Modular construction is becoming more popular and gaining recognition within the construction industry as its value in modern building and society becomes more apparent. While it may seem that modular building is becoming a trend, the industry is flexible and as technology enhances it is constantly changing and adapting.  We looked at the 5 most significant trends that will shape the future of modular construction. 

 
What is modular Construction? 
 
Modular construction is an off-site construction process, in which building components or prefabricated sections called modules, are constructed in a factory setting under controlled plant conditions. Once built they are transported onsite to be assembled into completed buildings. Modular construction projects can be finished much faster than traditional constructions as all the elements can be constructed at the same time. Modular constructions can build long-term, temporary, or permanent buildings. 
 
In recent years, we have seen a rise in the use of volumetric construction, which involves the off-site construction of as much of a building as possible before being brought to site. Typically, a volumetric project would construct a complete room, with a bathroom inside that room, as well as part of the corridor and, perhaps, some external finishes. 
 
The modular construction market was badly impacted by COVID-19 in 2020 (as was almost every industry). Still, now it has entered the growth phase with a researched forecast of over 12% during the next 5 years. 
 
Benefits of Modular Construction 
 
Speed of Construction 
Projects can be delivered up to 30 - 50% quicker than when executed traditionally. 
 
Quality Control 
Unlike traditional construction practices, modular buildings are assembled in controlled environments which means majority of the build process is sheltered from the elements. Building materials are stored inside and builders completing the build process have access to all the tools and equipment in one place. All these factors enable a superior build inspection, tighter tolerances, and more focus on quality control. 
 
Safer Construction 
Building modules means more repetitive, highly specialised tasks for workers. The whole process is easier to control, which brings higher quality standards and safety advancements. 
 
Minimal Impact on the Client 
As much of the work is carried off-site, modular construction removes up to 80% of the activitieS on-site. 
 
Sustainability 
The process generates less material waste, reduces energy consumption, and lowers on-site pollution. Moreover, modules can be reused for new buildings. This helps reduce the 135 million tons of construction waste that ends up in landfills each year. 
 
Upcoming Trends in the Modular Construction Industry 
 
1. Growth in Usage of Building Information Modelling (BIM) Technology 
 
BIM Technology is a topic regularly discussed when considering the future of the construction industry. It is system that can allow contractors, architects and engineers to develop digitalised 3D versions of a construction projects to ensure that all aspects of the project are considered, and procedures are met prior to progressing with a build. This use of BIM technology will also look to grow in modular construction as it provides insight into a construction project at all the important key stages. Communication between what is happening on-site v’s the timings for the module’s availability can be perfectly kept in sync to ensure the delivery of the project is on-time and to the budgets set. 
 
2. Modular Construction huge growth in the housing market 
 
The pressure to build residential homes – cheap, fast, safely and green is a continuing pressure on the UK government. Currently modular construction is mainly used in the commercial sectors but with the government having a quota of 300,000 homes to build modular construction could be a practical solution for the huge issue around affordable housing. 
 
However, modular construction is also becoming a popular choice with individuals as modular construction is becoming more accessible on the market, offering more sustainable choices and enabling a quick house build turnaround. 
 
It is likely that this trend is going to continue as we see more choice and options available to consumers. 
 
3. Augmented Reality (AR) 
AR Technology is growing in every industry sector as more firms see the benefits of using AR in their everyday processes. AR Technology has also started to shine a light in the construction industry. The technology will only look to grow in the world of Modular Construction as it allows for all the planning between every specialist working on the project to discuss the project off-site and use accurate and visual representations to make key decisions without even having to visit the site. 
 
4. Covid-19 
Over the last year the world of work has changed massively with employees now being asked to work more from home. Traditionally this has shown to be quite difficult with the construction industry as work needs to be completed on-site. The modular construction industry changes this perspective completely as this method would allow for work to be planned and co-ordinated before and after the modules are transported on-site. 
 
5. Shift in perception of buildings in the modern world 
The views of what buildings could and should look like is changing as more conversations are taking place on sustainability, usage and design. Modular construction allows a more flexible approach, allowing buildings to be interchangeable facilities so that they can adapt to a communities needs. Designs of modular buildings are also being featured more, as personality and custom choices are more widely available to companies and individuals. 
 
Modular construction can give companies a flexible approach as the can easily be removed, remodelled, relocated, or used as parts for a new project allowing for a building to be less of a continuing expense with little return. 
 
Modular construction is gaining popularity and recognition and is expected to grow by 12.4% between 2021 and 2026. The trends within the market and technology will only aid modular construction to become the new construction industry standard. 
 
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