Permanent Modular Construction: What Happens On-Site?
The main advantage of modular construction is the overlap of off-site building and on-site preparation and the time savings that comes with simultaneous progress. We pay a lot of attention to what’s going on off-site, as the individual modules are being built in assembly line procession by specialized workers. But what’s happening on-site during a permanent modular construction project?
Permanent Modular Construction On-Site Development
While individual modules are completed up to 90% off-site, there is a lot happening on the final build site. This includes:
- Site drainage
- Foundation construction
- Utility installation
Using traditional construction methods, all the above steps would need to be completed in full before building construction could begin. This adds significant time to your overall project timeline and delays your ability to take occupancy of your building.
Foundations for Permanent Modular Construction
Did you know that modular buildings require a foundation? Many people don’t realize they do! There are two foundation types that are primarily used for modular construction projects. These are on grade foundations and raised foundations. If you’re not familiar, here’s a quick recap on each.
On Grade Foundation
An on grade foundation is most commonly used in permanent modular construction installations. It’s created by pouring a foundation wall around the entire building perimeter. Similar to a home foundation, it creates a basement for the building.
Using an on grade foundation requires the individual modules to be set with a crane during final assembly.
The second foundation type, a raised foundation, can be used for temporary or permanent modular construction. Using a raised foundation, modules are placed on concrete piers or blocks. A blocking points plan suggests where to place piers and how much building load each will support. It’s especially useful for temporary modular building because the building can be removed easily and with less disturbance to the surrounding site.
A raised foundation allows the completed modules to be set in place without the use of a crane.
Permanent Modular Installation
Once all on-site preparation is complete, building installation can occur. At this time, the modules are delivered and staged in a specific order to make the final assembly run smoothly and efficiently.
Once the modular pieces are placed onto the foundation, the individual building components are seamed together. At this point, utility connections are made, interior finishes (ceiling, flooring, and trim work), and exterior additions (decks, ramps, and stairs) are completed.
Compared to traditional construction, the overlapping on-site and off-site progress of modular construction can reduce your time to occupancy by up to 50%.