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The evolution of building construction to "Modular Construction System"

Background

The evolution of building construction places importance on each point differently. The development according to the period of time can be divided as below:

For the first period, it was the age of agricultural society. People settled down after living vagrant life at genesis. The conventional method of building a house are stable by construct bricks, timber , cement, sand, soil and construction aggregate. The skillfulness handworks were developed for buildings construction.

The evolution of building construction

For the first period, it was the age of agricultural society
reference: http://behemoths35.rssing.com/chan-18084877/all_p3.html

For the second period, the development of mechanical system by using energy starting the age of industry, from steam engine to electrical and oil energy. The industrial revolution began in 18th century, when the steam engine was invented, it made easier, more quantity and accurate works. Furthermore, the new materials was invented for construction. The steel structure and reinforced concrete system have an influence to construction in the end of 19th century. In the beginning of 20th century, industrial system become more influential for construction until prefabricated accessories was created and installed. This was the beginning point of the prefabrication system afterwords.

Building a system using a prefabricated steel structure

The Jesuitenkirche on Schillerplatz 1943 and today, swastikas replaced
reference: http://www.tracesofevil.com/search/label/Ulm

For the Third period, it was the age of information. Computer system was brought to use for buildings design and construction after 20th century. Human transferred and exchanged information of various construction techniques around the world. Construction was improved as higher quality control and Industrial system was exceedingly made progress. When people used the same pattern for construction, prefabrication system was brought back and improved much better efficient than the past. The large building component was manufacturing inside the industrial factory which can be transported and assembled at the construction site.

modular building design

From Compute! Vol. 4 Issue 4 Fall/Winter 1986
reference: http://www.1000bit.it/support/articoli/apple/a2gs/the_new_apple_iigs.asp

 

modular building

1998 Varian Law Offices Sketches, Renderings, Plan, Photos (Design, Rendering, and Construction Documents)
reference: http://archinect.com/CSSullivan/project/1998-varian-law-offices-sketches-renderings-plan-photos-design-rendering-and-construction-documents

The prefabrication system for the large scale building actually appeared in the age of Egypt, Greek, and Roman. During that time, brick would be made into prefabricated particle before installing those particles at the construction site. Those particles could be column, beam or floor which some particles weight up to 100 tons. The Manufacturing facility were sometimes 100 kilometers far from the construction site.

The prefabrication system for the large scale building

The prefabrication system for the large scale building actually appeared in the age of Egypt, Greek, and Roman.
reference: http://www.thaiengineering.com/

The Transportation and installation of the prefabricated components have considered in order to study its possibility. It was also important to consider on the proper of equipment’s, enough skill labors and good management. The good of integration of each mentioned factors was also important for the prefabricated building construction system.

In Crimean War (1830-1857), there were 1,400 soldiers’ buildings, built completely within two months by using prefabrication system in England before sending those ones to the battlefield area where it was 5000 kilometers away. Main structure and wall were made of wood in order to be accommodation for English and France soldiers. (20 to 25 people per each residence)

Building a modular system.

Pictured above left, one of the first prefab houses, still standing in Australia today, constructed circa 1830. Pictured above right, the first modular hospital erected in 1855 during the Crimean War. It was disassembled in 1857.
reference: http://www.jandelhomes.com/2014/05/29/modularprefab-is-now-mainstream-but-it-is-certainly-not-new-part-1/

Another important example of the prefabrication system was Crystal Palace in London where it was built for Expo in 1851. The materials of the prefabrication was made of iron and glass which it obtained benefits from advance manufacturing technology of Great Britain which they could production of such materials of the buildings.

example of the prefabrication system

standardized pieces with bolted connections that made the great structures of the Industrial Revolution possible. Crystal Palace, London, 1851.
reference: http://www.tectonica-online.com/topics/industrialization/industrial-myth-enrique-azpilicueta-ramon-araujo/38/

building of the prefabrication system

The Crystal Palace, Hyde Park, London in 1851
reference: http://www.thelatestnews.com/will-the-crystal-palace-be-rebuilt/

