Sustainable Prefabricated Modular Buildings
AuthorGunawardena, D; Mendis, P; Ngo, D; Aye, L; Alfano, J
Source Title5 th International Conference on Sustainable Built Environment
Document TypeConference Paper
CitationsGunawardena, D., Mendis, P., Ngo, D., Aye, L. & Alfano, J. (2014). Sustainable Prefabricated Modular Buildings. Dissanayake, R (Ed.) 5 th International Conference on Sustainable Built Environment, ICSB. https://doi.org/10.13140/2.1.4847.3920.
Access StatusOpen Access
Economy, speed of construction and improved environmental performance are critical variables that challenge the modern construction industry to strike a balance between. Employing innovative prefabricated modular structures is one key strategy used to achieve these goals. Therefore, there is an increasing demand for detailed scientific research that deals with the potential environmental benefits of prefabrication, particularly in areas of embodied energy savings resulting from waste reduction and improved efficiency of material usage. This paper gives a brief overview of prefabricated modular structures and aims to highlight the sustainability characteristics of this technology compared to conventional construction methods. A case study was carried out on an eight-storey, residential building. It was found that a steel-structured prefabricated system resulted in a significantly reduced material consumption of up to 78% by mass compared to conventional concrete construction. However, the prefabricated steel building resulted in an increase in embodied energy compared to the concrete building mainly due to the inherent characteristics of steel manufacturing processes. This form of construction has the potential to contribute significantly towards improved environmental sustainability in the construction industry while providing fast outputs with value for the investments.
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