5 Reasons Why Modular Buildings Are Now So Popular In The UK

New build Premium Sales Office from Cabinlocator

The image of modular buildings has evolved rapidly over the past couple of decades. At one time, they were viewed as a temporary solution to provide emergency storage facilities or shelter. The quality, aesthetics and usability of these older prefabricated buildings could often leave a lot to be desired.

However, the image has now shifted significantly within industry and the general public, and premium modular buildings are very much in demand for a diverse range of uses. Here is a look at the factors that have led to this change in attitudes.

Sustainability and Eco-Friendliness

With every passing year, the need to address climate change becomes more urgent. According to the Construction Industry Council, the built environment and the construction sector are responsible for 38% of global greenhouse emissions.

The UK has an ambitious Construct Zero Programme in place, but it will only achieve these targets with significant changes in construction methods. Modular building is a part of this solution, because it is substantially less wasteful and requires less transportation and raw materials than traditional construction methods.

Modular buildings thus have a much smaller carbon footprint than conventional buildings. They are often also better constructed, with more effective insulation and air-tightness. This makes them more energy efficient and they require less fuel to heat or keep cool.

Cost control

Modular buildings have far more predictable budgets than conventional construction projects. The construction is mostly carried out in a controlled factory environment, with the materials and workforce readily available.

This helps to keep costs foreseeable and manageable, whereas with a traditional project they can spiral out of control due to material or labour shortages, delays in delivery, and disruptive weather conditions.

Applications across a wide range of sectors

One of the most valuable aspects of modern modular buildings is the versatility. They can be produced to a wide range of size and design specifications, allowing them to be adapted to a diverse range of purposes. This means that the building can be repurposed or relocated as needs change, in a manner that would be impossible with a traditional building.

Supporting healthcare and education

The healthcare and education sectors have come under huge pressure in recent years. The NHS continues to battle with increasing demand and the changing needs of the population. The school estate has suffered from years of underinvestment, and both sectors have been badly affected by the crumbling concrete crisis.

Modular buildings have been widely deployed across both sectors to create extra facilities within short timescales and limited budgets.

Boosting the UK’s housing stock

The UK has a longstanding shortage of housing, which creates a pressured property market, driving up prices and locking out first time buyers. The rental market is also under strain, with limited choice and availability and ageing stock that is often poorly maintained and energy inefficient.

This is where modular housing can help to address the shortage. According to The Times, 15,000 of the 200,000 new homes delivered each year are now modular buildings that are pre-constructed in a factory, and this number is set to rise in the future. This is particularly the case for student accommodation and smaller homes such as flats.

However, it is no longer the case that prefabricated homes are the characterless boxes of the past. Modern methods of construction allow for a much greater flexibility in terms of design, materials and layout. They can be produced to meet individual needs and requirements, and designed to blend elegantly with the surrounding environment.

Modular homes are no longer just a temporary solution either. Conventional new build homes are designed to have a lifespan of 60 years, whereas a high quality modular home can last for up to 75 years. The modular building is constructed of high quality energy efficient materials, making them cheaper to run and more eco-friendly.

As traditional building methods become unsustainable due to environmental concerns, labour shortages and spiralling costs, housebuilders are increasingly looking to alternative modern construction methods.

Another great advantage of modular construction is that new homes can be built in a matter of weeks or even days, rather than the months or even years that it can take to deliver a traditional housing development. This has the potential to help governments achieve ambitious new homebuilding targets.

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