In 19th century, reinforced concrete had involved important role in buildings construction. The main materials were sand, brick gravel and water which these materials were easy to find in general. The materials could be formalized in various forms. It qualifies as strong structure and environment reliability. The reinforced concrete was called “The Precast Concrete”. The Precast Concrete system was brought to use at the first time in London, on 1878 by W.H. Lascells. He used this type of thin Precast Concrete to combine with wooden pole and also used the Precast Concrete for structural floor of small houses. The Fabrication system was developed with higher level when the development of transportation and lifting equipment (crane) for construction were improved. At the ending of the World War II, residence was extremely needed. At that crisis, the prefab floors, exterior wall and stair were widely used for building construction; and the components of sanitary materials contributed to be higher construction standard for a great number of constructions.

Prefabricated building systems knockdown.

A seven-storey block of student Knock down Windsor House, Windsor Lane, off Dumfries Place to make way for the new building which will accommodate up to 321 students.
reference: www.walesonline.co.uk

The golden age of the prefabricated construction requirement was in the Eastern Europe on 1950s, 1960s and 1970s.The Prefabrication system becomes the main construction procedure of the Eastern Europe countries. The Western Europe used more prefabricated construction to build new cities both traditional house styles and new building styles. The Prefabrication system was also used in the United State They were proficient in the prefabrication system to build small prefabricated houses called Mobile House in the early of 1970s. They needed to build a large number of condominiums and mobile houses for the poverty and new citizenship from the 3rd world.

The golden age of the prefabricated construction

Vintage 1960 Time Capsule Rollohome Mobile Home Trailer
reference: http://www.nopatternrequired.com/

The Construction profession of the United State (CPOUS) took more interested in the prefabrication system. It was said that the prefabrication system well serving the needs of the residence in the crisis. However, the prefabrication system was reviewed and compared advantage and disadvantage with traditional construction system. As most effluence of the integration factors of the prefabrication system, hence, investor or owner preferred the tradition construction because of lower risk.

In the present day, the prefabrication system becomes famous again, because of better construction technology, faster construction period and better transportation system. If the architect tries to understand and studies on this subject, the prefabrication system would be probably a better alternative for construction.

The Prefabricated construction system can be categorized as follows:

1. Precast Concrete System

2. Knock Down System

3. Modular System or Prefabricate System

Precast Concrete System

The Prefabricated construction of the precast concrete system can be casted in two forms: site

Site Cast Units

A concrete structure can be completely casted before being transported to the construction site, by being lifted into a place by cranes. The Site Cast Units have advantages over Plant Cast Units. The advantage is casting the larger parts; therefore, transportation is not much considered. It is suitable for casting large beams, however the maximum lifting capacity of the crane should be considered. The disadvantages are during bad weather that it can delay the construction project, and the setting of concrete need proper time preparation. The Precast concrete (Site Cast Unit) is mostly used on floors or walls (cast in place slabs) because it can reduce the process of lifting concrete up to the building. Precast concrete slab designs and sandwich panels or prefabricated materials should always consider being lifted by cranes. If those materials were horizontally lifted, the engineer might calculate the loading capacity of the crane. Doing this could prevent appearing cracks during the lifting process.

