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The Significance of Choosing Right Building Materials for Modular Construction

Construction Tech Review | Tuesday, July 12, 2022

The modular construction project's design can influence the materials employed throughout construction.

FREMONT, CA: Concrete, steel, and wood have all been utilized in various traditional construction methods for ages (with steel being the most recent addition), and each has its advantages and disadvantages to take into account. In a nutshell, wood is suitable for small and medium-sized buildings since it is lightweight and somewhat robust. Steel is ideal for taller, more intricate frames since it is heavier but stronger. The strongest and most effective material for foundations and reinforced structures is concrete. Modular construction also makes use of each of these materials in different ways. However, the modular construction process offers a somewhat different set of advantages and difficulties.

Modular building using wood

Due to its advantages as a building material, wood is a great choice for modular construction. Wood is inexpensive, easily worked by hand or machine, low in toxicity, biodegradable, reusable, and recyclable. As a flammable substance, wood has the significant thermal feature of not expanding in the presence of heat. It gets stronger when dried out in a hotter environment. Additionally, wood is a strong insulator against electricity and energy loss (helps to reduce electrical shocks). The modular fabrication shop uses wood to build exterior wall panels with extra waterproofing, insulation, vapor barrier, drywall, and siding layers.

Modular building using steel and aluminum

Metals include flexibility, hardness, conductivity, precision, and strength. They fall within the ferrous and non-ferrous metal categories. Due to their high iron content, ferrous metals are generally employed in structural applications requiring robust, ductile, and long-lasting. They are easily manipulated to create various forms and sizes and treated with coatings to avoid corrosion when exposed to the elements. Non-ferrous metals naturally resist corrosion and are utilized in roofing and cladding applications. Steel is expensive compared to wood and concrete, but because of its strength and ease of construction, it is the better option when building long-span structures, high-rise structures, and unusual geometric patterns.

Concrete modular construction

Precast concrete or concrete masonry units (CMUs) are typically used in the modular construction of concrete structures like restrooms, concession buildings, shower facilities, shelters, utility buildings, etc. The roof may contain lightweight precast concrete panels, metal panels, concrete tiles, or conventional architectural shingles. All local building codes are followed in the design and construction of the buildings. They may be brick, stone, stucco, split-face block, board and batten siding, or horizontal lap siding, among other color and texture options. Prefabricated structures are delivered finished and equipped with plumbing and electrical systems as necessary. Additionally, permanent, poured-in-place reinforced concrete foundations are used to build modular concrete buildings.

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