What are the benefits of modular construction?
Thu, 29 Jun 2017

Are you thinking about a modular/pre-fabricated home? You may be surprised to learn there are many advantages to modular construction over traditional site builds.

Pre-fabricated homes have come a long way since the days of classrooms built from unsightly MDF, chipboard, and refrigeration panels with no insulation. Nowadays, prefab is an affordable and attractive option for building your new home. Homes are warm, dry, well-insulated, and stand the test of time - just as you expect from any new home built in New Zealand. 

While modular construction is relatively new to New Zealand, it has already revolutionised the construction industry worldwide and is popular with home buyers and developers alike, and it’s easy to see why with its many benefits. 

We employ advanced tried and tested modular building strategies and build your home or investment in our factory, reducing construction time by 25% to 50%. Our controlled fabrication procedures ensure a high level of quality, control, and precision building.

What do we mean by modular/pre-fabrication construction and how does it work?

When we talk about modular or prefabricated homes we mean a home that is built off-site in controlled conditions, in our case our Trentham factory.

Our homes consist of standardised modules, which means that we have pre-designed floor plans that are pre-consented and fast-tracked through the consenting process compared with one-off designs. We can also build one-off designs as long as they fit our building parameters but these take a bit longer to process and build.

To build our homes we use traditional timber framing and follow the same building code and checks as a traditional on-site build. Council inspectors come to our factory and sign off various stages of the build. Once the module(s) is complete inside and outside - including all fittings (such as the kitchen and bathroom), insulation, plumbing, electrical, windows, doors, floor coverings, and paint, the house is transported to the prepared site and placed on piles. Minimal site works are required once the house arrives, so you can be in your new home as soon as the services are connected and decks built!

Faster, Smarter Building

One of the primary benefits of modular construction is the time it takes to build a new home. This is right from the beginning - we don't need to spend the time designing a house or submitting consents - we've already done that and we know our design works. Whereas a site build can take a year or more to build, our homes are built in a few months. Your house is being built at the same time as site preparation and consent processing is occurring. In addition, our builders are never rained off or have to deal with flooding, leaks, and, other disasters that can happen on site!

Cost Effective

The faster build time also makes modular construction more cost effective as you are in your new home quicker and making mortgage payments or seeing sooner returns on your investment property.

Modular construction is also generally cheaper than a site build - this is because:

  • we replicate our design saving costs on architect fees (which can be $30,000 for a bespoke design), lower consent fees as we have a multi-proof consent, and
  • materials do not need to be sourced for every new build - we've found the best materials at the lowest price for you.

Better Quality

The materials used in our homes are the same, if not better, than the ones used to construct a house on site with added quality control. As the houses need to be transported they must withstand being transported long distances and in some cases craned onto foundations - this means the house can be more durable than a site build.

There is an additional benefit to factory-built homes according to research (1); improved air quality. A site build is not protected from the elements and this can cause indoor air quality issues from high moisture levels, which can be trapped in the framing materials for on-site builds leading to mold growth. As our materials are housed in a dry factory damage and excess moisture build-up is eliminated.

Modular construction also offers greater quality control through the factory build process as there are fewer gaps and tighter construction. Tighter construction also leads to better air quality as the buildings are weather tight - this also means there is increased energy efficiency saving you money in the long term.

Lower Environmental Impact

Last, but not least, there are environmental impact and sustainability benefits to Matrix Homes construction. Modular construction means there is less material waste as the design is replicated we only order what we need. We have fewer materials being replaced due to damage by the elements. There is also less disturbance to your site. There are fewer vehicles and equipment driven to your site every day. And there is less noise pollution - your neighbours don't have to listen to a noisy building site every day for a year!

There are a lot of other benefits to building in this way - you can add to a module later on or transport the house to another site. Building this way is practical and the way of the future!

(1) Muhamad, F. M., Mohammad, F. M., Mohd, R. Y. & Rohana, M., 2014. Characteristics of Modular Construction: Meeting the Needs of Sustainability and Innovation. Selangor, Research Gate.