Prefabricated construction of the precast concrete system

Site Cast Units
reference: http://wilkersonproperties.com/4319_Huron.html

Plant Cast Units

The Construction often confronts delayed in cold countries or erratic climate countries; for this reason, manufacturing of the precast concrete is a good option. The materials may be casted on the floor inside the factory where environment and temperatures can be controlled before being lift and transported to the construction site. The Precast concrete (plant cast) can save costs and it is also easy control quality of parts. Those parts will be mainly transported by truck, which it is restricted by local traffic regulations. This is the limited determination of the standards size of the manufacturing parts. The parts ought to be transported by truck in a few standard figures in order to assemble them together at the construction site. When the parts are sent to the construction site, they will be assembled as buildings quickly, and the effect of pollution is lower. These prefabricated parts do not have to wait for the concrete to set like Precast Concrete. The Precast System will be installed in each parts on site such as columns, floors and walls. This system is famous for large structures in construction such as parking, bridges, warehouses, industrial buildings, stadiums and etc. The Precast concrete slabs are famous for fully prefabricated buildings. There are two kind of precast: The Precast Concrete Slab and panel which can be installed faster than the prefabrication system, as they can form a solid structure on its own. However, it is not much popular due to no foundation on using structures to handle heavy weight like in Europe or America. The Precast system may be designed to have wiring, electrical conduit and insulation parts within it, so that it can help reduce the construction process in the construction area. Doors and windows can also come with the precast concrete slab. This precast system is commonly used for offices, factories, hotels and other places where the transferring system is used but the long phase of structure is not necessary. The weight of the Precast Concrete, however, is a main problem for transportation, so a Mass Lightweight Concrete was developed for this type of construction benefits.

Create module

Lean-Precast-Carousel Schlanke Fertigung von Betonfertigteilen
reference: www.precastplants.com

module transport

Precast Concrete Paving Slabs: Built to Last and Install Fast
reference: http://precast.org/2011/05/precast-concrete-paving-slabs-built-to-last-and-install-fast/

install module

Precast Concrete Walls – Rapid Installation, Long-Lasting Protection and Removal for Equipment Access
reference: http://stonetreefence.com/fence-systems/

Knock Down System

The Knock Down System is to bring building’s parts to assemble and install in the provided area. Parts can be detached and assembled, and are made of wood, steel or concrete. The Knock Down Systems are used for small and large buildings. The whole or partial knock down systems can be applied to use in small buildings such as tables, cabinets, homes, residences, coffee shops, resorts, temporary offices, sale offices, hotels, apartments, warehouses, bridges, factories, etc, as well as for large buildings. Containers can also be modified to use as knock down systems. Using a Knock Down System for construction is a good alternative because the parts can be assembled both outside and inside the factory. It is easy to install and remove as it is installed using bolts and nuts. The welding can used for the buildings requiring permanent installation. All parts are in quality control, transported to the provided installation area. This is expenditure control, saves both money and time.

building of a modular system

โครงการบ้านพักกรมทางหลวง จังหวัดบุรีรัมย์
ที่สร้างโดยระบบน็อคดาวน์ พ.ศ. 2558 จาก บริษัท โมเดิร์น โมดูลาร์ จำกัด

Moreover, we should prepare foundations to hold the building and manage utility systems. When the building is arrived at site, we can immediately install utility and electricity in the building.

Modular System or Prefabricate System

The Modular construction System, sometime is called the Prefabricate construction system, is developed from hybrid of both concept of the Precast Concrete and the Knock Down System. It is comprises a building construction procession outside the construction area under control of manufacturing in the factory. Steel is used as a main structure in the conceptual design. The factory can design floors (Precast Concrete) and walls (Cement Board). The decoration materials have the same standard as the conventional building construction which it might takes a half of the construction time. The most of construction time is spent in the well environment control factory area. The installation and examination at site are trivial. The Modular construction system is manufacturing process of “Module”, which has various standard sizes, yet it depends on what is most suitable for the selected transportation. The Modular Construction system can be designed variously such as completely prefabricated module and separated module which can be installed in both horizontal and vertical construction area.

Design of Modular System

Design of Modular System

In general, the modular system is stronger than Precast Concrete (Site Cast Unit). Each module is designed freely and can be overlapped in many layers depending on calculations. The Modular system is durable for transportation, and can be lifted or removed by forklift or crane, tided on the foundation like conventional construction. When it is assembled and linked together, each modular becomes permanent walls, floors and roofs.

transport and install of a Modular system

การขนส่งและติดตั้งโดยใช้ระบบ Modular

The Modular system help you save time and is also safe since the construction process is operated into the place. It is designed to manufacture modules, and so the safety system meets the world class standards. Moreover, the overall project installation period is short. The Modular system is designed precisely and requires less man-hour. It is environmental friendly, emitting less noise pollution, dust, rubbish and construction debris. The Construction of the modular system is cleaner than traditional methods.

