There’s more to modular building than just time advantages. Owners can have the traditional finishes they have come to expect from site-built construction.

Always known for its time saving advantages, modular is now being recognized for being a more resource-efficient, inherently greener process.

City View Luxury Home sales office in Mesa.
City View Luxury Home sales office in Mesa.

Accelerated Construction Technologies (ACT) in Phoenix is a sponsor for the solar home currently being constructed for the ASUNM Solar Decathlon 2013 competition in Irvine, Calif. Strategically located modular homes similar to the ASUNM solar house should be built for public display and tours offered by associated environmental groups.

As with any new and emerging ways or change, there will be detractors and so called inhibitors. Unfortunately for them, they cannot stop the momentum that is occurring on a number of fronts.

Modular has evolved, but not all consumers are aware of that. In the United Kingdom, modular has become so well developed and accepted in the commercial and healthcare sectors that it’s difficult to tell if a building is modular or conventional build, once it’s completed.

The public is surrounded by modular buildings and has no idea, because they have been so well developed. In Arizona, ACT has completed more than 120 permanent modular school and bank buildings, as well as numerous medical office, commercial, recreational, and specialty facilities.

One of Canada’s largest construction contractors builds permanent modular homes for Habitat for Humanity. One of the homes includes 14 different modules including four to form the ground floor, six for the second floor, and four for the roof.

In New York City, a 32-story modular residential tower that is part of a mixed-use complex is under construction. Cost savings due to modular construction’s reduced waste and expedited schedule will result in affordable housing and rent below competitive market rates.

ACT, 22425 N. 16th St., is Arizona’s largest commercial contractor specializing in design-build accelerated construction. ACT provides custom turnkey permanent, steel-frame, slab-on-grade modular buildings.

For more than 25 years, ACT has provided design-build services for educational, banks, medical office buildings, clubhouses, commercial offices, and specialty facilities for both the private and public sectors throughout the Southwest. ACT is a member of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).

ACT recently completed construction of a 10,536 SF addition to the existing I.C.E. Border Station on the Tohono O’dham Indian Reservation in Sells. Innovative design features including sustainable site options, innovative wastewater technologies, and water use reduction and water efficient landscaping, resulted in the facility receiving LEED Silver certification from the USGBC.

As owners and designers look for more sustainable designs for improved environmental impact, modular construction is a natural fit. Building in a controlled environment generates less waste, creates fewer site disturbances, and allows for tighter construction.

Buildings are produced in “modules” that when put together on site, reflect the identical design intent and specifications of the most sophisticated traditionally built facility. Because module assembly and site work can occur at the same time, permanent modular construction allows earlier occupancy.

Construction occurs indoors away from harsh weather conditions, preventing damage to building materials and allowing builders to work in comfortable conditions. Modern, multi-story, factory-built buildings with concrete floors, brick exteriors, sheet-rock interiors, windows, lighting, electrical service, plumbing, heating, air conditioning and restrooms are constructed in half the time of a site-built building.

When exploring the various project delivery methods, off-site construction is chosen early in the design development process, and the project built around that methodology, to avoid redesigning. However, ACT can take a stick-built design and create a modular version.

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