Technology used in modular building
The modular construction sector is effective in combining the use of traditional materials, such as timber and steel, with modern technology to create light-weight but strong units that can be produced quickly and efficiently.
Timber and light-gauge steel frames are frequently used, often in association with other materials. Cross-laminated timber (CLT) is used to form wall, floor and roof panels and formed of 3-7 layers of softwood laid at 90° to each other, they have good structural properties.
Structural insulated panels (SIPS) are formed from two layers of oriented strand board or cement particle board separated by a rigid core of polyurethane foam. They don’t need to have any further structural support and provide high levels of insulation. One company have taken this idea further and incorporated mechanical, electrical and plumbing services between the panels. The cavity is filled using a 3D injection system to pump in carbon fibre reinforced polyurethane foam.
Some manufacturers are opting to produce large panels, rather than assembled modules, which are shipped flat-packed and assembled on site. This is a much more efficient form of transportation than moving fully constructed modules, which are largely empty space.