The construction of the conventional construction using Modular system

การก่อสร้างแบบทั่วไป (ภาพซ้าย) กับ การก่อสร้างโดยใช้ระบบ Modular (ภาพขวา)

The Construction management is higher quality because of the construction materials are kept in the warehouse in order to prevent damage or degeneration from humidity and other site conditions.

The Manufactured module in the well control environment factory has better production control. Exterior and interior decoration can be done completely inside the factory by using benefit of the manufacturing system; this includes restrooms, kitchens, bed rooms, living rooms, built-in furniture or usable areas. The found common construction problems will be tested such as water leakage in restrooms, on rooftops and in pipes. The testing of equipment, electrical systems, air conditioning and others are conducted before handover. The assembly and installation is also tested to ensure that there is no any mistake, before transport to the construction area.

Apart from quality and time management, there are many benefits about the modular construction system. The mistakes can be reduced because the working procedure is checked in every step of the procession. It is easy to maintain and requires lower construction costs because the Modular system is designed to be easy to maintain. In addition to this, the advantages of the Modular system are effective cost control and fully setting up business budget and the project owner can be opened their business faster than the conventional construction ,accelerate the return of investment which all investor need it. The Modular Construction System design concept is widely apply into Modular Hotel construction, Modular Apartment Construction, Resort Modular style, Modular houses, Modular Shop, Modular offices building, modular coffee houses both small scale and very large size. The Modular system can be multiple floors. This kind of construction concept is very famous in certain well developing country such as Australia and Japan. The 80% of the building construction, include interior decoration and fix furniture, built-in, air conditioning, electrical and communication wiring, and other accommodation requirement can be installed at the factory prior shipment.

modular hotel

Modular Hotel

modular apartment

Modular Apartment, Condominium

modular resort

Modular Resort - Coffee Shop, Restaurant

Modular Office

Modular Office

Modular House, Container House

Modular House, Container House

We can see the hybrid construction system of various kind of innovation come from the mixing conceptual design of the Precast Concrete System and Knock Down System, or even though the Knock Down System and Modular System, or even mixing concept of those three difference conceptual design. It is depend on the size and complexity of the construction project, especially in factors of time constraint, project management system, the maximum loading of living area, sustainability, stormy and earthquake specification requirement, the detail design of inside and out look according to premium architecture. This is another perfect option for the owner or investor of any apartment, hotel, house, shop, offices, coffee house, etcs., If you would add the word of “Modular” into your construction project, it make your life happier.

Means payback period is shorter. The Modular system is brought to use for small and large construction such as hotels, apartments, resorts, homes, shops, offices and coffee shops which is designed to serve several floors. The Modular system is very popular in other countries and is used in 80 percentage of all constructions, where interior decoration, built-in installation through other tools and electric appliances can be installed before assembly on site.

In the present, we can see the combination of prefabricated construction with innovations such as construction using Precast Concrete System, construction using Knock Down System, Construction using Modular system or Prefabricate System. The combination can combine more than two systems which depends on sizes and management systems. It is important to consider that we want to focus on the construction period, durability and meticulous decoration for beautiful architecture design. The prefabrication system takes a part of construction, so it is a choice for owners who want to start construction of businesses such as hotels, apartments, resorts, homes, shops, coffee shops (small and large size). You just put the word “prefabrication”, and construction will be easier.

Modular building

ระบบการก่อสร้างกับที่ผสมผสานกับ Precast Concrete System SCG Warehouse จังหวัดราชบุรี ปี 2557 ดำเนินการก่อสร้างโดย บริษัท สเตท คอนสตรัคชั่น จำกัด และ บริษัท โมเดิร์น โมดูลาร์ จำกัด ในเครื่อ เสตท กรุ๊ป

Building of a modular system

ระบบการก่อสร้างกับที่ผสมผสานกับ Modular System or Prefabricate System

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