TG Escapes Blog

What is a Modular Building?

by TG Escapes | Nov 5, 2015 | Blog, Education

A modular building is one that is constructed off-site and delivered in pieces for installation. Within the building industry, the modular method is used to create a vast array of buildings, ranging from temporary structures to the sort of high-quality permanent modular constructions (PMCs) we produce. Modular construction has had a surge in popularity across the globe thanks to its many benefits, and the sheer wealth of buildings it can be used to produce.

What Are the Essentials of Modular Buildings?

Modular buildings fall under the prefabricated building umbrella, and are built as units or components which are manufactured off-site. This type of construction usually occurs within a factory environment, and can be in the form of larger units or panels. The sections of the modular building will be delivered to the building site and installed together quickly, sometimes using a crane to place them.

Modular buildings are a very broad group, ranging from lower-quality temporary structures to buildings that are indistinguishable from brick-and-mortar constructions, or even superior in a variety of ways. Some modular buildings, like the ones we produce, are intended to be permanent installations in a single place, while others are designed so they can be relocated over time.

Net-zero biophilic primary school

What Are Modular Buildings Made of?

While traditional construction methods typically revolve around either clay bricks or concrete, modular buildings are typically made around a frame of either wood or steel, with panels made from a variety of materials including wood and concrete.

  • Wood: TG Escapes uses wood for all of our modular building frames, thanks to its strength, the benefits it brings to a living environment, and its sustainability. Wood is a light material that brings fantastic durability when treated and installed correctly. It can be sourced from sustainable forests, and will naturally decompose should a building need to be taken apart. Wood also offers a great level of insulation, boosting the energy efficiency of a modular building.
  • Steel: Another popular choice is to use steel for the frames of a modular building. Steel is a durable building material that can be relied upon for long-term performance in a property. It can also be moulded into different shapes, for features that require curved or otherwise complex framing. Steel framing is also equipped for the rigours of movement and transport.
  • Concrete: Concrete can be cured at an off-site location in pieces, to be installed as part of a modular building. All concrete structures will need to be reinforced with steel, which will make them a strong and reliable option.

The other elements of a modular building such as panelling can truly vary. Ensuring a solid level of insulation within exterior walls is crucial, as is the general strength of each part of the building. We produce beautiful buildings that utilise sustainable timber throughout.

The Clear Benefits of Modular Construction

Modular construction has ballooned in popularity within recent decades, and is now used to produce a huge range of quality permanent structures by companies like TG Escapes. We believe modular buildings can meet or exceed a masonry building in all key areas. Here are some of the key benefits the modular construction process offers:

  • Speed: By utilising off-site construction within factory conditions, time will be saved both by manufacturing different elements simultaneously, and by removing obstacles to completion like the weather. The on-site installation will also be quicker, minimising disruption to the area.
  • Sustainability: Modular manufacturing can lead to a marked decrease in materials, as much as a 90% reduction according to WRAP (Waste & Resources Action Programme). They also require less energy to build and generate less waste from their manufacturing. This can be further aided by using sustainable materials like wood, and designing buildings around net zero. Modular buildings will also minimise the impact on local wildlife through quicker installation, and trap less moisture than masonry buildings, offering improved air quality.
  • Costs: Modular buildings can offer savings of between 10 and 35% over traditional ones. This is due to some of the factors mentioned above, such as quicker installation and reduced material usage. High-end modular buildings will offer the same quality you’d expect from a brick-and-mortar building, so the cost savings are a clear benefit.
  • Flexibility: The modular system allows for a huge range of buildings to be produced, with TG Escapes producing everything from standalone classrooms to two-storey school blocks, all using the same design and manufacturing process.

Net-zero biophilic primary school

What Can Modular Buildings Be Used For?

Modular buildings can essentially be used for any purpose at all, capable of producing larger rooms, multiple stories, and all features that would be expected from a modern building. Here are just some of their popular uses:

  • Educational buildings: We’ve worked on hundreds of buildings within the educational sector, making everything from single classrooms to larger school blocks. The modular design method allows you to carefully design a building around your needs and the dimensions of your space, with a quick installation at the construction site, minimising disruption to a school environment.
  • Leisure buildings: Everything from sports halls to dance studios, changing rooms, and more can be made using modular construction. This can offer an attractive bespoke building that will be sustainable and cost-effective in the long run.
  • Relocatable buildings: While they lack the permanency of the modular constructed buildings we produce, relocatable buildings serve a variety of purposes across the UK, and thanks to their reusable nature offer further benefits to sustainability.

Our Award-winning Modular Buildings

TG Escapes offers an all-in-one modular solution, with design, manufacture, and installation fully covered by our expert team, including foundations and interior finishes. We work with clients across the UK on buildings ranging from single rooms to multi-storey complexes, with a bespoke design process ensuring we can meet their exact needs. We utilise sustainable timber framing, prioritise biophilic design principles, and can build for net zero in operation across the intended 60-year lifespan of our buildings.

From the first design documents to your finished building, you’ll be working with a single point of contact and a friendly team, with this customer-oriented approach helping us to achieve stellar customer feedback over our 20 years in the construction industry.

We’ve worked on educational buildings, offices, commercial buildings and more.

If you’re interested in finding out more about how a modular building could be the solution for you, speak to a member of our team today.

About the author

TG Escapes
Providing net-zero timber frame buildings since 2003. As a gold member of the Structural Timber Association we are fully compliant to design, manufacture and build giving us full control of the quality of all the timber components in our system.

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