What are Modular Buildings?

To put it simply, a modular building is a structure that has been manufactured and built off-site in a factory, rather than at a traditional construction site. These factories are filled with various materials necessary for construction, and once built, they are then shipped to a building site to be quickly assembled for occupancy.

Modular Building Advantages

Because of the circumstances in which these modular buildings are constructed, they hold several advantages over traditional construction, including:

  • Speed to Occupancy – Because modular buildings are largely constructed off-site, the construction process avoids several potential delays that plague traditional construction, such as inclement weather.
  • Cost-Effectiveness – Flexible payment plans that avoid larger traditional construction fees for a more cost-effective building process.
  • Higher Quality, Controlled Construction – The modular building process itself eliminates the harm caused by certain factors that remain outside of a traditional construction site project manager’s control, such as inclement weather.

Eco-Friendliness – Traditional construction sites produce significant waste. Using modular building practices, not only is the waste factor reduced, but the materials used in their construction are often more eco-friendly.

The modular industry includes two distinct types of modular buildings: temporary (or relocatable) modular, and permanent modular.

TEMPORARY MODULAR

Temporary modular buildings are structures that meet interim needs for additional space and can be either leased or purchased. Job site trailers, temporary classrooms, temporary offices, and swing space are examples of relocatable modular buildings. Temporary buildings are capable of being relocated and repurposed which provides the ultimate flexibility to those with changing needs.

PERMANENT MODULAR

Permanent modular construction is an alternative building method to conventional onsite construction. It is comparable to site built methods in that it meets international and local building codes and is capable of achieving the same or improved standards of quality. It is manufactured off-site in an efficient factory environment in significantly less time.

Which Type of Modular Building Do You Need?

Determining whether you need a permanent or temporary modular building will depend on a few different factors. You’ll want to ask yourself a few different questions:

  • “What is my modular building going to be used for?”For example, if you require a modular building for a construction site office, a temporary modular building will work just fine. For other industries, such as healthcare, a permanent modular building may be more appropriate.
  • “How flexible can I be with the design?” – Permanent modular buildings offer more flexibility and customization than their temporary counterparts. 

“What is my budget?” – Typically, permanent modular buildings tend to cost more than temporary ones. Evaluate how much you’re willing to spend to ensure you’re getting the most value out of your modular building.

Today modular construction offers building solutions for all types of uses.  From Classroom Space, Faculty Offices, Broadcast Centers, Housing, Dorm Space, iLabs, Medical Labs, the list goes on.

The Modular Building Institute is a terrific resource for those who are looking to learn more about the modular industry. As the Voice of Commercial Modular Construction, it is MBI’s mission to expand the use of offsite construction through outreach and education to the construction community and customers, and recognition of high-quality modular designs and facilities. Visit modular.org to learn more.