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New solutions are in demand for mastering the challenges which urban areas currently face. These include an urgent need for more housing, a lack of space for construction and time pressures. Owners, builders and architects want to be able to design buildings more flexibly and put them up faster and more cost-effectively while ensuring top quality and dispensing with large, noisy construction sites. They also require greater security for planning. It sounds like an impossible dream, but the answer is already here: modular construction. And we’re not talking about old-fashioned container buildings. Modern modular construction is a beast of another colour, characterised by high quality, flexibility and speed. Let’s take a look at the specific benefits and possibilities it offers:
Digital technology is used to prefabricate individual modules in factory halls with millimetre precision – in any weather. Up to 18-metre-long SWISS KRONO LONGBOARD OSB boards enable large-format modules which are free of joints. Exterior cladding, windows, doors, plumbing and electrical wiring: modular construction boasts a prefabrication level of up to 90%, surpassing all other approaches. For example, SWISS KRONO MAGNUMBOARD® OSB lends itself for making fully finished bathroom and kitchen modules. Additional time is saved by concurrently laying the building foundation and making the modules. While preparatory work is ongoing at the construction site, the modules are assembled elsewhere.
On-site assembly of the almost-complete modules advances quickly. They are lifted into place and integrated one after the other, giving rise to an entire building in just days or weeks. This puts an end to enormous construction projects that last months, include large storage areas for materials, and create noise and traffic jams to the annoyance of nearby residents. High-quality prefabricated modules can slash the time required to complete a project by up to 70% compared to conventional construction approaches.
Other benefits result from sanded joint-free SWISS KRONO MAGNUMBOARD® OSB surfaces, because they can be directly covered with plastic, wallpaper, tile or paint without the need to cover them with plasterboard etc. This saves both time and money.
Besides new buildings, modules are a practical way to enlarge existing buildings. Especially in cities with limited availability of undeveloped land, they can be used to horizontally and vertically extend them to create more living space. Rooms can be made wider or longer, or extra stories added to low buildings. This is a host of possibilities for designing modules and exteriors to harmonize with existing structures.
Despite its reputation, modular construction leaves plenty of room for creativity, as it isn’t constrained to any particular design grid. From tiny houses to multi-family residences, and from schools to multi-storey office complexes, virtually anything is possible. Modules can even serve as design elements in their own right, for instance by piling or staggering them to create impressive effects. The layout can also be very flexibly varied to meet a wide array of wishes and expectations.
There’s no doubt that building with wood is good for the environment. And the flexible uses for modular construction can provide even greater sustainability. They can be enlarged or reduced by adding or taking away modules. It’s also possible to design them from the start to be moved and reused elsewhere. Modular construction is often deployed for interim solutions, this being an application in which its strengths vividly come to the fore. The bottom line is that this construction approach is highly adaptable to a vast array of different needs and situations.
Awareness of the potential of timber and engineered wood products as environmentally friendly alternatives for construction projects is steadily growing. Lawmakers are also jumping on the bandwagon. More and more programmes are being launched to promote timber construction, and building codes are being adapted to pave the way for it. It is a viable way to achieve more than one goal at the same time: creating more living space and entrapping CO2 that would otherwise be released into the atmosphere and amplify the greenhouse effect.
SWISS KRONO OSB products are characterised by outstandingly low emissions. Most SWISS KRONO OSB versions have already been awarded the Blue Angel ecolabel and had their eco-friendly manufacture and suitability for living and working space confirmed by official studies. They meet all relevant fire resistance and acoustic insulation requirements and are well below the official ceilings on emissions.
SWISS KRONO mainly uses wood from sustainably managed German forests to make its engineered wood products. This shortens the distances they have to be transported and contributes to their excellent environmental footprint.