TG Escapes Blog

The Rise of the Modular Building

by Mark Brown | Jul 9, 2018 | Blog, Commercial

Whilst hardly a new concept, modular building projects have really seen a massive spike in popularity in recent years across all sectors in the UK. In particular, the commercial sector is looking further into modular building options to provide new office spaces and working environments for their employees that are cost effective and environmentally friendly. But why have modular buildings suddenly become so popular in the UK?

Global and National Growth

All across the UK and indeed across the world, modular buildings are on the rise. Leading the way are Sweden and Japan who build around 40% and 16% of their residential buildings respectively, using the modular building method. In the UK, modular construction has taken a bit of time to catch on, but now it has really taken hold of a niche within educational, residential and commercial sectors for quick to build, easy to maintain constructions that cause little disruption and exceed environmental requirements.

As the increase of modular building’s popularity grows, the UK Government has taken an interest in the industries growth and success, aiming to fund over 100,000 modular buildings in the UK by 2020, and, in particular, help fulfil their pledge to build one million homes by the same date. The NHS has also taken advantage of the benefits of modular constructions in recent years, using modular buildings to help expand the NHS’s infrastructure quickly and cost effectively.

Barnet Hospital 1.jpg

Why Modular?

So, why have modular buildings grown in popularity? Well, despite the out-dated perceptions of cold, drafty pre-fabs form the 1950’s, modular buildings have come along way since those days. With improvements in construction techniques, materials and factory technology, there has never been a better time to build modular constructions.

Affordable, sustainable, environmentally friendly and efficient, it’s hardly surprising so many businesses and sectors are now turning to modular buildings in order to expand existing institutions and homes or create new ones.

The key benefits of modular buildings that are seeing their popularity soar include:

  • Speed – Modular buildings have most of their components and modules built off-site which means they can be assembled quickly and efficiently. It’s been estimated that the construction process time can be cut by up to 50% when using the modular method as opposed to traditional building methods.
  • Cost – Most modular buildings have all-inclusive costs which cover site surveys, architect fees, construction and furnishing. Furthermore, the process itself costs far less than a brick and motor building as most of the components are complete when they arrive on site, requiring less man power and resulting in a swifter investment.
  • Non-disruptive and Sustainable – As most of the work has been done off-site, modular buildings need very little in the way of construction vehicles and usually do not require an environmental impact assessment. This means there is much less noise, physical disruption and damage to the environment caused by the entire construction process. Many modular buildings are also constructed using sustainable materials and TG Escapes’ own buildings also come with additional power saving and echo friendly options.
  • Quality – Gone are the days of cheap, mass produced pre-fabs. These days modular buildings are constructed using the most advanced and durable techniques available in the industry, each module tailor made for the client. As 80% of the construction work is moved off-site, the modules can be constructed to an exact degree with strict quality control, as well as creating an extremely safe working environment compared to normal building sites.

Looking to the Future

The massive growth in the popularity of modular buildings is only set to continue in the years to come. With their speed of construction, affordability, sustainability and quality assurance, modular buildings are often becoming the first-choice building method across all sectors of UK industry and institutions. The number of modular buildings is already expected to increase by 6% over the next five years and nearly 10% of traditional contractors will gradually disappear as a result of this growing popularity.

Looking to meet there one million new homes building target by 2020, the Government is also becoming a swift supporter of modular buildings and the modular construction process will also help alleviate the skilled worker shortage in the UK that is pushing up traditional construction costs. The current interest in modular buildings certainly looks set to create a bright future for the industry in the UK and in time we could see the majority of building projects switching to this fast, cost effective and sustainable building process.

About the author

Mark Brown
Consultant at TG Escapes - Mark has spent time growing up with the army, studying computing before the internet existed, and founding The London Classic Theatre Company, self sustaining for over 25 years. He trained in marketing with Unilever before moving into advertising as a strategist with Leo Burnett, Creative Director at Starcom and founder of award winning creative agency Weapon7. He has a passion for eco buildings and helps run the social enterprise Street Wisdom, providing free creative walkshops around the world.

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