The sign of the present times is that of innovation. In this new context of change and creativity, there is no area or sector that has been spared such a demand and has not been pushed to transform its traditional ways of doing and thinking. Wanting to stand aside and not participate in this evolution implies assuming a certain extinction, swept away by competition and the desire to overcome the majority that has accepted the challenge. This is what has also happened in the construction sector, where advances in design and materials science have been taken on board to make construction a faster, safer, environmentally friendly and low-budget process.
What is the industrialized building system?
The industrialized construction of houses is the way in which the building has been put in tune with the times. Assuming a new paradigm in conception, design, manufacture, and assembly, industrialized construction employs innovative techniques and processes that are based on the manufacture of structural components in a workshop, then transported and assembled in the final location. This automation of the design, production and building processes brings with it a series of changes that positively impact both the economy and the environment, transforming the entire construction market. The rapid construction of safe, economic, sustainable and aesthetically pleasing housing represents the transition from a traditional to an industrialized construction system and this fact has several aspects that must be detailed for a better understanding of it.
The construction system
There are two forms of construction systems: traditional and industrialized. The first is the result of a long list of practices and experiences that over the centuries have facilitated the life of human beings with the construction of structures that protect from the inclemency of the climate and offer privacy and security. It is characterized by using materials and techniques that are executed on the construction site itself, using a large amount of time, money, transportation, personnel and effort. The other construction system, the industrialized one, has turned these factors on their head and has managed to reduce the budget, the personnel involved, the time spent on the installation and the environmental impact. For this, the industrialized construction prefabricates modules and assembles them in a few hours. This change in the construction system has been a revolution in building.
In industrialized housing construction, building time is no longer an important factor. By standardizing the design of the modules and facilitating the assembly techniques, the reduction of the time of execution of the construction is considerable, to the point of being able to diminish in 50 % or more the time of execution if it is compared with the one invested in the traditional construction. The weather conditions are also not an important factor because whether it rains, thunders or flashes, the construction work of the modules is done under roof. These advantages of industrialized construction also allow a reduction in costs, which makes it a wonderful choice between construction systems.
One of the deep-rooted ideas among certain builders and customers is to qualify industrialized construction as low quality. This erroneous idea comes from a few decades ago, when the manufacture of modules did not meet the necessary standards and industrialized construction was assumed as a temporary and emergency building, to fulfill a punctual function and short lifespan. In addition to these qualifiers, there were criticisms of the aesthetic aspect, negatively valuing uniform shapes and designs. The development in design, the daring use of creativity and ingenuity, and the manufacture of modules that comply with current regulations have given modular construction systems the same level of quality as traditional construction, making it equally safe, attractive and durable.
The constructive quality is also observed in the possibility of better control of the processes, since the times, the number of personnel and the phases of installation, as we have already mentioned, have been drastically reduced and therefore easier to handle. For this reason, the quality in the administrative management, in the control and security of the workers, and in the rational use of materials is a fundamental characteristic of this constructive system, turning it into the most novel and ingenious form of construction of the last years. A smaller group of workers, with few hours of work to assemble the modules, causing the least impact on both the community and the environment, is the ideal situation that every contractor and client desire.
Innovation and automation characterize the processes of industrialized building systems. In them, the idea of satisfying the needs of the customers prevails and never the contrary, that it is the customer who molds to the prefabricated forms. For this reason, always in the hand of the architect and the indications of the clients, the modules are adapted to fulfill their function and are at the same time attractive elements and original designs. The flexibility and versatility in the production of the modules allow the construction of structures worthy of praise and admiration.
Thinking of the construction in fragments of pieces, such as roofs, horizontal enclosures, slabs, installations, among others, to then be transported and installed on the foundations previously prepared, make this construction system think of a set of blocks of great invoice and level. In this process, there is no room for surprises or unforeseen events. The budget, moreover, is the same from the beginning of the project and will never require reformulations. Nothing is left to chance in industrialized construction and its clear and defined process represents the best advantage over traditional construction, subject to all kinds of unforeseen events and setbacks.
The speed at which homes are built using modular construction systems does not have a major impact on the environment. On the contrary, there is a marked interest in sustainability in the fact that waste in building processes is minimal.
By manufacturing the modules in controlled phases and indoors, it is ensured that no unnecessary waste is generated that will end up impacting the environment. Although the relationship is not so clearly visible, also the fact of reducing the number of workers favors the sustainability of construction projects. This is explained by the lower use of energy and water in workplaces, in addition to the decrease in traffic that would generate displacing workers, and we already know what the excessive use of vehicles causes in the air we breathe.
An industrialized construction reduces the sonic pollution generated during the execution of the work, in addition to the nuisance caused by dust between the community and obstacles to traffic. The safety of workers also has to do with sustainability. Taking care of health is one of the aspects to consider in any environmental program and therefore this issue is considered an advantage of industrialized buildings.
In this construction system, the risk of accidents at work is reduced in large percentages. The ease of assembly of industrialized buildings makes the much-desired green infrastructure a reality, both for personal care and for the protection of the environment, a requirement of the times.