Modular construction, also called prefabricated construction, is mainly of two types: mobile offices and modular buildings. Mobile offices are generally supply buildings used by construction companies for temporary office space while modular buildings are custom-built as per the user’s specifications.
Modular buildings are constructed in a factory-controlled environment using the same materials that are used for traditional buildings. The floor plan of the building is broken up into individual modules. The size of the module generally ranges in size from ten to eighteen feet in width and thirty six to seventy six feet in length.
Almost ninety percent of a modular building is factory-made. Each module is built with walls and ceilings. They are also fitted with carpets and wiring is done initially. A seamless building is assembled from the building modules when they reach the site. Most modular buildings consist of one or two modules.
Modular buildings can be used for different purposes. Schools, classrooms, daycare centers and dormitories are being built. Modular construction is also used to build office buildings, clubhouses and health care facilities.
There are however some design constraints in case of modular buildings. As the building is shipped via road, height of the modules is a major constraint. The modular buildings generally have a height of around eight feet unlike traditional construction, which can go up to a height of nine or ten feet. It is difficult to opt for modular buildings where height is a problem, like in the case of riding arenas and warehouses.
There are a variety of finishes to choose from for a modular building exterior, such as wood, steel and brick. Exteriors can be customized using windows, multiple doors and various roof treatments. There has been a recent trend of constructing more permanent modular buildings that require more on site construction.