As modular construction gains traction, it is increasingly replacing traditional methods of construction in buildings of varying sizes and purposes. Modular high-rise buildings are a great example of this. In this post, we explain what modular high-rise buildings are and the advantages they can offer compared to conventional high-rise buildings and construction methods.
What are modular high-rise buildings?
Modular high-rise buildings are tall architectural structures that are constructed using modular construction techniques and designed to reach significant heights. Conventional high-rise buildings are tall buildings with multiple stories. This includes apartment blocks, office blocks and other tall buildings in which occupants typically need to use a lift for access to higher floors. Modular high-rise buildings are generally the same but differ in how they are constructed. Modular construction involves the manufacturing of individual building modules, or units, offsite in factory-controlled environments. These components are then transported and assembled on the construction site.
What are the key features of modular high-rise buildings?
There are several key features that differentiate modular high-rise buildings from conventional high-rise buildings and other structures. These are:
In modular construction, various parts of a building are manufactured offsite in a factory. This can include walls, floors, roofs and even entire rooms such as kitchens and bathrooms. The controlled factory environment allows for precise construction and quality control. It also allows for faster project completion times because different aspects of the construction process can occur concurrently, which saves time and can reduce costs.
Stacking and assembly
Once modules have been constructed offsite, they are transported to the construction site, where they are stacked or assembled on top of each other. This process is similar to putting together building blocks, and it can significantly accelerate the construction timeline.
Modular high-rise construction often requires a high level of coordination and integration between different construction teams, including design, engineering, manufacturing, transportation, and assembly.
What are the benefits of modular high-rise buildings?
Modular high-rise buildings offer many advantages compared with traditional construction methods. These include:
Reduced construction timesOne of the main advantages of modular construction is its potential to drastically reduce construction time compared to traditional onsite methods. Since modules are simultaneously manufactured while site preparation and foundation work occur, the overall construction timeline can be significantly shortened.
The factory environment in which the modules are built allows for better control over the quality of materials, workmanship, and construction processes. This can lead to higher construction standards and fewer defects. In turn, this allows for better budget planning and reduced costs, as errors and reworks can be costly and lead to unexpected expenses.
Although upfront costs for factory setup and module fabrication can sometimes be higher, the streamlined construction process can lead to cost savings in terms of labour, time and reduced errors.
Modular construction can be more sustainable in terms of reduced waste generation, efficient use of materials, and minimised disruption to the local community during construction.
As technology and construction practices continue to evolve, modular high-rise buildings are gaining popularity since contemporary solutions are able to offer greater design flexibility than ever before. They offer a way to address the growing demand for urban housing and commercial spaces while overcoming some of the limitations of traditional construction methods.
Case study: Great Court, Bermondsey
Vision Modular Systems UK Ltd has been contracted to construct a new nine-storey, 250-bed PBSA building. The street edges to St. James’s Road and Rolls Road will be activated, whilst the communal facilities on the ground floor, including a café and student communal spaces, will provide connectivity and interest along the street edge.
The accommodation in the development comprises 29 clusters, ranging from 3-10 beds as well as 44 studios. There will be a shared living space in each cluster. On the lower ground floor, there will be shared amenity space for the students, including a dedicated lounge and dining area, movie and gaming theatre, separate study space and laundrette. The facilities will also include cycle storage and refuse.
This state-of-the-art building demonstrates the scope for modular high-rise buildings, which can be multi-purpose and include a range of different facilities and rooms.
You can read more about this project here.