Modular is Green

By Margie Schramke of Panel Built, Inc.

Many think they understand the advantages of modular construction: They know that it’s pre-engineered, fast, quality-controlled and minimally disruptive to a jobsite. What some people don’t think about, however, is one of the most pleasant features of modular construction. It is, by its very nature, “green.”

Consider the following:

• Off-site, factory-built construction is a more controlled, “greener” building process. The centralized construction location also allows for much greater reuse and recycling of materials.

• In-plant offices and mezzanines maximize existing space, which can eliminate the need for facility expansion, take up a smaller real-estate footprint, and frequently utilize existing facility HVAC systems.

• Unlike traditional construction, modular building systems can be moved, re-used, and reconfigured to meet changing needs.

• Metal products can be powder coated, which not only increases the durability and lifespan of the products, but is much more environmentally friendly. Liquid paints require the use of chemical solvents and can release petroleum, latex and other hazardous substances into the environment. With powder-coating, unused or over-sprayed powder is contained within the production area and can be recovered, so that any waste is minimal and can be disposed of easily and safely.

• Panel walls are made with gypsum, which incorporates recycled materials.

• Material waste due to weather damage is decreased as the construction process occurs in weather protected facilities.

• Traffic and air pollution is reduced as workers drive shorter distances to the factory versus traveling to various job sites.

• Materials for multiple jobs can be purchased in bulk quantities and delivered to a central location, thus minimizing the cost of materials and the number of deliveries.

• Modular construction reduces the need for maintenance activities like painting that go with traditional “stick-built” construction. This saves materials and reduces the waste and environmental impact of painting, such as VOC gas release and the water used in cleanup.

• In addition, responsible modular manufacturers recycle waste products such as aluminum, steel, paper and wood.

These are just a few of the reasons modular building systems are an excellent choice when you are looking for an economical and efficient way to expand the usable space in an existing facility or make a new, more environmentally-friendly facility.

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