Modular building has been well established as the faster building option. Slightly less known is that it’s inherently more sustainable than traditional construction.
According to the National Science and Technology Council, the construction industry accounts for 40 percent of primary energy consumption and 40 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States.
Reduced waste, the strategic reuse of buildings and the recyclable nature of modular construction make this increasingly popular building method an excellent choice for green building.
Like traditional building, modular can use the same environmentally-friendly building materials and resource-efficient features like motion-sensor LED lighting and high-efficiency HVAC. But this approach only takes you so far.
Modular building produces less harmful pollutants through the controlled manufacturing environment in which these buildings are created. A factory environment consumes less energy as compared to traditional on-site construction. This factory construction also uses indoor air quality controls to prevent harmful emissions from escaping into our environment.
Repetition in the production process also allows material resources to be accurately measured and strategically applied to minimize waste. For example, traditional construction processes include cutting wood planks to the size needed, and the leftover materials are left behind as scraps. In modular construction, the modular provider knows the exact amount of materials that will be needed, leaving near-zero waste.
Finally, modular construction has less site disturbance than traditional construction, which reduces production times and the long-term footprint on the environment. As these projects are delivered to the site, minimal site preparation will be needed. As a result, the use of heavy equipment is dramatically reduced. Additionally, as the building is being delivered as a finished product, there is no risk of pollutant runoff and disturbed soil being washed into nearby waterways.
These are just a few ways that modular building can be more sustainable than traditional construction. As it continues to develop new, innovative ways to be even more sustainable, it is very likely that modular will further challenge traditional brick and mortar construction as the preferred method for green building.
[About the Author: Jeff Dusing is the Creative Communications Manager at ModSpace, a leading provider of temporary and permanent modular building solutions with 80 branch locations across the United States and Canada. ModSpace offers innovative and eco-friendly products with a variety of options to suite your space needs, including mobile storage solutions, job site offices, portable buildings, and even modular office complexes.]
Image: seier+seier at Flickr