Modular Benefits and Definition – When it comes to blogging, usually you use stories or anecdotes to get your point across. It tends to stick better with the reader if they can identify with the examples given. People tend to engage and respond more favorably if they can feel a connection. But, sometimes you have to just state the facts and tell people point by point what you are trying to say. That is the case with this blog post. No fluff, no mother-in-law stories, no tragic tales of elevator builds gone wrong or funny anecdotes; just the truth about modular building and why it is the fastest-growing and best way to build any project.
Keep in mind that I am talking about modular in general and not specifically elevators. However, you will see that each point applies to modular elevators as well as all other components that make up a building. With all that said, here we go…a definition and points that clearly show why modular is the future.
First, modular construction is defined by the Modular Building Institute as, “A process in which a building is constructed off-site, under controlled plant conditions, using the same materials and designing to the same codes and standards as conventionally built facilities – but in about half the time. The buildings are produced in ‘modules’ that, when put together on site, reflect the identical design intent and specifications of the most sophisticated site-built facility – without compromise.” Click here for more info. In a nutshell, modular is components that are built off-site exactly as the customer requests. The various components or units are almost anything from bathroom pods to classrooms, kitchens to offices, and let’s not forget, elevators.
Second, here we go with the advantages of modular in no particular order – simple and straight forward:
→ Reduce Your Construction Schedule
When a project starts moving forward with traditional construction, it means when site prep is happening, not much else takes place. With modular construction, the building starts at the same time or even earlier if needed. The result is projects can be completed 30% to 50% faster than the old-fashioned way of building. While the other guys are waiting for concrete to dry, modular is working on the structures.
→ No Weather Delays
With the bulk of the construction taking place in a factory, the weather doesn’t matter. When traditional companies are bogged down by rain or cold, we are building. This means the project is done faster and buildings are occupied sooner, creating a faster return on investment.
→ No Missing Tools or Materials
This may seem minor, but in other businesses, it is called shrink-shoplifted or “misplaced” items that cost time and money. In the construction business, these stolen items can be expensive tools or products crucial to project completion. Somehow, with site-built construction, things grow legs and walk off. If you ever wonder why old-fashioned stick-built elevator contracts call for a lockable area, this is why. Too much stuff just disappears, causing costly time delays.
→ Lower Labor & Operational Costs
Lower labor and operational costs occur simply because it is a shorter project timeline and less time at the job site. Less time on the site reduces injuries and time off due to those injuries, liability, administrative costs and some payroll. Shorter construction time also induces lower overhead costs and provides for earlier opening of the new facilities, generating higher rate of return on the investment.
Standardization of the building process reduces costs in procurement and materials. Purchasing large lots of materials for multiple projects is possible, giving more buying power. Also, why pay for the same plans over and over again when you can easily duplicate plans for higher capitol efficiency once a design is complete? Component lists are the same in large part, so repetitive functions are reduced.
→ Less Interruption
Off-site module construction does not interrupt or slow down other trades or site prep work. With elevators, for instance, we know when the elevator tech is on site, things tend to grind to a halt for everyone else. This is not the case with modular building.
→ Reduced Risk – Fewer Hours
Modular is safer due to reduced risks regarding in-plant operations versus site construction. There are fewer onsite OSHA exposure hours and smaller crew sizes.
→ Better Conditions
The conditions for building are much safer in an enclosed factory rather than a job site. The factory floor is always level, and not compromised by rain or ice. Overhead cranes are used in modular building, whereas manual lifting is a common practice onsite. The factory environment allows for improving the building system to incorporate more safety.
→ Testing & Corrections
The modular process is more conducive to testing and correction of vital components before shipping. Daily, the manufacturer of modular components is looking for safer ways of building. For instance, we rotate our elevator hoistways so there is no lifting of drywall, resulting in fewer strained backs.
→ Reduced Waste
Modular production systems and factory construction conditions reduce material waste. Waste is reduced as the parts of assembly are simplified and ordered as close to used dimensions as possible. Also, when there is waste, it is easily sorted and recycled. There are no unexplained piles of debris in a factory, but these are always present at a traditional building site.
There is less on-site pollution, as the bulk of construction is moved to a controlled environment. This results in less noise pollution, air pollution and dust. Building materials are protected from the elements, eliminating ruined materials due to rain or snow. Smaller field crews also means less travel to and from the job site.
→ Smaller Building Area
Less on-site space is required because systems are assembled in factories. Even when considering a staging area, it often smaller than a conventional construction site and occupied for a much shorter time.
→ Higher Quality Inspections
The inspections take place indoors in a factory setting where access is easier. They take place in a closed environment where cold, snow or rain does not keep the inspector from looking at the process and building closely. Modular builders are accustomed to inspectors and they can be easily accommodated.
→Highly Trained and Experienced Technicians
The workforce in a modular factory is well-trained for the job they are doing. Welders weld, drywallers drywall and carpenters drive nails. They are well-trained in the process and procedure of their unique position. Each job is more specialized than you would find with onsite construction. This leads to consistency of the product.
From the list above, it is easy to see that modular is the future of construction. If you would like to find out more about modular building or have an elevator project you would like a quote for, click the button below.