The Future of Modular Buildings in the Construction Sector

Modular buildings--those that are fabricated in parts and then assembled on-site, IKEA-style--are increasingly becoming a popular solution for the UK’s housing needs. Not only can they cut the time spent on building projects in half, but they’re more cost-effective, better for the planet, and in many cases easy to customize.

Modern modular construction companies can flat-pack an entire home for easy transportation. That minimizes both packaging and travel--and means permanent jobs on a permanent site for more of the workers involved.

Even though the traditional building industry has seen a recent downturn in the UK, modular remains on the rise, spurred by the Government’s four-year Modular Buildings Solutions plan. One of the suppliers for the plan will be Yorkshire-based Integra Buildings, whose managing director Gary Parker has commented, 

“At a time when all businesses are having to deal with uncertainty, this will give us the confidence to create new jobs and invest in our people and facilities because of the potential value of the work.”

Potential jobs abound in this burgeoning field. Because modular construction occurs mostly off-site, there is a need for specialized construction skills--including those of stonemasons, joiners, steel fixers and welders--in a factory setting. Although experience in modular construction isn’t required for jobs like these, it is important to be ready to learn multiple skills, use machinery, work in a team, and meet strict deadlines.

There are also jobs available for estimators, who work to keep projects within the client’s budget by becoming experts on the raw materials market and getting quotes from any contractors involved. Estimators work creatively and cooperatively to solve budget problems and find ways to deliver the product that’s needed, at the price that’s needed.

Meanwhile, a structural engineer’s task is to design each part of that product--that is, of the building. They take the limitations of off-site construction--including storage, transportation, and people power needed for assembly--into account as well as the needs of the big-picture design. Structural engineers also need to be experts on the raw materials of a building project, but in this case, they focus on how well those materials will hold up to the predicted environmental stresses of the site.

Those with managerial experience in the traditional construction business can easily apply their skills off-site.

Not every potential job in modular construction is a factory or office job. This industry is also creating jobs in logistics--people are needed to coordinate the transportation of each component to the job site in the proper order and at the right time. Dispatch managers, crane operators, forklift drivers and HGV drivers all play key roles in ensuring the efficiency of a modular build.

Anyone seeking to begin or continue a career in construction could potentially benefit from the growth of modular building. If this is your background, it may be that you’re just the person this exciting new sector needs. Contact us on 02392 221600 or email to learn more about the vacancies we have available in the construction sector.