Modular construction is not a new idea – there have been waves of interest from the construction centre over the years. Prefabs from the 1950s and 60s are still around, for example.
But today’s modular construction benefits from technological improvements, innovative sustainable solutions for the life cycle of a building project and significant cost savings. And it’s for these reasons that modular construction is right now attracting massive amounts of interest and investment.
The cost of modular construction offers significant savings
Construction is one of the biggest sectors in the world, and so any significant change in the way that work is done can have major repercussions on global productivity.
Previously, modular construction went through boom times when particular needs cropped up. So, in the US and the UK, prefabs were popular in the post-War years, to fulfil a need for fast, relatively cheap accommodation and building.
Following these short-term flurries of building prefabricated buildings, they fell out of favour. However, the increased quality and technologically driven modular construction methods are successful in changing customer perception – and certainly picking up investor interest.
Modular construction isn’t a product – it’s a process
Economic challenges are being experienced just about everywhere in the world, due to a run of unprecedented situations. From the pandemic to global supply chain issues, there is an urgent need for affordable and reliable building methods.
In this blogpost, we’re going to dig deeper into the cost benefits of modular construction. There are multiple cost benefits to modular construction that absolutely improve affordability.
If we start by thinking of modular construction not as a single end product, but rather the entire process, it gives a clearer picture of its overall cost-effectiveness. The kinds of turnkey modular construction solutions we offer at Thurston aren’t just about the delivered product, but the entire project through the materials used, the time taken and the quality.
Because we build largely off-site, we can control the schedule, the work time and the efficiency of the process in a way that isn’t possible with traditional construction methodology.
Modular units are, of course, constructed to the same strict standards and regulatory codes as conventional builds, but there are more opportunities to streamline the process and save costs in that way.
5 reasons modular construction offer cost benefits
Modular construction is much faster than conventional building and can take half the time usually needed for on-site methods. Let’s break the cost savings down further:
- No extraneous design costs
While there are, of course, options for bespoke design choices, modular construction largely sticks to standardised designs. The client, whether a healthcare institution, educational site or residential project, can dispense with an architect while still getting a sleek and tested design.
For residential projects, we have in-house design advisors who can ensure whatever is needed from the special design and costs can be produced. However, design costs are generally much lower than with a standard construction project.
- Reliably sourced and costed materials
Modular construction companies have established and trusted partnerships all along the supply chain. This means far fewer – if any – delays, no question of ‘just in time delivery of any essential parts or components.
These kinds of delays can add costs onto a construction project, so the fact that modular construction mitigates them lowers the risk of costs spiralling. This also means that there’s no need for clients to budget for contingencies – they can pay a set amount and have confidence that the project will be fulfilled.
- Reliability of the workforce
Modular construction tends to work with salaried technicians and builders, while construction projects that roll out on-site usually use multiple subcontractors. As modular construction takes place off-site on a production line, there are never any gaps or schedule conflicts.
All of this improves efficiency and speed of build, which has a knock-positive impact on the cost.
- Energy costs are lower
This is where the sustainability of modular construction adds to the benefits of cost savings. Modular units are built to be sustainable and minimise energy wastage. Modular constructions are airtight, which means that less gas and electricity is used to heat and cool them when in use.
This is particularly useful at a time of soaring energy costs, and for buildings that are heavily used, can represent a significant saving.
- Less disruption on site
Most of the modular construction work takes place off site. This then minimises any disruption and mess caused to the site. When the units are ready, there will be groundwork and crane work to hoist the units into place. However, this represents far less time on site and less clean up necessary. All of which helps to cut costs.
Modern modular construction comes with a range of benefits
Overall, there is no doubt that modular construction can save costs across the board. From labour costs to wastage, and from time lost on site to supply chain disruptions, these kinds of problems are far less likely to impact a project cost.
Offsite construction saves money, and thanks to today’s technology and super-efficient management systems, results in a resilient and long-lasting building product. Less time taken to complete the project, efficient supply chains and a reliable workforce combine to ensure that modular construction gives the client the best possible return on investment.
For more information about modular construction and its benefits, or to discuss the modular process that could help you, get in touch with us today.