Could Modular Housing be a greener approach to construction?

As you deal with crew coordination, project budgets, and building permits, the environmental effects of home construction can become very clear. While these effects are rarely positive, you can take proactive steps to reduce the environmental impact of your future home such as investing in a modular home – but is a modular home truly a greener approach?

Modular construction entails building the property in a factory off-site, often built in large chunks that are then transported and assembled on the construction site. While modular construction can be used to build entire communities, it can also be used in the self-build industry. High-rise modular apartment blocks are also sprouting up across the UK, including the tallest modular building in Europe, Apex House in Wembley.

Those in favor of modular construction point to plenty of advantages. It can be much faster than conventional construction, particularly in terms of time on site, which reduces disruption to any neighbors, and when buildings are manufactured in a factory, no time is lost due to inclement weather. Building in a factory can generate less waste and can make quality control easier to maintain. Plus, costs are generally lower as a result of reduced material use and labor costs.

There are a few factors that could delay or prevent modular construction adoption. One example is access to construction sites. Because the building components are large, they must be craned into place, which isn’t always possible in a constrained site surrounded by other properties. Another barrier is that once the design is in the factory, it cannot be easily changed. It may be frustrating for a self-builder not to be able to make changes to the overall design as construction progresses.

On the other hand, It has been popular in countries such as Japan, Germany, and Sweden for many years. According to Frost and Sullivan, the global modular market will grow at a 6.3 percent annual rate to reach $215 billion by 2022.

In conclusion, the research and growing demand for modular homes point to its streamlined process, shorter timeframe, and sustainable design as key factors in its broad spectrum of economic and environmental benefits. The strong nature of every single part should, in speculation, ensure a longer life for the building as a whole; meaning the modular industry could provide possibilities for the reuse and recycling of elements as it grows. 

ILU House is exploring modular construction with a number of clients. If you’d like to learn more, find us here.

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