What Materials Are Used in Quality Modular Construction?
Quality modular construction uses many different materials. The most common modular construction materials include wood, steel, and concrete. Not every manufacturer will build their modular buildings using all these material options. Instead, manufacturers will focus on a particular type of construction for better efficiency and expertise.
While not all manufacturers use the same building materials, you can be assured that all modular manufacturers are using the same architecture-specified materials used in conventional construction. Modular buildings are designed and built to meet or exceed the same International Building Code (IBC) codes and standards as traditionally built structures.
Below, we’ll take a closer look at the advantages of quality modular construction using wood, steel, or concrete.
Advantages of Wood Modular Construction
Wood modular construction uses traditional wood studs. In the past, modular buildings built with wood were most commonly single-story structures. This is no longer a limitation as wood modular buildings can now be engineered and constructed to rise several stories. Additional advantages of building with wood include:
As an insulator, wood is superior to steel or other metals. Wood helps control energy loss better than other building materials.
When wood dries it gets stronger, providing a structurally sound frame for a modular building.
Wood is a sustainable building material because, through responsible forest management, trees that have been harvested for lumber can be replanted. Additionally, when a wood modular building has reached the end of its useful life, wood can be recycled for reuse or repurposing. Even when discarded, wood is biodegradable, eliminating its impact on the environment.
Better Health Conditions
Compared to other modular construction building materials, toxin levels in the wood are extremely low. In addition, modular construction in a factory setting protects wood from inclement weather. This means, the wood absorbs less moisture and results in fewer air quality issues for those who occupy the finished building.
Advantage of Steel and Concrete Modular Construction
Steel and concrete modular construction is a newer addition to the modular market. Buildings are typically constructed with a steel frame, steel and concrete floor deck, and cold form steel wall panels. Steel modular construction boasts its own set of benefits that include:
Structural steel produced in the US contains approximately 80% recycled material. Steel constructed buildings, just like their wood counterparts, can be dismantled and recycled at the end of their use.
Because steel is a fire-resistant building material, building compliance allows for increased building height and footprints when building with steel.
Steel-framed construction allows for larger beam span openings than wood-framed construction. As a result, fewer raw materials are necessary for the build. Additionally, steel building materials are often more consistent from piece to piece, as opposed to wood, which may contain naturally occurring variances.
Material Control in Modular Building
No matter which construction materials a modular manufacturer uses, they will be able to utilize a more efficient purchasing and inventory process than traditional builders. When builders can use the same materials for each project, they can make bulk material purchases at a cost-saving. Additionally, tighter inventory control is possible when less material is lost due to theft or weather damage, as often happens at on-site construction projects.