Advances in new technologies and materials have led to the development of construction systems where construction times, design and costs are more flexible.
We are talking about prefabricated and modular housing, two very interesting options for those who have land on which to build or want to do so in the shortest possible time and at the best possible price.
Both styles have many similarities, which is why they are often confused.
What is a prefabricated house?
A prefabricated house is a house whose parts are manufactured in a factory and, once complete, transported to its final location, ready to be lived in.
There have been examples of prefabrication for centuries, although the first developments came about with the industrial revolution, extending into the mid-20th century. Until recently, prefabricated houses have been associated with temporary, low-quality construction, but today there is a wide variety of designs and qualities.
What is a modular home?
A modular house is designed, built and assembled in modules or parts. Each of these modules is manufactured in the factory, then transported to its destination, where they are assembled and installed.
What are the differences between a prefabricated house and a modular house?
Prefabricated houses are based on standard designs and production of standard components. A prefabricated house, therefore, cannot be customised. Modular houses, on the other hand, are more flexible and allow for greater adaptability of parts as required, with the possibility of future expansion if necessary.
Prefabricated houses are usually built with light materials such as wood or PVC, which allows them to be easily moved and installed. Modular constructions usually use concrete, stone or ceramic, more solid materials that provide greater durability and better finishes. More and more modular homes are using shipping containers as part of their structure.
For some, modular architecture is a natural evolution of the prefabricated system. The truth is that although both models coexist, the current market tends to offer homes of higher construction quality, adapted designs, high energy efficiency, reduced lead times and affordable costs. Demands that today can be met by modular architecture with shipping containers.
Modular Architecture with Containers. Modular houses
Shipping containers represent a modular building solution, where the container itself is the modular unit. In fact, container architecture is the fastest growing modular system worldwide in the last decade.
Containers comply with ISO standards that standardise their measurements and guarantee the quality, strength and stability of their structure. As in any architectural work, a modular housing project with containers must comply with the requirements of the Technical Building Code, be drawn up by a competent professional and approved by the corresponding Professional Association.
What is the construction process with containers like?
The procedure for building a house with containers is very similar to any other modular system. Each container is a module that is fitted out in the factory. Here, the insulation, partitioning, cladding, carpentry, as well as the necessary electrical, sanitary and air-conditioning installations are dealt with. They are then transported and assembled.
The 40′ container is the most commonly used module in construction. It occupies an area of almost 30 square metres and can be easily moved by the usual means of loading and transport (lorries, cranes).
Each container module is then attached according to the designed configuration. One advantage is that they can be stacked higher than other modular structures.
Why are modular container houses an excellent option to consider?
Modular architecture with shipping containers brings with it many advantages:
1. Sustainability. They are durable, reusable and recyclable structures.
2. Efficiency. The containers are treated minimise energy consumption.
3. Versatility. They allow for multiple design and configuration possibilities.
4. Speed. Construction times are reduced by up to 80 % compared to traditional works.
5. Cost-effectiveness. It reduces the cost of materials, transport and labour.
If you are looking for containers to develop modular housing projects, Bullbox can help you. Do not hesitate to contact us.