When considering innovation in construction there can be an underlying assumption that modular construction is ‘new’ and as such can be classed as a modern method of construction.
But the first modular building was, in fact, built in 1837. Back then, this building design became very popular for two reasons:
- It was much quicker to erect these types of buildings—remember construction equipment and plant machinery was basic at this time, so anything that reduced complexity was a major benefit
- Mobility—a significant percentage of the modular builds at this time were for projects such as gold prospector camps/field hospitals etc. As they could be moved, it meant that the investment in infrastructure was reduced and this lowered costs
So, what has changed since then and can modular construction be truly called a modern method of construction?
Modular construction 2.0
The reality is the underlying principles and benefits of a modular build are the same as they were nearly 200 years ago, however due to technology improvements, more connected supply chains and evolving customer requirements, this construction method has greatly improved.
It’s therefore more appropriate to think of it as an update or modular construction 2.0, which has seen adoption rates increase further as more construction companies adapted to a new way of working to remain operational throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
As a result, many inefficiencies have been eliminated – with a great recent example being a ten-storey stainless-steel apartment block built in just over a day in Shanghai, China.
What comes next for modular?
So, while modular construction isn’t new—it has been reformed. As other modern methods of construction evolve across the entire construction value chain the speed and quality of modular builds are only going to improve further .
IFS Cloud supports modular construction and has been built to enable this best practice by combining industry functionality with continuous innovation. As the benefits of modular construction continue to increase, those who do not utilize this method potentially face being outpaced by their competition.
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