kids walking on terrace of one storey modular houses in spring r

Is a modular home a sustainable solution?

Modular homes are increasingly being built in the US, Canada, Germany, Scandinavia and elsewhere. They are also gaining popularity in Poland. But are they a sustainable solution?

A modular house is built from pre-manufactured components - just modules - that are put together on site. This technique is very practical, but nevertheless potential investors may be concerned about the durability of the resulting buildings. After all, it is known that the house is supposed to serve us for years and cannot fall apart in a stronger gust of wind or get wet in rainfall.

What are the characteristics of modular home construction?

The modular structure is formed from joined prefabricated elements, set on pre-poured foundations. The building consists of: a skeleton including a roof, walls, window and door frames, plumbing and electrical systems already implemented at the construction stage, exterior and interior finishes.

Construction time Such a house is much shorter than in the case of traditional construction. We will also pay for its erection most often less than for a traditional house. Another trademark Modular houses are their excellent thermal insulation, thanks to which you can generate considerable savings on heating in winter. The cost of operating the building is relatively low, as photovoltaics and a heat pump are often installed right away, so you pay lower bills while living in an environmentally friendly home.

On the other hand, since these buildings are constructed from prefabricated elements, they are largely standardized and therefore hardly individual. There is some margin to customize them to suit one's needs, but this involves modifications to the chosen design. Also, no changes can be made to the design during construction; all decisions must be made before the project begins. The price is known in advance, but is related to the materials used and is imposed by the manufacturer.

What building materials are used in the construction of modular homes, and how do they affect their durability?

Different types of construction materials are used to build modular homes. The most common are:

1) Keramzite concrete - a material formed from a combination of concrete and aggregate made from baked clay loam (expanded clay). It is lightweight, and at the same time very resistant to numerous external factors. Therefore, it is very popular for the construction of modular homes. The buildings created from it are warm and energy-efficient, that is, cheap to operate (thanks to a low heat transfer coefficient).

2) Wood - is popular especially in Scandinavia and Canada. Construction is as follows: The skeleton of the house is prepared in the factory, which is assembled at the construction site, where it is completed with the remaining structural elements. The walls are most often made of wood-based panels and an insulating layer on the outside (such as mineral wool), while the inside is finished with gypsum boards. Such a house is also very durable, albeit to a slightly lesser extent than one made of expanded concrete.

3) SIP panels - structural panels consisting of three layers: two outer sheathing panels (usually wood-based) and an inner insulation layer of polystyrene, rock wool or polyurethane foam. They are formed in a similar way to wooden houses and show a comparable degree of resistance.

4) Steel - frame or container construction. Resilient, but requires heating in winter to keep it from freezing. Also need to watch out for corrosion.

In general, modular houses are just as durable as those erected in the traditional way. It all depends on the quality of the materials used (whether it is expanded clay concrete, wood or whatever), so it is advisable to use a proven construction company. The rate and degree of wear and tear is also influenced by the residents' care of the building.

It should be remembered that modular homes are built in repudiation of exactly the same standards of construction law as traditional buildings, so they must meet identical requirements for quality and safety.

Are modular homes resistant to weather and natural disasters?

The resistance of modular homes to weather and natural disasters is the same as that of traditionally built homes. It all depends on the materials used for construction and their quality; for example, wood will be less resistant to fire. In the case of flooding, a timber-framed building is a safer option. Of course, nothing is indestructible, so a powerful element is capable of damaging or destroying any house.

The weather resistance of modular homes is very high. They are designed in a modern way to withstand numerous external factors, including heavy rain and snow, low and high temperatures, strong winds, etc. In short, we can feel as safe in a modular home as in a brick one. If not more so.

How long can modular homes last, and how does this affect their investment value?

Modular homes can last just as long as traditionally built ones. So we can live in them for as long as we want. On top of that, they are much cheaper than other buildings; they are also cheaper and much faster to build. It is worth mentioning that modular homes are generally covered by a warranty, so any defects are the responsibility of the manufacturer to fix.

All this positively influences the investment value of modular homes. Whether it is worth putting one up and living in it, we must answer for ourselves.