo height to 14 feet. Modern’s average module height is 15 feet but can go up to 16 feet high, upon permit approvals.
Modular buildings can be customized to match just about anything a client may have in mind. Involving an architect in more complex projects is recommended.
Exterior finishes are constructed using the same top quality material that is utilized in conventional buildings.
Interior finishes are constructed using the same top quality material that is utilized in conventional buildings.
Materials utilized in foundations for modular buildings depend on soil compaction and site conditions. The most common foundations are stem wall and post and beam foundations, which are similar to what you would find in a site-built structure.