Modular Building Materials
The construction of a modular building must result in a durable and high-quality product that meets all of the same building requirements of a traditional build. Here at Wintech Modular we choose the materials that will make sure that the building is structurally sound, long lasting and makes the building appear attractive. While many see a modular building as a temporary building that is cold, damp and will not last long, with modern materials and production methods this is no longer the case. We choose the most effective materials to assure that damp, water and heat does not do any damage to the building. Preventing the weather from damaging the building is a particularly important aspect for us to consider. The sections of the build that can be seen are always chosen to fit form and purpose together effectively.
Typically, here at Wintech Modular we use a steel frame for the structure of the building which is welded together to ensure it is structurally sound. Once welded the frame is then treated to withstand the British weather and prevent rust. If protected correctly it will last an exceedingly long time and will not suffer from any corrosion. The benefits of using the steel frame include the fact that it is a solid frame that can support all elements of the build for a long period of time. Dependent on the structure, fittings and cladding choice, a modular building can be heavy and the steel frame means that it can all be supported comfortably. A welded frame gives each module a rigid structure and will be able to keep the building in place from its walls to its roof and its flooring. Steel can be shaped to provide more interesting shapes like arches which is beneficial to us as we produce bespoke modular buildings to order. It is a great material for creating custom built buildings.
This frame also gives the advantage of being able to take the weight of the building without any warping when it is lifted and transported (another perk of a modular building being its portability). By being able to transport the building in its initial delivery and in the future, you can feel comfortable knowing that it is not going to break it when its moved.
Arguably the most useful and versatile material that is used in construction is timber. It is easy to use, easy to cut down to size and has many benefits to using. Wood is one of the most sustainable materials that can be used in the construction industry and can be used in a variety of building situations. The use of timber allows doors and windows to be added in to the structure wherever they are wanted. Having a sustainable material is an increasingly important part of purchasing a new building. Its usability is only increased by the fact it can be reclaimed and used for other purposes afterwards.
The walls of a modular building are made from high quality timber which allows the addition of insulation. In the past a concern has been that a portable building has weak walls which bend over time but with the construction of the walls in sections the studwork is strong and will keep its shape over time allowing windows and doors to be added to the building design. By having each section as a different part there is a lot of flexibility to the build allowing placements where a traditional build would not normally allow. These walls are then covered in OSB board. OSB board is another durable product which protects the studwork, it is resistant to moisture, and this protects the build stopping damp from occurring and helping against any weather damage. It is an extremely strong material due to its composition of wood strands. OSB board is a material which can be cut to shape and size so can be used in unique builds and due to its consistency in the material throughout it does not have weak points in it. OSB board can be used for the bottom layer of the floor due to its strength which has helped to tackle the stereotype that a portable building can have a wobbly floor after a few years of use.
The roof of a modular building can be made from a variety of materials like using roof tiles, but the framework known as the roof trusses are usually made from timber as they can be cut down and constructed to give the right angle for the roof. Timber is strong enough to support all different roof types. Alongside this the joists for the flooring and the ceiling or roof are made from large timber joists as they are durable and strong and can support all the weight it needs to.
To meet energy efficiency regulations and be up to par with traditional builds insulation is an important part of constructing the building. We use the same insulation as traditional buildings which means it will keep in the heat in winter and keep the building cool in summer. Spray foam is another insulation we commonly use. Spray foam insulation is extremely versatile and can be used to insulate the roof, lofts, walls, and the floor. It is a liquid foam that hardens so is easy to apply and will provide good insulation. Using either of these insulation types will provide sufficient insulation to a build and will allow it to stand at the same rating as a traditional build moving away from the damp and cold stereotypes of the past.
As with external walls the internal wall studwork is typically also made from timber. The walls can be covered in a variety of materials to give both purpose and form to the construction. Some of the most used internal cladding includes laminate and vinyl which are adaptable and malleable. Having materials that can be cut down to size and that are of high quality will bring a longer lifespan to the build. Different options are available for washrooms, shower rooms, waiting areas, offices, and other areas so a room can be styled for its form and visual appeal or for its practicality.
Flooring is a part of every modular building. We use Timber for joists and then usually cover this with sheet materials. Carpets, vinyl and laminate are then used to cover the flooring dependent on the intended use for the room. We use the best quality flooring materials to make sure they are hardwearing.
There are a variety of different materials available for cladding a modular building ranging from Anti-Vandal, Plastisol, Timber Cladding to Brick or Stone Slip Finishes. These all offer protection from the weather preventing damage from water and wind. While some are stronger than others and some are more aesthetically pleasing and would fit a certain site better, they all have the same primary function. Some materials can increase the weight of the build significantly like stone or brick slips, others such as shingle can be expensive. There are a variety of options available, but this should be chosen based on a range of factors including budget, environmental impact, and location. The anti-vandal or plastisol claddings are more commonly used for things that have lots of foot traffic such as toilets and offices on sites. The other finishes are more aesthetically pleasing and are used when the form is just as important as the purpose. You can see more about our cladding options here.
Other areas of the build
There are many other materials that are key to a modular building, but these vary largely dependent on what facilities and features are required. With aspects like windows and doors there are many different options available including metal, plastic and PVC or timber. Glass is an obvious key material, but doors and window frames are usually picked to match the rest of the building. Internal and external fixtures like lights plug sockets and drains are all available in various options and are dependent on the type of building. More commonly things such as wiring, and pipes are common for electricals and plumbing applications, so these are always taken in to account too.