Commercial modular buildings are structures used for business purposes that are fabricated in sections in a factory and then transported to the site and assembled, often by cranes. They are generally quicker and cheaper than ordinary construction by as much as half. They can be a very good solution for businesses that need to set up shop quickly and that may have a limited budget for construction.
The modules that go into a modular building are constructed at a remote facility, often in standard factory assembly line fashion or using a similar process. The components must conform to quality and control and building control standards. There are building inspectors present at the factories to make sure building code is observed.
Transportation to the Site
Modular buildings are usually transported to the site by means of flatbed trucks. Most modular are considered “off frame” – meaning that they are assembled without a frame or axle (unlike, for instance, mobile homes, which are towed to the site, frame and all). An off frame dwelling can be loaded in primarily flat sections on the flat bed, secured, and transported safely.
There are also, however, modular buildings which use prebuilt factory frames as part of the modules. In these cases, the frame itself serves as a means of securing the other components, so these kinds of modular building can still be loaded onto flat bed or other trucks for transportation to the site. When on site, the already framed sections are joined together to create the final modular structure.
Advantages of Modular Construction
As noted above, some of the main advantages of modular construction are the decreased cost and time of construction. In addition, some modular buildings are actually portable. They can be disassembled and reassembled in another location, or simply used for a time and then collapsed and sent back to the factory. This has great advantages for businesses that need temporary offices on location in a certain area.
There are a number of other more specific factors related to these basic advantages. In general, modulars are constructed indoors, which means both time and materials wastage or greatly minimised as factors. For instance, weather conditions are no longer able to hold up construction progress or damage building materials, and the building and landscape work can be completed more or less simultaneously since the lot doesn’t have to be prepared before construction can begin.
For construction in remote locations, the difficulties cost of transporting materials from larger urban or industrial centers can be significant and even make building projects impractical. With modular buildings, virtually all of the construction is done at the factory, so only the transportation of the modulars to the site is needed, and this is often quite affordable.
Churches, schools, construction sites, companies that need temporary of semi-temporary regional offices, small businesses that need a “no frills” offices where they only occasionally meet clients or store materials, more permanent business who need to economise on construction costs – these types of businesses and many others can all benefit from commercial modular building solutions.
They are not necessarily generic looking either – these buildings come in an amazing number of varieties and often look as attractive as site built dwellings, or close. A quick look at the sales pages of a modular dwelling web site gives an idea of the diversity available in all kinds of price ranges.
Often quite sound as dwellings, modulars have largely left behind the “cheap” image that characterised them in the earlier history of the industry. In fact they often exceed the structural strength of their site built counterparts because they are manufactured by a set process at the factory which uses screws, glues joints together, and runs through a standardised factory process of strength testing. The resulting product is more or less guaranteed, as long as the manufacturer has a good reputation, to meet or exceed building standards.
For all these reasons, modular buildings can be a very good business construction solution. They provide a way around some of the traditional challenges and variables that on site construction involves, and are usually equal or superior structures.