A wide variety of Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) techniques and products have been developed that have completely changed the behaviour of the construction industry from years of the same traditional methods.
The changes have enabled more development in sectors where previously it was simply not achievable.
What are Modern Methods of Construction?
Modern construction methods (MMC) are building methods that have developed in the construction industry with proper planning and design regulation so that projects reduce construction time, cost but maintain overall sustainability.
Types of Modern Methods of Construction
The most applied methods of modern construction are listed below.
Precast Flat Panel System
This method of construction involves the procedure of making floor and wall units offsite but typically separate factory facilities are required.
Once the panel units are made as per the design specification and requirements, they are brought to the site and placed. This method is best suited for repetitive construction project activities.
The panels manufactured allow for fitting of windows, doors and the finishes done. This method also brings building envelope panels which are provided with insulation and decorative cladding that is fitted by the factory which can also be used as load-bearing elements.
Steel Structure with Multi-layered Composite Enclosure
An industrialised construction system using a metal structure, made up of structural components which are standard in the hot laminated steel market and multilayer enclosure walls.
Onsite precision engineering construction of steel structure combines with a system manufactured offsite in factories, often using reused materials through recycling processes with shorter construction times.
Once the enclosures are sealed the thermal and acoustic insulation is of the highest grade providing a structure for some of the best results in energy efficiency.
3D Volumetric Construction
As the name implies, the 3D volumetric construction involves the manufacture of 3D units in the form of modules offsite which are then brought to site and assembled module by module.
Each modular unit manufactured are 3D units, hence this construction is called as 3D volumetric or modular construction.
The transportation of the modules can be carried out in various forms or methods. This can involve the transportation of the basic structure or a completed unit with all the internal and external finishes with services installed within it so the only part remaining is the assembly.
The factory construction brings different unit of same product maintaining their quality throughout. Hence this method is best suited for repetitive projects so that rapid assembly of the products is possible.
Flat Slab Construction
The flat slabs are structural elements that are highly versatile in nature and for that reason is still widely used in construction. The flat slab provides minimum depth and faster construction. The system also provides column grids that are flexible.
Wherever it is necessary to seal the partitions to the slab soffit as a reason of acoustic and fire concerns, the flat slabs are a desirable solution.
When compared with other forms of construction, the flat slabs are faster and more economic. The construction of flat slabs can be completed with good surface finishes.
The flat slab construction is also a means of increasing the energy efficiency due to the thermal mass allowing for better ventilation, heating and cooling requirements.
Precast Concrete Foundation
For the rapid construction of foundation, the precast concrete system can be employed. This method is more suited for a bespoke design.
Here, the elements required for the construction of foundation are constructed separately in the factory (offsite) and brought to the site and assembled. The manufactured product must have the assured quality as specified by the designer.
The foundation assembled is mainly supported by concrete piles. During assembling, both the systems are connected together. These foundation systems help in increasing the productivity, increase quality and decrease the soil excavation needed.
This is best suited for extreme and adverse weather conditions and when the construction is set on a highly contaminated ground.
Twin Wall Technology
The twin wall technology is a hybrid solution of wall system that combines the qualities of construction speed using precast concrete with structural integrity when in-situ. This type of wall system guarantees structural integrity and waterproof reliability.
The twin wall system has two walls slabs that are separated as shown in the figure-6. The two slabs are separated by a cast in lattice girders.
The procedure involves:
This system of construction is faster than normal construction methods and economical. The twin wall system is mainly employed in association with the construction of precast floors.
Insulating Concrete Formwork
The system of insulating concrete formwork (ICF) have twin walled panels that are either polystyrene panels or blocks are employed. These are built quickly to create the formwork as the wall of the buildings.
The formwork that is made is filled with concrete. This concrete is factory produced that have quality assurance so that a ready – mixed concrete. Mostly the mix is ready mix concrete.
Higher level of thermal insulation is provided by expanded polystyrene blocks. The concrete core will provide good robustness and better sound insulation.
Precast Cladding Panels
The cladding system is the installation of a material over another that finally act as a skin or a layer. This layer system is not only intended for aesthetics, but it can help in controlling the infiltration of the weather elements.
No kind of waterproofing is provided by the cladding, but the cladding has a control element against water penetration. This safely helps in directing the water or the wind so there is runoff preventing infiltration into the structure.
Concrete is still widely used and mainly applied for walls, ceilings, retaining wall, decorative exterior, and interior finishes.
Concrete is also used a flooring material and provide a good smooth finish for flooring with a variety of finishes like acid-stained painted, radiant floors, overlays, and micro toppings.
When compared with other construction materials concrete is still very affordable and although maintenance is easy, timeframes to construct mean higher than usual labour costs and performance on energy efficiency is low without use of other insulating materials which has resulted in it being phased out in preference to other more modern methods.