Undoubtedly, the use of steel in the residential sector has grown rapidly in the past 10 years due mostly to the growing realization of the many benefits that steel construction offers.
One of the major performance benefits is the quality of the steel buildings produced because of the use of modern technologies during the design, prefabrication and actual construction. Another major advantage of steel construction over traditional methods is the speed of construction, which not only reduces overall costs but also results to early occupancy.
Components of steel buildings are not just pre-fabricated; they are customized to meet the specific needs of customers. And the maximum benefits of prefabrication are realized when using modular steel systems.
Modular construction is just one of a variety of technologies used in the construction of steel buildings for hotels and dormitories, where time is of the essence and repetitive use of similar-sized modules can be used efficiently. The beauty of modular construction is that it is up to 40% faster than traditional on-site construction
In the case of student dormitories, modular steel buildings are the perfect solutions to the need for fast-paced and tight construction schedules that enable the structures to be ready for student accommodation at the start of the school year.
In the same breath, the speedy construction of hotels results in early occupancy and early return on investment. In Europe, this has been quantified and has been found to be equivalent to a gain of 1% of the building cost for each month of operation.
Modular construction consists of 3-D units that are typically of room size. When arranged side by side, they provide a stable structure because they are designed to be load-bearing for buildings up to 6 stories high.
Dormitories often need office space at the ground floor. A solution is to create a podium level at the first floor and the modules are placed atop.
Modular construction is popular for low-rise steel buildings used as hotels such as those that are 2 to 6 stories high. A common feature of these structures is a ground floor podium where the main lobby, restaurants and some retail outlets are located. On top of this podium level, the steel modules comprising the bedrooms are placed.
Modules are clad in a variety of materials and today’s modular steel buildings look like any other structure on the street.