10 Jan Modular Buildings – Flexible, Smart and Fully Customised
In recent years the role of the modular building has changed. Until recently, a module looked bleak and grey and was a rectangle of a standard size. It was not designed to last and was only seen as a temporary building. The interior was so rugged that it would be usable only as a store-room.
Today, the concept of a modular building is radically different. They can be built and arranged in any shape, and they look more modern and aesthetically pleasing than a traditionally built building. Best of all, they are flexible and customisable.
Hand-in-hand with total flexibility come innovation and modern technology. Gone are the days when a unit had a piece of chipboard on the wall with a fuse and a lightbulb on it; modular constructions now have a centralised electrical system identical to that of a conventional building, and any feature from burglar alarms to air conditioning can be fitted.
There aren’t limits – one commonly overlooked feature of modular buildings is that technology from conventional buildings can just as easily be used in them. Apple’s new Smart Home app makes it possible to talk to someone that knocks on your door and then let them in… all from the comfort of your armchair. One IT technician has even set up the world’s first Twitter account … for a house! If he goes on holiday and leaves a window open, his house will send him a tweet. Any of this can be fitted in a modular building!
It doesn’t stop there, of course. There are many ideas proving successful around the world now that can only be achieved with modules. From ultra-cheap, space-saving micro-apartments in New York and a 32-storey skyscrapper in Manhattan to a 57-storey skyscraper built in 19 days in China.
Renewable energy sources can also be installed in modular buildings, of course – solar panels, heat pumps, small wind turbines, hamster wheels – it’s all possible. Don’t let yourself think the jigsaw puzzle construction method will cause limitations; part of the on-site installation process is to make those vital connections.