Modular construction isn’t just for those who anticipate changes down the road. Today’s agile interiors boast benefits well beyond future flexibility, in turn lending themselves to function as an integral part of corporate business strategy.
Modular interior elements — including walls, doors, low-profile access flooring, custom millwork, and plug-and-play power and data — are prefabricated in a controlled manufacturing environment, ensuring consistent quality and a faster move-in schedule. Today’s agile interiors have adaptable, non-damaging connections that allow intersection with the older base building. Plus, existing buildings can be renovated without changing infrastructure or disrupting asbestos.
Expect the initial cost of prefabricated modular elements to commonly be higher than conventional raw materials (such as drywall), while knowing the labor on a modular build will almost always cost less and the speed of move-in translates into further savings. Modular pre-fab elements arrive on site when required, already cut to the exact size and shape needed to fit the job.
In conventional construction, raw materials brought to site have to be stored and guarded until installation, then cut-down to proper size leaving pounds of waste for the landfill. Modular’s ready-to-go nature requires a faster move-in with less on-site labor, guaranteed consistent quality, a cleaner construction site, fewer dumpsters with less material waste and lower dumping fees.
Agile solutions become an aggressive game changer price-wise when factoring in aesthetics and necessary functionality within a space. With the pre-engineered nature, a worthwhile modular provider will manufacture all elements parametrically; everything created is specific to the space designed.
If the space can be imagined, it can be built. The more wood, glass and performance needed from a space, the faster a modular solution becomes cost competitive against conventional methods.
In terms of functionality, some agile walls offer accessible inner cavities, providing room for plug-and-play power, data, plumbing and technology integration. When technology changes (as it always inevitably does), new components, wiring or wireless components can be updated within that cavity quickly and easily with little to no disruption to the rest of the structure.
Technologies such as flat screen televisions, tablet docking stations and USB portals can be integrated, keeping the technology secure while remaining accessible for facilities staff whenever needed. Businesses can stay at the top of their game with technological needs.
“The speed of move-in and quality control, combined with the certainty of final cost, make customizable, modular construction a powerful business solution without even taking future flexibility into consideration,” says Julie Pithers of DIRTT Environmental Solutions, a North-American manufacturer of sustainable architectural interiors.
“When examining the initial cost comparison, if you compare a project holistically, the speed, labor savings and efficiencies of a modular option mean the cost will often be equal, if not less, than conventional.”
For companies concerned with a triple bottom line (people, planet, profit), agile interior build-outs may offer unparalleled value.
Flexibility and superior construction means elements and space can be adapted and reused. A long life cycle is one of the single most important attributes of sustainability, and an agile solutions’ elimination of unnecessary material waste is more meaningful than recycling or reuse.
Some modular manufacturers use UV-cured, non-toxic, water-based finishes that are easier on the environment than traditional finishes, and help to maintain air quality and the health of employees.
When combined with other elements such as modular living walls, the benefits pay off with cleaner air, improved employee well-being (emotionally and physically), fewer sick days and higher overall productivity.
Modular living wall systems provide an inexpensive opportunity to add vertical plant life to virtually any space, sans the need for an expensive hydroponics system.
The right modular interior solution will integrate seamlessly with new and existing buildings, will offer cleaner, faster construction and be custom-made for each need.
These aspects, combined with reduction of unnecessary materials used, lower labor cost, and environmental benefits, result in an aesthetically pleasing, high-performance, functional space that is adaptive to the needs of a growing and changing business strategy.