Modular Myths

12th October 2014

Welcome to my first post on our new Group website. I hope you all like it, and that you find all the information you need here to approach any modular building project with confidence.

For my first post I’m going to examine the more prevalent misconceptions surrounding modular buildings.

Modular buildings are still something of an unknown quantity, both inside and outside the construction industry. What little thought is given to modular methods of construction often revolves around what modular buildings used to be. I feel the best way to counter these ideas is to address them directly. Please note this list is far from comprehensive, and comes only from my own personal experience with the general perceptions of modular buildings.

Modular buildings are low quality, temporary structures.

While this is the most important argument to address, up to a point it is also the simplest to answer. Some of the more drastic rumours would have you believe modular buildings are little more than hastily put together sheds that are barely safe for human occupation. Common sense would tell us that all buildings, modular or otherwise, share the same set of regulations and must therefore meet the same standards of quality.

Modular construction is an unproven concept.

Often in the media, modularisation is framed as a new innovation in construction that could change all future building projects. This is also not accurate. The first recorded use of modular buildings was in the 19th century. The Wernick Group is 80 years old this year and there are buildings standing today that we manufactured many decades ago. If there was going to be a ‘modular revolution’, then, I think it’s fair to say it would have occurred by now.

Modular buildings are all the same.

There’s no escaping the fact that modular buildings lend themselves to standardisation, and it is obviously more straightforward to manufacture identical units than a variety of different ones. However, customers are increasingly looking for buildings that cater to their specific needs and are quite understandably less interested in a ‘one size fits all’ approach.

This is why, at Wernick Buildings at least, most of our projects are bespoke designs catering to specific client requirements. Modular buildings can even be combined with grander architectural statements to make your building even more distinctive. That said, the building systems we have created are all based on tried and tested ideas, so in that sense I suppose all our buildings are all the same; affordable, flexible and high quality.

The Modular Résumé

It’s all very well me simply telling you these things, but what speaks for the quality of modular buildings more loudly than any online blog is the buildings themselves. I’d encourage you to read the below case studies and ask yourself: how low quality can modular construction be if it can be used to make prison cells? Why would a hospital trust its facilities to an unproven concept?