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Embracing the future with modular construction

When navigating the dynamic landscape of modern architecture, one concept that continues to redefine the industry is modular construction. Gone are the days when building design was synonymous with traditional methods; now, more and more architects are embracing modular construction for its myriad benefits and impressive sustainability credentials.


Breaking down the basics

Modular construction basically involves creating a property off-site in a controlled factory environment, followed by the transportation and assembly of the building components or modules on-site to create a complete structure. This shift from traditional site-built construction to modular methodologies offers a wide range of opportunities and advantages.

Modular construction is also a perfect fit for circular economy principles, offering environmental advantages such as reducing resources and waste, reusability, adaptability, and recyclability of all its components.

In addition, modular buildings are ideal for projects with tight deadlines or challenging site/weather conditions.


Design freedom

One of the main advantages of modular construction is the liberation of architectural creativity. Modules can be customized to fit unique design specifications, allowing architects to break free from conventional constraints. From contemporary urban structures to eco-friendly rural retreats, modular construction provides a canvas for architects to explore uncharted territories.


Time and cost efficiency

In today’s world, time is money. The controlled environment of modular construction minimizes project timelines significantly. The concurrent nature of off-site module fabrication and on-site assembly ensures that construction schedules are streamlined. Reduced construction time translates into lower labor costs, making modular construction an economically viable option.


Energy-efficient design

Architects are increasingly focused on creating energy-efficient structures. Modular construction supports this agenda by allowing for precision in insulation and incorporating energy-efficient technologies during the manufacturing process. This not only aligns with sustainability goals but also offers long-term cost savings for building owners.


Sustainability through circularity

With the growing demand for resources and limited availability, the concept of a circular economy has become increasingly important. The process involves redesigning a system or product to eliminate waste and keep it in use for as long as possible, promoting the reuse and recycling of products to close the carbon loop. While this approach has been applied to several products, construction and building components have yet to fully embrace it.

It is well known that the construction industry is a major contributor to waste generation and resource depletion. However, the industry has begun to adopt circular building stock to shift towards a circular economy. This is also pushed by policy: the European Green Deal, for example, aims to reduce at least 55% of net greenhouse gas emissions in the EU by 2030 and completely eliminate them by 2050, promoting a resource-efficient and competitive economy.

In this context, sustainability has become pivotal in contemporary architectural practices, and modular construction is leading the way. The manufacturing process in a controlled factory setting allows for meticulous waste management, optimizing material usage. It also minimizes site disturbance and reduces transportation-related emissions. The ability to repurpose and reuse modules further contributes to a more sustainable building life cycle.


Adaptable and durable modular roofs

For maximum performance and economies of scale in modular design, each component of the building envelope requires maximum construction efficiency, and the roof is no exception. EPDM single-ply roofing membranes are ideal for waterproofing modular buildings, as their design flexibility allows them to adapt easily to future changes. They are installed without the need of open flames or complicated or costly equipment, and can be adhered or mechanically attached to the substrate.

The high flexibility and elasticity of EPDM allow the membrane to resist temperature fluctuations and accommodate the building's movements without jeopardizing its physical properties. With an estimated lifespan that can go over 50 years, EPDM is also the most durable waterproofing solution for modular roofs currently available in the market.

Elevate's RubberGard EPDM is a synthetic rubber single-ply roofing membrane that has been a proven product since the 1980s. Both strong and flexible with excellent puncture resistance, it ensures a resilient solution within a busy factory environment. Requiring no torch or hot works of any kind during installation, it poses less safety risks. RubberGard EPDM can be fully adhered or mechanically fixed to the substrate. In case of full adhesion, Elevate also offers a range of water-based and solvent-based bonding adhesives.

The roof of a modular unit can be covered by one piece of RubberGard EPDM membrane, which results in a seamless roof and a quick installation. Detailing and sealing the bay-to-bay joints onsite can be carried out in a simple way with Elevate’s range of QuickSeam seaming tapes and flashings. This versatility, safety and ease of use has made RubberGard EPDM extremely popular for modular projects across a wide variety of sectors.

Once installed, RubberGard EPDM requires minimal maintenance, making it a cost-effective option. Routine inspections and timely repairs, even several years after the initial installation, can further extend the roof's lifespan. This helps extend the lifespan of the whole building without causing a big impact on costs or on the environment

In short, embracing modular construction is not just a professional choice but a commitment to shaping a sustainable future. In a world where adaptability is key, modular construction stands as a testament to the architect's ability to weave together form, function, and sustainability to redefine how we build and inhabit spaces.

The future is modular. Discover how Elevate roofing systems can help you shape it.