We have recently been discussing modular construction at our meetings about new projects.
As an office, we need to understand the technology that is emerging so that we can find ways to make the best buildings possible. In recent years, there have been major advancements in construction that are changing the way we think about building. With anything, there are pioneers that go first and test out ideas and early adopters that begin to find ways to leverage the advancements. For anyone, stepping into something new can be daunting, so we are working to equip ourselves with as much knowledge as we can.
For us, we think that increasing modularity in construction can be game changing and in such, we have been looking into using modular construction for some future projects. This is generally an approach to building that utilizes an offsite space to assemble prefabricated components and then transports them to the site for quick assembly.
This approach has many advantages such as reducing construction time and risk, improving build quality, enhancing building envelope efficiency, improving worker safety, and lowering costs. However, it is not without its challenges which leads to a greater need for good, thoroughly considered design. The last thing we would want to do is bring something to site in a complete, or near complete condition and realize that is does not fit. Overall, we know that modular construction will help us provide more homes in our region at a more rapid pace. As we develop tools to successfully produce these projects, we believe we will also see additional positive outcomes within our office structure.
Brenda Zirkelbach has been leading our efforts and knowledge building around the topic. Recently she hosted a lunch and learn, sharing some case studies in both highly accessible urban areas such as Minneapolis and Seattle as well as approaches to modularity for construction in remote areas of British Columbia. It was interesting to see how some of the challenges were addressed in design, and what may happen in extreme situations or when something is not fully considered.
As an office, this has sparked a lot of great conversation about how we would address certain challenges that were raised during the presentation. It has been insightful to share in these creative sessions around something that is predominately technical. At the end of the day, we are working together to refine each others ideas and discover new ways of problem solving.
What us as we begin to make this a reality.