Is Modular Construction Cheaper Than Traditional Construction?
As an emerging trend, many owners have questions about modular/off-site construction. One of the big ones is the question of whether modular construction is cheaper. The answer to that question is yes. But probably not for the reasons you may think. Here are the reasons modular is cheaper than traditional stick built construction.
First a definition of modular construction:
PERMANENT MODULAR CONSTRUCTION – A design and construction process performed in a manufacturing facility which produces building components or modules that are constructed to be transported to a permanent building site.
The fact that modular construction can be cheaper than traditional construction has nothing to do with quality.
Despite the fact that modular construction is gaining tremendous popularity as a highly efficient and cost effective construction methodology, some owners still carry some misperceptions about the approach, specifically as it relates to quality. Those who were first introduced to the modular products in the marketplace of twenty or even thirty years ago may be operating under the belief that modular is a “cheap” alternative to higher quality traditional buildings. In reality, this perception could not be further from the truth. Modern modular construction offers access to the same high quality, preferred building materials available in stick built construction. Today’s modular approach requires no compromises in terms of material quality, energy efficiency or even design approach.
Modular Construction is Cheaper Because It’s Faster
Overall, the single greatest cost saving aspect of modular construction is the speed with which the building can be completed. Modular construction can yield project durations that are up to 30% shorter than stick built on site construction. These numbers are achieved due to the inherent time saving aspects of modular construction. Today’s leading modular manufacturers have refined the manufacturing processes Clearly one of the greatest benefits of a modular approach is speed. Since manufacturing and site work occur simultaneously projects can be completed in up to half the time as traditional construction. With units being constructed in a climate controlled environment weather delays are also not a factor. But efficient manufacturing means less waste and a smaller carbon footprint as well. And faster does not mean lower quality. Modular buildings are built to meet or exceed the same building codes and standards as site-built structures, and use the same architect-specified materials as conventionally constructed buildings, like wood, concrete and steel.
Modular Construction is Cheaper Because It’s More Efficient
Every construction project lives or dies by its schedule. Modular takes that to a whole other level. It’s more akin to supply chain management. You have buildings being designed in one state, permitted and built to order in another, and shipped in by truck exactly when needed. This requires a tremendous amount of coordination between the architect, the manufacturer, our project development team and crews in the field throughout all phases of construction. Above all, it is critical to work out every detail of the plan from the beginning. Many of these activities are being executed months in advance, so the discovery of any needed changes may affect something that already happened months ago.