What is permanent modular construction? (We’re so glad you asked.)

NRB Build 2

Permanent modular construction (PMC) refers to structures where the components, sub-assemblies or entire building are built “off-site” in a controlled environment. Then, the builder transports the structure to the final building site for assembly. Similar to traditional “real property” structures, these buildings must meet local building codes and requirements and depreciate just the same as site-built structures.

In today’s tough economic environment, permanent modular construction has reemerged as a viable alternative to traditional construction methods. Advances in material sciences, green products and processes, groundbreaking manufacturing techniques, and innovative construction practices have converged to allow companies with the required capabilities to create quality, energy-efficient buildings.

Why choose permanent modular construction

Permanent modular construction offers owners and architects in all markets the permanence and performance of traditional construction, with the advantages of single source coordination and maximum use of space. With PMC, the owner and architect enjoy the same design, structural system, and finish material choices typically employed for site construction projects—only the method of construction differs.

With few exceptions, companies that specialize in the permanent modular building construction serve the same markets as site-built contractors, including:

  • Healthcare
  • Retail
  • Hospitality
  • Residential
  • Education
  • Office & administration
  • Publicly-funded facilities

If you have resisted the idea of using modular construction in the past, you may want to look at the advantages that this construction method offers for your project and budget.

Benefits of permanent modular construction

McGraw-Hill Construction’s SmartMarket Report for the Prefabrication and Modularization market reveals some exciting data about the tremendous productivity gains in key areas, including project schedule, cost, safety, quality, and waste reduction. The survey of more than 800 architecture, engineering and contracting professionals revealed the following information:

  • 66% realized a decrease in project schedule —  35% by four weeks or more
  • 65% experienced project budget decrease — 41% by 6% or more
  • 77% reported a decrease in construction site waste — 44% by 5% or more

Other advantages that permanent modular construction can provide for your project include:

  • Design options: Modularization methods allow for greater design control as well as a wide range of architectural styles and designs
  • Quality: Inspections at each station allow modular building manufacturers to meet precise standards that exceed those of onsite construction projects. This eliminates avoidable complications and last-minute decisions that often occur in the field.
  • Reduced carbon footprint: Permanent modular construction reduces construction time, which reduces energy resource usage and minimizes waste. More efficient use of resources results in fewer materials to fill waste dumps and helps reduce a project’s carbon footprint.
  • Accelerated construction schedule: Construction in a controlled environment and state-of the art facility streamlines production and saves both time and money. Permanent modular construction also allows for concurrent activities—site development, foundation pouring and prepping, and utility connection takes place onsite, while building construction occurs at the plant. Modular buildings are often completed 30 to 50% faster than conventional structures.

Selecting a permanent modular construction manufacturer

It’s a good idea to make the decision to use permanent modular construction for your project from the start of the design process. Collaborate with a permanent modular construction company that has a solid reputation and experience in the permanent modular construction industry. Verify that the company can offer design assistance, has an established network of resources and can recommend a wide variety of system and product options for your project. This will ensure that you achieve the best results.