Modular buildings provide a uniquely sustainable form of construction
Modular buildings possess unique energy efficient properties and offer a sustainable alternative to traditional construction methods.
All buildings contain embodied energy that is locked into their fabric as a result of the construction phase. In the case of traditional buildings this energy is lost when the buildings are demolished.
Uniquely however with modular build technology the embodied energy is preserved when buildings are relocated to another site.
The bulk of the embodied energy in a modular building is contained in the materials used to manufacture the external building envelope. By refurbishing the modules and retaining the components with significant embodied energy the lifespan of a building can be greatly extended.
A report commissioned by the Modular and Portable Building Association to investigate the impact on carbon emissions from the use, scrapping and manufacture of modular buildings identified a number of positive and unique attributes associated with the use of this technology.
Where a modular building is relocated with minimal alteration the amount of energy used is less than three percent of the energy that would be required to construct a new building of equivalent size. Even where a modular building is refurbished and reconfigured internally the energy used remains no more than ten percent of a new build equivalent.
In addition, the ability to relocate and reuse modular buildings minimises the use of materials and the need for landfill.
The off-site manufacture approach used in modular building construction ensures that strict factory quality control systems are adhered to and this in turn leads to a more efficient construction process.
By utilising sustainable materials and minimising material wastage, environmental and social responsibilities are accounted for without imposing onerous cost implications on the budget.
In conjunction with an efficient manufacturing system, a combination of energy efficient building practices, sustainable design standards and innovative green building materials are utilised to provide users with a modern, high performance modular structure to meet the growing demand for environmentally friendly buildings.
Green technologies such as solar panel heating systems can be seamlessly incorporated into the project design stage to further support the eco-friendly credentials of a modular building and significantly reduce energy consumption and running costs.
For healthcare and educational environments, modular construction scores highly, not only in combining lower embodied energy use and consumption, but also by resulting in less disruption, faster completion, cleaner sites and reduced waste.
Reduced energy consumption
Prefabrication techniques offer a low energy approach and fast track construction processes provide low energy consumption, both equating to minimised carbon emissions.
Reduced material waste
A controlled manufacturing environment results in both improved accuracy and optimised material procurement and usage.
Bulk materials are delivered to the manufacturing facility where they are stored in a protected environment safe from theft and exposure to the elements.
Reduced site disturbance
Further environmental benefits are realised on site through energy efficient construction, noise limitation and dramatically reduced vehicle movements.
Building modules are manufactured simultaneously to the completion of groundworks, thereby significantly reducing the build programme and the overall impact on a site environment.
Pre-assembly techniques minimise transportation whilst modular foundations reduce excavation works alongside the use of less construction related contaminants or wasteful materials.
Reduced vehicular movements
In addition to significantly reduced material deliveries to site, workforce travel between construction sites is also diminished by eliminating vehicular movements to and from project sites located substantial distances away.
Due to modular design technology, modifications to existing buildings are readily integrated with minimal disruption to adjacent buildings or surroundings.
Modules are designed to be be dismantled, relocated or recycled at any point. This approach is integral to the design process and enables buildings to have a light touch on the environment both during the construction phase and throughout their entire life cycle.
Improved air quality
Many of the indoor air quality issues identified in new construction projects result from high moisture levels in the building components. Because the modular structure is substantially completed in a factory-controlled setting using dry materials, potential issues associated with high levels of moisture being trapped in the new building are eliminated.