Flat pack furniture is now commonplace is most homes; however could it soon be the case that flat pack buildings will be commonplace in most towns?
The rise in popularity of modular buildings in the UK has been notable with 15,000 modular homes being built each year. In 2016 modular buildings accounted for around 2% of the construction market.
Although traditional brick and mortar buildings are still profoundly more popular than their modular counterparts, the potential benefits of modular buildings may soon outweigh those of the traditional brick.
Modular buildings can be an affordable, quick and convenient solution to limited space. Originally intended as temporary and portable buildings, they can be multi-purpose and moved between sites. This can be beneficial for businesses requiring temporary office space during an office move or refurbishment, or for schools with an ever expanding student body but ever decreasing budget! Schools can purchase a single modular unit which can be kept as a stationary classroom or moved around the school grounds, using it as a multi-functioning learning space. Modular classrooms are an ever increasing choice with schools due to the versatile nature of the interior design. Units can be assembled with a specific layout suited to a particular function such as science laboratories or food technology, however many modular units can be designed and rearranged to almost all standard classroom requirements and layouts. As modular classrooms can be relocated and reused on a single school site, they can be a hugely cost effective solution for schools struggling to provide sufficient teaching space for increasing numbers of students.
Modular buildings in general are a cheaper alternative to traditional buildings as they require fewer raw materials and construction workers, and they can be assembled in a fraction of the time. In some instances whole projects have gone from conception to completion in only a matter of weeks.
Component wall and roof panels are built in factories and shipped to the building site once ready to be assembled. This ensures that there are no delays due to bad weather and time is not wasted waiting for deliveries of supplies and equipment. As much as 90% of the construction of modular buildings can take place away from the future site and inside a controlled factory environment.
Traditionally there have been doubts surrounding the quality of modular buildings. The speed in which they are assembled and the somewhat unconventional raw materials used to construct them can make some people question the long term quality and sustainability of modular buildings, however this is a stigma that the modern modular building industry is working hard to reverse, changing how modular classrooms, offices and homes are perceived.
Whether it’s as a temporary measure or a permanent solution, the popularity of modular buildings is gaining momentum and they are becoming ever present around the UK. Homes, Offices and Classrooms are steadily making the transition from traditional brick buildings to modular units due to innovative design, fast assembly and sustainability.