Assembling building components onsite, that were originally made offsite, is modular prefabricated construction. I’ll explore the advantages through the various industries and how this defines them. You’ll notice that there are aspects which rather than set the sectors apart, unite them.
Garden rooms and offices (UK) Backyard rooms(AU)
Is it the “extra space” the buyer wants? Yes it is, but also the way in which it’s installed which makes this “extra space” so appealing. Unlike traditional means of extending your property a large majority of construction is handled offsite, leaving less disruption to the site and often away from the existing property. It’s Prefab construction which makes this possible, no need for cement mixers, and tradespeople on your property for months on end, have your garden room erected in a day!
Shipping container architecture aka “cargotecture”
They’re the perfect embodiment of modularity: containers come in predefined sizes and can be stacked and interchanged in a myriad of configurations.
If they don’t quite fit your requirements, they’re shapes can be adapted whilst still retaining they’re “cargotecture” feel. In contrast to prefab, rather than manufacture modular components for construction; shipping containers are already modular volumes, which are utilised FOR modular construction.
Come as complete packages of prefabricated components from one supplier. By centralising the prefabrication process in this way they get they’re well deserved reputation for German efficiency.
Although like kit houses, there are “prefab” suppliers who deliver the whole process involved in installing prefabricated buildings – there’s greater potential for customisation. There’s movements such as kiwi prefab driving change forward for everything prefab; That, coupled with organisations that seek to set out guidelines and advance automation in the industry such as CABA; Plus the various hubs of prefabricated construction(eg. Prefab NZ) with all the suppliers to choose from set the stage for some exciting change. Building configurators could become commonplace, where users are able to download an app, select supplier parts, construct a building and get it priced. But wouldn’t they be restricted to what ever parts the suppliers have to offer? No not necessarily – the integration between Computer aided design(CAD) and fabrication techniques(CNC machines etc) is an area which has seen some exciting developments – more on that next time.
prebuilt portable modular
If it’s extra space fast (perhaps temporary) whilst bringing least disruption to the site, perhaps portable modular buildings are what you need. Examples are schools, hospitals, accommodation etc. They’re built entirely offsite and craned in to position. The modular and portable building association (MPBA) is a great resource for modular portable buildings.
Savvy retailers not only want to take advantage of trends when they happen, but also where they happen. Pop-up retail allows them to do just that.
If you’d like to see more sectors added to this list, please drop me a line