ModSpace recently posted an infographic on their blog comparing traditional construction waste to modular construction waste. Some pretty big numbers were discussed, including the fact that modular waste could save:
- 24 tons of construction waste annually
- The total annual intake of 8 massive landfill sites
But what do these numbers really mean? The actual saving grace of modular as opposed to traditional construction waste is its affect on public health and the environment.
Cleaner Modular Construction Waste Can Save Public Health & The Environment
Unlike traditional construction, modular construction uses interlocking pieces to build in-plant offices that can be assembled and disassembled relatively cleanly. As a result, the process causes less harm to the public and environment than the demolition of a traditionally constructed structure.
When replacing a traditionally constructed in-plant office, the entire structure must be demolished and built again from the ground up. Modular offices, on the other hand, can be taken down rather than demolished, all but eliminating demolition debris at the worksite. Demolition dust can be a hazardous material, particularly if the walls were coated with any oil-based paint.
Dust is a difficult substance to eradicate from any building. By decreasing demolition debris, modular offices cause a less hazardous work environment for both the construction workers and the occupants of the building after construction has finished.
Since components of modular offices can be reused, there is less overall waste created, including hazardous waste. In addition, some traditionally constructed buildings rely on treated wood for framing or other structural components. Porta-King modular offices use more sophisticated and non-hazardous materials for all structural components. This decision ensures that any modular parts that do become construction waste are non-hazardous.
Modular Construction Decreases Need for More Landfills
Landfills have been part of a complex environmental debate for decades. The negative side effects of landfills range from damaging the atmosphere with large quantities of potent methane gas to producing toxic liquids that can pollute surrounding land and water supplies. However, landfills are currently the most frequently used waste management option for traditional construction waste.
Modular construction can reduce this waste by 24 tons, decreasing the need for more landfills. While this does not solve the problems caused by landfills, it is a step in the right direction. In addition, less waste means fewer trucks needed to transport that waste, which cuts down on the greenhouse gases produced through transportation.