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Traditional Vs. Modular Construction

OK, so you’re thinking about building a house and wondering about Modular Construction vs a more traditional methods of construction like constructing on-site? You find a section and are ready to take the next step. Often, because of the way finance is arranged, you would do the purchase of the section and building of the house in one deal. 

To make your decision clear and straightforward, a few factors distinguish which option may be more feasible for you!

But before we get to that, let’s discuss what we mean by modular and traditional housing methods.

What Is Modular Construction?

Modular homes, are purely constructed in a factory environment.

Different sections of the house are build in modules and usually have a specific task, i.e. a kitchen module or bathroom module. The best thing about modular homes is that, in some cases, each section can be designed into the house according to the customer’s preferences; hence the design of the layout can be completely customised.

Once the modules are completed, all the modules are then transported to the site where the home is assembled into a finished house.

This methodology has many advantages. These have been covered in previous blog posts.

What Is Traditional Construction?

Traditional construction is the usual construction method in which, typically, houses are built manually.

Generally, these do not have a particular off-site location and are made out of traditional building materials used in New Zealand.

Modular Construction vs. Traditional Construction: The Debate

Even though the traditional methods of construction are being used on a large scale around the world, there is no doubt in the fact that the option of modular housing is now being widely adopted as a method of construction as well.

Both these techniques have some minor differences that make them distinctive from each other. These can be discussed in terms of;

1. Time

Depending on the construction methodology in a factory, the complete manufacturing of the home property is able to be completed within half the time of a comparable onsite build. The modular housing option has an advantage in this respect because apart from getting the best quality and precise results, you also get the final product as soon as possible.

On the contrary, traditional constructions process is phase by phase. There’s a set plan that is to be followed thoroughly, which means two sections of the house cannot be built together. The previous one has to be executed to proceed to the next phase. This procedure can be time-consuming as compared to the modular housing methodology.

Modular Home Factory
A Modular Homes factory based in Canada
2. Structure

Modular built homes are built by highly skilled and supervised by specialists, experts and engineers.

Each house is consented to NZ3604, the New Zealand building code, and goes through the normal consenting and inspection regime but there are additional quality assurance inspections in a modular home factory. 

In contrast, while onsite house builds are supervised, there is not the same attention to detail that is able to be bought to bear on the construction because of the environmental conditions.

3. Cost

Due to modular construction taking up less time, this saves financing costs and may help the owner save up to 50% off finance expenses. The modular methodology takes advantage of economies of scale, making houses affordable; and cost-effective, which benefit individuals on a budget.

In comparison, the traditional method increases costs as it can take up more time to construct. The whole process is also dependent on the type and productivity of the workforce. In addition factors such as rain can cause delays and increased costs.

Modular Home Factory
A Modular Homes factory in the USA
4. Sustainability

The sustainability of a home depends on how the home is designed and constructed. A modular home is delivered with a higher standard of quality because all the material used in the construction, the design of the home, and the building methodology ensure that there is less build waste and less transportation costs.

Centralising the construction with a modular homes, means delivery of materials to one place, and the methodology of construction with low waste of materials, means that the entire construction process is far more sustainable than the traditional method of construction.

The factory method of production has been utilised in most other industries (car manufacturing, electronics etc.) as it is a far more efficient model of production

Modular home manufacturing is much better for our environment.

Wrapping Up

Modular home building verses traditional homes each have their advantages and disadvantages.

However, modular home manufacturing, with a factory built environment, has a large number of benefits compared to your traditional onsite builds. 

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