Modular Buildings: Integrated Building Design Exemplified
Integrated Building Design utilizes experts working in conjunction with each other to create a building that achieves maximum efficiency, lower costs, and increase overall performance. No industry exemplifies Integrated Building Design better than the modular building industry, where multiple areas of a project work together and in conjunction to reach these goals.
While there are clients who work with an architect to create the design for their modular classroom, office, or lab space, the growing Integrated Building Design trend is to work with your modular manufacturer for a complete design-build project.
Modular’s design-build engineering process creates the perfect modular space for your needs, developing preliminary or fully-engineered custom modular designs. Many modular manufacturers have project floor plans already designed to meet the needs of various industries; a one-story or multi-story structure, from a couple of thousand square feet to over ten thousand square feet.
Manufacturing & Site Prep
This is where modular construction best illustrates the principles of Integrated Building Design. Most of the efficiencies and cost-savings in prefabricated buildings come from the fact that the manufacturing and site-prep processes happen concurrently.
The approved building design is executed by a modular building manufacturer in an off-site manufacturing facility. Each module of the building is fabricated in a safe and weather-proof environment.
While the modular building is being manufactured off-site, crews are working to prepare the site for the building delivery including excavation for the foundation and installation of the modules. Depending on the size and scope of the project, utilities, walkways, and water and sewer systems are all being prepared at this time.
Throughout the manufacturing process, the individual modular units are stored and delivered in a predetermined order so that installation is efficient. As the modules arrive on site, they are up to 90% completed and staged to be set on the completed foundation system.
The custom modular units are meticulously placed on the foundation and lined up with precision. During off-site fabrication, the walls, ceilings, electrical, data lines, plumbing, and HVAC were all installed so that they line up seamlessly at the time of installation.
During installation, the units are then seamed at the mating line, which is where the individual modules meet. Exterior facade and weatherproofing material are added at the mate lines, along with interior floor and wall finishes. Upon completion of the installation, external connections are made with utilities, water, sewer, alarm systems, and data lines as applicable.
Here again, we can see the efficient use of time and resources that the modular process brings. Work begins on each module, as it is set, and continues down the line to the next module, and the next, effectively resulting in little to no downtime throughout the installation timeline.