Benefits of modular construction
Lower labour costs, less materials, shorter construction time and higher quality. These are just some of the benefits of modular and prefabricated construction.
Rather than laying brick by brick and pouring concrete on-site, several components are built in a factory and transported on-site. With a cost focused housing market, there is a need for exactly these kinds of solutions to meet the demand.
What to be aware of?
The likelihood of fire hazards in modular constructions has received new attention after the Moorfield Hotel fire in the summer of 2020. In this article, we will take a deep dive into the risk of fire hazards in especially modular and prefabricated buildings.
Lastly, we will outline what precautions there should be considered in order to minimise the risk of fire hazards.
Fire hazards in modular constructions: An example from summer 2020
The Moorfield Hotel in the Shetland Islands burned to the ground after a devastating fire (source: BBC). The 106-bed hotel was fabricated offsite using insulated panels and modules utilising sandwich-construction.
The construction consisted of a wooden board (OSB), using a polyurethane foam insulation, and close to the void or gap between the modules, there was another OSB board (source: FPA). This void in the construction was about 12 millimetres wide, which meant that there was wooden material on both sides of this void.
Both the wooden board (OSB) and the Polyurethane foam are highly combustible materials, which may have been contributing factors to the severity of the fire.
Insights for your next construction project
According to Andreas Kräling and Sören Isaksson, this type of construction is unfortunately common in modern construction, and several large losses have occurred as a result of combining modular constructions with combustible building materials.