Sustainability is by no means a new concept. Dating back to the start of the 20th century, the green movement arose in response to the Industrial Revolution’s great consumption of resources. Today, going green is a global trend seen nearly everywhere, but it’s especially relevant in the building sector given the impact of material selection on the natural environment.
In fact, a recent survey partnered by the U.S. Green Building Council found that this sector’s green building activity is only expected to grow in the coming years. Almost half of the survey respondents said that “they expect to build more than 60 percent of their projects as green buildings by 2021.” Against this backdrop, commercial projects are taking both material choices and energy efficiency into account. Pre-fab construction is increasingly cited as an eco-friendly solution for reaching green building goals.
While developers typically decide to use pre-fab construction for time savings and improved quality, it is also naturally ahead of the curve when it comes to building green. Consider modular units, such as SurePods bathroom pods. The pod components are largely steel and wall board, both of which already have recycled content. In this case, they are 100% recycled steel and 97% recycled wall board.
Additional benefits of these units can include:
- Energy-efficient LEDs and low-energy consumption occupancy sensors
- Water-conserving fixtures, such as low flow plumbing fixtures
- Low VOC or no VOC paints, caulking and adhesives
Energy efficiency and beyond
What’s more, a pre-fab approach can have far-reaching impacts on a project’s overall efficiency, waste and safety:
- Greater energy efficiency – At modular unit factories like SurePods, computer automation drives accuracy. For example, wall board is precision cut using automated CNC machines and specialized equipment has been developed to hoist sub-assemblies into place. The result is a more airtight building, which translates to lower energy bills and greater efficiency.
- Reduced material waste – Thanks to the precision manufacturing afforded by a factory-controlled setting, correct amounts of material are ordered, eliminating unnecessary waste. As an added benefit, any additional materials and scraps can be repurposed for other in-house projects. And since modular units are only built in indoor, climate-controlled environments, no material is lost or damaged by being exposed to the elements.
Pre-fab construction also provides long-term, waste-saving benefits. With SurePods, for instance, use of patent-pending, fully waterproof and crack-proof ceiling and USG Fiberock Aqua-Tough interior panels lay the groundwork for future property upgrades and remodels, while eliminating the need for drywall replacement.
- Improved indoor air quality – Modular units’ framing materials remain dry in factory-controlled settings, thereby reducing the potential for harmful molds brought on by high moisture levels.
Interested in learning more about how modular units like SurePods can help you reach your green building goals? Contact Bill Seery, Oldcastle SurePods vice president of business development: Bill.Seery@oldcastle.com.