Modular, or offsite construction, negates the issues traditional construction has with it. The structures are designed and produced offsite. This means site preparations are happening at the same time as the structures are being produced which ultimately saves time. By having objects made in an offsite, controlled environment there is very little cause for delays.
The second element that makes up traditional construction, “unique every time,” does not necessarily mean that the unique attribute of constructed buildings is lost. Modular structures can be customized to the nth degree!
Finally, though there is nothing wrong with temporary teams coming together to complete a project, regular teams that work together consistently know how to complete a project best, because they’ve worked with each other before and can anticipate the needed schedule based on what they already know of each other.
It is because of these reasons (and those in the graph below) that offsite construction is surging. Two-thirds of participants from a survey conducted by FMI stated: “Today’s offsite construction environment is different than it was just three years ago.”
Modular Offsite Construction uses an Inside-Out Approach
In the article Offsite and Modular Construction Explained another difference between offsite and traditional construction is explained. Practicality is at play in the building process between traditional construction and modular offsite construction with the inside-out approach. Traditional construction starts from the outside of a structure and then moves in to finish inside jobs like interior surface, electrical, plumbing, mechanical, insulation, exterior sheathing, and cladding. With a modular structure, the frame is fitted together to form the infamous rectangle/box shape, and then the inside jobs are completed before the outside paneling is applied. Here’s a picture of a modular being built; the steel frame is up and the interior hardware is applied before any outside paneling closes the structure in.
Traditional, on-site assembly is restricted for multiple reasons like weather delays or the delay of multiple trades waiting on the other to finish. In the building lifecycle, if one trade working on plumbing is running behind, the next trade for electrical wiring will have a delayed start date. As the article above explains,
Factory production of modules avoids the difficulties of unpredictable weather,
trades waiting on one another, and incessant delays associated with on-site construction.