Modular construction – a more efficient delivery method?

22nd March 2017

The government has increasing desire to consider volumetric construction methods to tackle the housing crisis in the UK. Could a modular construction approach offer a more efficient method to address the housing crisis?

This is the first in a series of articles considering the benefits of modular construction partnered with construction management. Let’s start by looking at the following question.

Could modular construction be more time efficient than traditional construction methods?

Modular construction methods can be a lot faster than traditional construction methods providing that certain conditions are met. Basic design considerations greatly aide the suitability of a project for modular methods. For example, grid lines need to be evenly spaced and the design needs to incorporate symmetry and the use of regular shapes to accommodate the modular units.

With the modular construction work taking place off site in a factory facility, this can usually happen whilst the site is being prepared. This means that the site infrastructure, foundations, drainage and transfer slabs can be prepared ready for the arrival of the modular units, On arrival they are then craned into position. In addition, the construction of the modules means that there is minimal work to be undertaken once they have been installed.

Partnering the modular approach with construction management as a delivery route further increases the potential for time savings. Construction management is generally considered the fastest route to get a project to site. This is because the design is led by the construction and procurement programme. Whilst the modular contractor will need to complete some design works, effective programming means this happens at the same time as the client team are designing the site infrastructure.

As a result, the modular elements should be ready to be assembled in the factory whilst the site infrastructure is being installed on site. In the meantime, with these activities well underway, the client design team proceeds with the next elements of the procurement programme.

This ensures that design keeps up with procurement and as soon as the modules are installed, the next phase of trade packages are lined up and ready to continue making progress against the programme.

For more information about the benefits of modular construction or construction management call 02380 405073