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Amazing Ways in Which Modular Buildings are Environment-Friendly

modular building and green construction

You need to think, for a second, about the world we live in today. The world we live in today has a watch that doesn't just tell you time, but also makes payments, tracks your daily activity and can automatically adjust to local time when you travel. It has 3D printers that can build whole objects simply using digital blueprints. It has eco-friendly wheels that can be attached to bicycles with rechargeable, battery-powered motors to make biking to places less strenuous.

When you think about it, it really shouldn't come as a surprise that we live in a world where portable buildings or modular buildings as they're commonly known as exist; buildings that can be constructed in a matter of days; can be 'reused'- so to speak- and are even easier on the environment. 

Sounds too good to be true? It isn't.     

Understanding the concept of modular buildings

Modular buildings, quite literally, are prefabricated buildings that consist of several sections or 'modules' that can be transported using a crane onto a building's foundation to match the building's layout. Interestingly, modular constructions, be it homes, offices or classrooms, adhere to federal codes set down by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and are actually mass-produced in warehouses! Try and fathom the concept of an entire building being manufactured in a warehouse. It's happening and it's being done every single day.

The longstanding question: could modular buildings be environment friendly?

Before answering that question, you need to know what the existing buildings in the United States account for. As indicated by the Green Building site by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the buildings in the United States account for:

  • 39 percent of total energy use
  • 12 percent of the total water consumption
  • 68 percent of total electricity consumption
  • 38 percent of the carbon dioxide emissions

If these statistics are anything to go by, it's quite apparent that eco-friendly, green buildings are the need of the hour. But where do modular buildings come into the picture here? There are three primary ways:

  1. Energy-efficient constructions: Modular buildings are mass produced and follow standard specifications which make it possible for them to be constructed quickly. Reduced construction time results in effective use of energy and resources and very little construction waste. While some might argue that a substantial amount of energy might be needed to build and manufacture these units on such a large scale, but that can be countered with the argument that construction time, effort and energy is reduced considerably in the case of modular buildings.
  2. Types of materials used: Usually the materials used in modular constructions are the same as regular constructions. However, an increasing number of companies are making use of sustainable materials to reduce their carbon footprint. Mobile Modular for example utilizes self-adhering carpet tiles in their portable buildings which don't emit volatile compounds (VOC). Additionally, they either reuse their products or also recycle most of their materials that are used in the production of these modular constructions.
  3. Modular constructions are reusable: One of the biggest advantages of modular buildings is that you can erect a building in a matter of a few days and take it down and move it to another location when you're done with it. In the long run, using the same modular building time and time again helps you save time, money, energy and resources, thus reducing consequent construction waste.

That said, modular buildings have steadily gained popularity over the past decade and will continue to do so in the future.

The question now for you as a company or a business really is- are you willing to make the change?

Photo Credit: Green Modular Buildings/shutterstock