Prefabrication is a construction method that involves fabricating and assembling building components offsite. It can refer to both flat elements (often known as prefabricated panelized systems), or to modular volumetric units that typically include complete spaces of a building such as an apartment/condo unit, hotel rooms, townhomes, jail cells and almost any commercial structure. In either case, modular construction also provides innovative solutions where the entire building envelope and structure can be fabricated offsite using prefabricated and modular building components.
Modular construction is a process, not a style
A misconception exists that “modular” refers to a type of home or building. In fact, modular refers to a construction process in which large components are built in a manufacturing facility and shipped to the project site. From an architectural perspective, modular construction has very few limitations and can be used for a variety of styles; multi-family design and commercial structures.
Aspen Garden Apartments and Townhouses
Nestled in the town of Jasper, Alberta, precaster, Eagle Builders teamed up with Emerge Modular to design, build and manufacture 21 modular row houses on a tight budget. Each module was manufactured and constructed off-site at two locations, first the full precast concrete modules at the Eagle Builders plant in Blackfalds and secondly, they were shipped to the Emerge Modular modern facility where the interior construction magic was done. The experienced craftsmen at Emerge took the designer’s clean line design and transformed the precast concrete and steel modules into a contemporary, sleek and practical living space.
Emerge Modular is changing the way hotels are being built in North America. After years of building hotels onsite from start to finish, they have created a unique precast concrete and steel modular technology permitting module production in their own local plant, for later assembly of completed modules onsite. Of the many benefits of this new technology, not the least are sound proof rooms, waste reduction, environmentally controlled building conditions, and increased cost effectiveness. This new innovation is not restricted to construction of hotels, but can be easily adapted to commercial and also residential structures such as apartments, multi-family townhomes, condo developments, or single-family dwellings and vacation cottages.
Time-effective construction schedules
On March 4, 2019, the first two of the 21 large Modular components were erected in the 200 block of Bonhomme Street, and within 6 days, all of the modules were in place. A mobile construction crane lifted what would become the east exterior wall on the 21-unit Aspen Garden Row Homes. By using full modular construction, the project team was able to greatly accelerate the on-site construction, minimizing any disturbance to the environment and community. Using the steel and precast concrete modular construction greatly enhanced the safety for future residents as the materials are naturally non-combustible.
Prefabricated modular components lend themselves to fast and environmentally friendly construction while remaining virtually maintenance free for years to come. Besides attaining the many advantages of the system’s inherent structural, architectural, environmental, construction and energy-saving benefits; prefabrication can take months and even years off the construction schedule, thereby reducing financing costs and allowing for quicker sales and/or occupancy.
For more information view the Emerge Modular time lapse video of the project: