Construction Ahead

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By Maimun Mustafa

Prefabricated Building and the Move to Modular

Distant maybe the days of concrete high rise structures that take years for completion. The contemporary construction industry is witnessing a renewed growth of modular construction and prefabricated buildings in 2019.

Modular construction utilizes a fabricated approach to building repetitive structures or factory-produced pre-engineered building units (modules) that are delivered to site and assembled as large volumetric components or as substantial elements of a building. The modular units may form complete rooms, parts of rooms, or separate highly serviced units such as toilets or lifts. The collection of such discrete units usually form either a standalone self-supporting structure or may rely on an independent structural framework for taller constructions.
The use cases of application ranges among private housing, social housing, apartments and mixed use buildings, educational sector and student residences, key worker accommodation and sheltered housing, public and defense sector buildings, health sector buildings and hotels

A Green and Efficient Comeback
Although its history dates back to the mid 1800s, modular construction companies are making the news in part due to the accelerated rate of demand for supply of residential and commercial buildings. Subsequently it ends up saving companies time and money due to the flexible nature of the process.
The construction industry contributes to around 20% of global emissions and rejuvenation of modular building could come as a Godsend for waste reduction. Units are built off campus and hence material usage is optimized often with recyclables. All this assists in greener building. .

Business of Building
The business benefits of this construction method include:
· Economies of scale through repetitive manufacture
· Rapid on site installations
· Greater quality control in building unit as they take place in factories.
· Low self weight leading to foundation savings
· Greater suitability for space constrained sites
· Limited disruption in the vicinity of the construction site
· Better acoustic insulation due to double layer construction
· Adaptable for future extensions, and ability to be dismantled easily and moved if required
· Stability of tall buildings can be provided by a braced steel core.

Structures Beyond
With a projected population forecast of 230-250 million by 2050, Bangladesh will need to reevaluate its priorities when it comes to housing as well as urban and rural planning. This in turn requires a dynamic building method that can address the diverse needs and the requirements of the growing demographic amidst a tight geographic boundary. Modular construction and prefabricated building may be that cost effective, flexible and sustainable answer that the Bangladeshis of tomorrow deserve.

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