Architects and builders today have started embracing modern construction techniques and materials as part of the design and planning process. These advanced materials and methods are generally cheaper and more sustainable than conventional methods, which make them excellent options. But before you agree to any of these methods for your next construction project, it is also essential to understand what modern materials and techniques bring to the table as well as the possible challenges and how to avoid them.
Modular and panel construction
Pre-fabricating construction materials is a common practice nowadays. From concrete slabs to structural insulated panels or SIPs, manufacturers can fabricate individual components needed to erect a complete structure. Imagine the amount of time saved when you can build a home by assembling entire wall and roof panels, not to mention the additional benefit of superior insulation. Modern building techniques incorporating pre-fabricated SIPs UK manufacturers produce have been around for a while and offer various benefits including modular building.
The challenge with pre-fabricated panels is the extra care needed to avoid costly adjustments once the boards are on site and ready for installation. Making any modifications post fabrication may compromise the integrity of the boards. Hence, working with an experienced design team and contractor is the key to successfully using SIPs in construction.
Kitchen and bathroom pods
Another modular construction technique is building pods or small rooms pre-installed with fittings and fixtures. This is a technique common for kitchens and bathrooms. Once the pod is delivered on site, you only need to complete installation with electricity or utility connections. It is common to see pods used in constructing hotels and public accommodation like dormitories. Pods reduce the need for space and also help reduce the cost of construction.
Some of the problems associated with pods are that most people think they can do a self-installation to cut the cost of hiring a professional. Any mistakes while installing pod connections can lead to bigger and costlier problems later on. As such, if you want to build using a pod for your bathroom or kitchen, you need to ensure that you also hire a professional tradesman to install the connections.
Timber frame construction
Although constructing with timber frames is not necessarily a modern technique, there are recent advancements in this method where builders have the option to use engineered or cross-laminated timber. Engineered timber allows for extensive use of timber frames in much larger projects.
Wood is considered a sustainable material, but its susceptibility to fire becomes a challenge for architects as well. If you increase the volume of timber used in a project, you will also increase fire protection requirements. As such, contractors need to employ precautionary measures during construction to prevent accidental fires. More importantly, fireproofing also needs to be enhanced as more timber raises the exposure and risks of the structure to fire. Building codes also need to be met to ensure that the finished structure meets government regulations on fire safety.