Thurston has been in the construction industry for more than 50 years. Over the years, we’ve evolved along with the UK’s construction sector with innovative approaches to sustainability.
Today, one of the biggest challenges facing construction is the determinantal environmental impact of many of the traditional industrial work practices. Our off-site modular housing construction processes minimise waste, energy use and contribute significantly to reducing the environmental damage caused by traditional building methods.
Why is modular housing ‘green’?
Green construction strategies are no longer a ‘nice to have’. In 2022, they are essential. Modular housing offers a solution that uses material efficiently, lowers the project’s carbon footprint (sometimes to zero-carbon) and minimises waste. Here’s why this is so important.
Since the Industrial Revolution in the 19th century, our collective rush towards progress has brought enormous benefits to society. But at a significant cost to the environment.
At the most recent UN Climate Change Conference (COP26 in November 2021), the sense of urgency in tackling emissions was emphasised by delegates from all around the world. While the conference did result in a step forward in a global effort to lower emissions, geo-political pressures mean that success is far from assured.
The UK, along with all other delegates, signed the Glasgow Climate Pact, which revises and reiterates Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) to align with the original target set in the Paris Agreement in 2015.
At Government level, much has been pledged. At ground level, however, we can directly influence construction in a sustainable and positive way.
Modular construction lessens environmental damage
This is where modular housing comes in. We pioneered an off-site modular housing construction process that is greener, faster, and cheaper. Because we manufacturer buildings in a controlled way, we can streamline the entire process and keep energy usage to a minimum.
Modular construction allows us to pro-actively analyse every kWh of energy we use, consume as little as possible throughout the process, and use renewable sources where possible. We can also control the supply chain and deliver buildings in bulk, which slashes the vehicle emissions generated per project.
An innovative approach to the developing needs of the construction industry has always underpinned what we do at Thurston. And, as the evidence for man-made climate change has ramped up, so have our solutions for clients who want to be part of the solution rather than the problem.
In addition to the manufacturing technology and improved control over the production process that modular housing allows, it’s also conducive to waste reduction. During the manufacture of the modular housing, we can virtually eliminate waste, which is a huge plus for sustainability.
Modular construction is certified by BREEAM
All of the modular construction solutions available from Thurston are BREEAM certified. BREEAM has been around since 1990 and is a range of globally recognised certification and validation systems specifically for sustainable construction.
BREEAM takes the kind of holistic approach to sustainability, which means it doesn’t just certify our net zero and emission reduction credentials, but all ESG and health goals. Owned and facilitated by the BRE Group, BREEAM’s certification is based on the science and provides the world’s leading stamp of approval for modular construction and on throughout the lifetime of the building’s occupation and use.
Measuring the green benefits of modular housing
According to research by the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management green modular housing reduces the overall environmental footprint as follows:
- Modular construction is 50% more efficient in terms of energy usage, 30% more efficient for waster usage and 40% more efficient in terms of raw material usage.
- Due to the increase in focus on materials that contribute to the wellbeing of the future occupants, there are fewer chemicals released into the atmosphere.
- Materials can be accurately measured and used during manufacturing, which vastly reduces waste. And because strict guidelines are used on the manufacturing site, far less is wasted throughout the whole lifecycle of the project.
- Modular housing uses raw material far more efficiently than traditional construction. In fact, efficiency is increased by at least 40% during manufacturing.
- Energy usage is controlled during production and operation. Modular housing is well designed to be self-sustainable. For example, solar powered homes lower energy consumption up around 72%.
Offsite modular construction and manufacturing already contributes to a significant number of new builds around the world. Modular homes are the green option and in our opinion the future of sustainable housing construction.
For the construction industry, sustainability goes far beyond buzzwords and big promises. To be truly green and sustainable, businesses within the sector must balance social, environmental, and economic parameters.
For more information about modular offices and their benefits, or to discuss the modular process that could help you , get in touch with us today.