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Design in Modular Construction

Modular construction can dramatically improve efficiency in construction, through factory production of pre-engineered building units and their delivery to the site either as entire buildings or as substantial elements. The required technology and application are developing rapidly, but design is still in its infancy. Good design requires a knowledge of modular production, installation and interface issues and also an understanding of the economics and client-related benefits which influence design decisions. Looking at eight recent projects, along with background information, this guide gives you coverage of: generic types of module and their application vertical loading, stability and robustness dimensional and spacial planning hybrid construction cladding, services and building physics fire safety and thermal and acoustic performance logistical aspects - such as transport, tolerances and safe installation. A valuable guide for professionals and a thorough introduction for advanced students.
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Table of Contents

Introduction to modular construction Definitions Applications of modular construction Benefits of modular construction History of modular construction in the UK Modular construction worldwide Background studies Functional requirements for modular buildings Introduction to materials Accreditation of modular systems References Types of steel modules Basic forms of light steel modules Four-sided modules Corner-supported modules Open-ended modules Hybrid modular and panel systems Hybrid modular, panel, and primary steel frame systems References Precast concrete modules Benefits of precast concrete modules Precast concrete building forms Modular construction in concrete References Other types of modules Timber-framed modules Reuse of shipping containers Bathroom pods Special forms of modular construction Modular units in renovation Access cores Introduction to planning of modular buildings General principles Corridor-type buildings External access buildings Open-plan modular buildings High-rise modular buildings Dimensions for planning of modular buildings Structural zones Open building approach References Housing and residential buildings Space planning in housing Building regulations (England and Wales) House forms in modular construction Residential buildings in modular construction Student residences Hotels Modular Layouts in Tall Buildings Mixed modules and open-plan space References Hospitals and medical buildings Features of modular medical facilities Design requirements Modules in hospital extensions Dimensional requirements for medical buildings References Schools and educational buildings Features of modular educational buildings Dimensional requirements for schools Other requirements for schools References Specialist buildings Supermarkets Retails units and petrol stations Military accommodation Prisons and secure accommodation Hybrid modular construction systems Modular and panel systems Examples of plan forms using hybrid construction Details of connections between modules and floor cassettes Podium support to modules Integrated steel frames and modules Example of mixed use of modules and structural frames in a residential building Groups of modules supported by structural frames References Acoustic insulation in modular construction Principles of acoustic insulation Acoustic requirements and regulations Separating walls Separating floors References Structural design of light steel modules Loading and load combinations Forms of construction Connection between modules Stabilising systems Effect of construction tolerances on stability Design of structural elements Structural integrity References Structural design of concrete modules Design principles in modular precast concrete Concrete properties Codes and standards Layout of modules Detailed design Cladding, roofing, and balconies in modular construction Cladding types for light steel modules Thermal performance Thermal performance of light steel modular walls Airtightness Roofing systems Building in renewable energy technologies in modular construction Balconies References Service interfaces in modular construction Services in light steel modules Services in concrete modules Modular plant rooms Modular cores References Constructional issues in modular systems Foundation interfaces Module tolerances and interfaces Module-to-module connections Modular stairs Corridor supports Construction issues for concrete modules Transport of modules Craneage and installation References Factory production of modules Benefits of off-site manufacturing Manufacture of light steel and timber modules Automation in panel production Field factories Manufacture of precast concrete modules Weather protection References Economics of modular construction On-site construction versus off-site manufacture Economics of production Material costs and improved productivity Proportion of on-site work in modular construction Transport and installation costs Economics of speed of construction Savings in design fees Summary of potential cost savings relative to on-site construction References Sustainability in modular construction Benefits of off-site manufacture on sustainability Code for sustainable homes (CFSH) Background studies on sustainability Embodied energy and embodied carbon calculations Embodied carbon in transportation Comparative embodied carbon study References Index

About the Author

Professor Mark Lawson is professor of construction systems at the University of Surrey, and consultant to the Steel Construction Institute (SCI). He is a chartered civil and structural engineer and member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). His BSc (Eng) is from Imperial College, and his PhD was obtained from the University of Sanford in the field of stressed skin design of steel-framed buildings. In 2011, he was awarded two prizes by the Institution of Civil Engineers for published papers, including the Howard Medal. He has been involved in many EU projects in the steel construction sector and has led major projects on sustainable design in steel and on modular construction systems. Professor Ray Ogden has a degree in architecture and a PhD in mechanical engineering. He has been involved in construction-related research and teaching since 1986, including work related to light steel, off-site, and modular construction, building envelope design, and low-carbon solutions. He is currently a professor and associate dean of research and knowledge exchange in the Faculty of Technology, Design and Environment at Oxford Brookes University, where he is also director of the Tata Centre for the Building Envelope. He has authored seven books and numerous technical papers and reports, and been responsible for a wide range of research and live demonstration projects. Dr. Chris Goodier is a senior lecturer in the School of Civil and Building Engineering, Loughborough University, having worked previously for BRE and Laing Civil Engineering. He is a chartered builder with 20 years' experience in all aspects of construction, including research, contracting, and consultancy, and has published more than 130 papers, books, reports, and articles. He recently chaired the 2013 British Council's International Conference on Sustainable Construction and leads a significant ongoing portfolio of government- and industry-funded research in the areas of concrete materials, off-site technology, sustainability, infrastructure, renewable energy, and construction futures.


"The authors bring together expertise in modular design, light steel structural design and concrete structural design to create a comprehensive reference book for modular construction... With over 40 case studies... the authors demonstrate the perhaps surprising capacity for modular construction to be used to create diverse, flexible and adaptable designs that can respond sensitively to both site and function. Modular design and construction intensifies the normal relationship between architectural design, structural design, building physics, manufacturing processes, transportation requirements and installation strategies. Design in Modular Construction reflects this multidisciplinary design requirement by bringing together all these aspects in an accessible and holistic manner."-Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers "... a key reference for anyone involved in the design of homes and buildings using modular construction and for undergraduate and post-graduate education."-Civil Engineering Journal, October 2015 "This should be reference reading for all students of sustainable construction. It demonstrates the benefits in terms of fewer deliveries to site, the speed of construction and the lower amounts of embodied energy in modular construction, all of which are increasingly important in today's resource stressed world. ...This book fills a gap in the literature by providing a comprehensive overview for students and those designers new to the idea of building with modules, and provides sufficient examples and case studies for designers to start using the technology immediately in their work. ...I recommend this book to every university that teaches structural design and architecture as required reading for students, and I recommend it to every architects practice as an introduction to the technology."--Rory Bergin, HTA Design LLP "This book provides an exciting panorama of design in modular construction, with excellent elaborations of the technical, economic and sustainability aspects of a series of steel, concrete and timber modular systems. The provision of the wide-ranging case examples of building projects using modular construction makes the book an ideal source of information for both researchers and practitioners."--Dr Wei Pan, the University of Hong Kong "I think this book is vital for every graduate and master's student studying Building or Civil Engineering as it covers all aspects of modular construction from historic data to state of the art techniques."-Vasileios Vernikos, CH2M HILL "The authors bring together expertise in modular design, light steel structural design and concrete structural design to create a comprehensive reference book for modular construction, which focuses primarily on the design of volumetric units."-Rachel Cruise, Structures and Buildings

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