- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 29 Jun 2016
Modular vs traditional construction
This article provides an outline of the important differences between modular and traditional construction methods:
- The term ‘traditional’ is often used to describe the types of linear construction, where each individual step is not only constructed entirely (or largely) on site, but also needs to be completed before the project can move on to the next phase.
- Modular construction is an off-site based construction method, during which individual components are manufactured (or ‘prefabricated’) in a factory, transported to the site entirely (or mostly) complete and assembled on location.
Image source: Modscape
Pros and Cons of Modular Construction
- Thanks to the ability for the project to run simultaneously on-site and in-factory, modular construction can be up to 50% quicker than traditional construction.
- As major parts of construction are handled within a factory, weather conditions are often irrelevant during the majority of the project.
- The factory-based manufacturing process allows not only for greater quality control during the manufacturing process but for many health and safety risks to be considerably reduced, if not eliminated,
- The process aims to minimise waste and reduce the project’s carbon footprint, as fewer people are travelling to the site and modules are produced directly to spec using Computer Aided Manufacturing.
- The impact on the community surrounding the construction site can be significantly reduced, due to much lower levels of noise and traffic during the project period
- The methods employed in modular construction can often benefit the energy efficiency and airtightness of the final construction
- Access to the site must be considered from the very beginning, as it will need to allow for the delivery of large modules.
- Traditional construction allows for later design changes, while modular construction is unlikely to be able to factor these in, so early complete design sign off is crucial with clients.
- The logistics and planning of individual module assembly will need rigorous planning to ensure a smooth project.
Featured articles and news
When is there a right to light, and what happens if it is obstructed?
What would the nationalisation of economic infrastructure mean for GB?
A new guide to improving value by reducing design error.
We've reached 80,000 page views a day and 10,000 registered users. Why not join them?
A masterplan is a framework within which a location is encouraged to develop or change. Read our introductory article.
New consultation announced on a specialist Housing Court to settle landlord-tenant disputes.
ICE responds to a transport consultation advising the government to make decisions enabling more inclusive cities.
BRE and Loughborough University complete first phase refurbishment of demonstration home.
How the risk of collapse of fibrous plaster ceilings is being addressed in theatres.
If you’re a great writer and have practical experience of the construction industry, it could be you.
Frustrated by long documents or technical jargon? Put off by sign-up forms or costs? Take this 5 min survey to help improve construction knowledge.