What is Modular Building Construction?


Modular Construction offers a fast, sustainable way to create a huge range of durable buildings.

What is Modular Building Construction?

Friday 16th September 2022

Modular Construction offers a fast, sustainable way to create a huge range of durable buildings. Assembled from discrete modules that are constructed off-site and delivered, modular buildings can be used for offices, housing, schools and more, with a huge range of customisation options available. In this guide from JCPSA, a modular buildings expert, we’ll explain the essentials of modular construction, the benefits offered by modular buildings, and some of the areas across the UK where modular buildings are used.

What is Modular Construction?

Modular construction involves constructing buildings off-site, which will then be delivered ready for a quick installation. These prefabricated buildings will be produced as modules, discreet pieces that can be connected together on-site. Modular buildings are designed to the same standards as permanent on-site assemblies, meaning they can be used for a huge range of purposes. Modular units can be connected together next to one another or stacked, with inter-module connections used to build a singular unit.

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Permanent Vs Relocatable Modular Buildings

Modular constructions will usually be one of two building types, permanent or relocatable. A permanent modular building is one that is designed for long-term use in a single location. While it is usually possible to move permanent modular buildings it will be a specialist task. Alternatively, relocatable buildings are designed to be moved. These will be used for things like portable medical facilities and offices at construction sites. They will still offer the many benefits of modular buildings and will be durable, but if looking for a long-term choice in a single location then a permanent building would usually be the preferred choice.

What is the Difference Between Modular Construction and Portable Buildings?

While the construction process and installation methods for modular buildings and portable buildings are similar, a portable building will be a single unit delivered for installation. Modular buildings will be made from 2 or more pieces which will have to be assembled on-site.

What Are the Benefits of Modular Construction?

Modular construction offers a range of benefits over traditional construction, in terms of costs, speed, sustainability and more:

  • Flexibility to Change or Move: Modular construction can be altered with additional units, letting you quickly and easily extend an existing building. The modular structure also allows for easy relocation, whether moving them across a site or selling them to another person. These are huge benefits over traditional masonry construction, where adding to existing buildings is an expensive process, and moving or reselling buildings is impossible.
  • Reduced Construction Waste: Due to modular buildings being constructed within a factory, there will be greatly reduced waste as leftover components. As the modular method of construction will reuse the same standardised designs often, this will mean they can order the precise quantities needed for each material.
  • Faster Building Process: Modular buildings will be delivered ready for installation, greatly reducing the time needed for building on-site, offering a time saving of up to 50% compared to the build programmes of traditional construction projects. This will also reduce the issues that can be posed by weather during building, as the off-site construction will be completed in factory conditions.
  • High Level of Quality: Modular construction can produce permanent buildings, offering everything you would expect from traditional buildings. They will be manufactured with high-grade components and subject to rigorous quality control, testing, and certification schemes. Modular buildings are also strong, keeping them pristine during the delivery process.
  • Environmentally Friendly: The reduction in waste offered is a key environmental benefit. Another benefit is the air quality of new modular buildings. New masonry construction can cause air quality issues due to moisture being trapped within the framing. As modular buildings are built in a controlled setting and delivered ready for installation this will not be an issue. With the construction industry under pressure to offer green alternatives, modular buildings can be a great alternative.

The main issue that could affect your use of modular buildings would be that the transport requirements mean that rooms are restricted to maximum size, unlike masonry construction. This is unlikely to be an issue within most uses.

What Are Modular Units Used For?

The various benefits offered by modular construction mean that it is used for a huge range of building projects, offering quick, customisable buildings across the UK. Here are some of the uses of modular construction:

  • Offices: Installing a modular office building can be a quick way to establish a business, whether you’re looking for a place to work or a sales suite. Modular buildings can come with a vast range of cladding and window options, allowing both private offices and sales units to offer an attractive look. Portable modular buildings are popular for offices on building sites, and they can often be rented for the duration of a project.
  • Housing: Modular housing has long been popular in other countries like America, but today larger housing blocks can be built from modular units, offering a quick and sturdy build. Due to the range of cladding options available, a modular housing block can be visually indistinguishable from one constructed on-site. This makes modular buildings popular for social housing and student housing blocks.
  • Commercial Buildings: A huge range of public service and commercial buildings can be made using modular construction. From hospital units, schools, training buildings and more, the huge range of options available mean that modular units can offer an excellent building to meet a tight time schedule.

New and Used Modular Buildings For Sale Across the UK

JCPSA offers a range of new and used modular buildings for sale, perfect for everything from offices, sales units, and more. We build our new units to the highest standards, combining design expertise with technological investments to create everything from our Chichester construction site. Our understanding of the essentials of great modular buildings allows us to select the best used buildings, ensuring sturdy and durable products for our customers regardless of budget. Alongside our range of standard new buildings, we can produce bespoke projects to meet your exact needs.
Explore our range of new and used modular units today, or contact our team to find out more about our bespoke designs.




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