At Classic Folios, we are proud of the vantage point from which we can see the property industry. By dealing directly with such a broad spectrum of clients within the residential sector – from family developers all the way up to national developers; private, shared ownership and build to rent; freehold to leasehold; studio apartments to country mansions – we are able to closely monitor trends and best practice in a way that few other companies can.
It is therefore important that we take a proactive approach to these trends and ensure our knowledge covers the full scope of the industry. With more developers using modular techniques, we planned a visit to Go Modular – a Southampton-based specialist in modular technology and off-site manufacturing, so we could see the process in action.
As we arrived at the factory, we received a sneak peek at some of the modular constructions that were wrapped up, ready to be transported to the developments, where they will be installed in the external structure. While this perhaps provided a non-linear start to our tour, it also gave us important context for the information that followed.
Greeted by the prolifically knowledgeable Managing Director George Lujans and Commercial Director Mohammed Afzal, we were given an introduction to Go Modular and their place within the construction industry. Their honest appraisal of the current state of the industry, including the trepidation that the term ‘modular’ is often met with, gave us invaluable insight into both the challenges they face and the challenges they help solve. Their tagline is ‘Attractive Technology’ – a reference to the cutting edge (pun intended) technology that ensures pinpoint accuracy when dividing units into modules. Floor plans are split into modules based on the size restrictions imposed by UK transport regulations. These plans then essentially act as instructions for the work carried out in the factory. We were then taken on a tour of the resulting modules, where the ‘plug and play’ nature of the constructions became apparent, with a kitchen module kitted out with appliances, a boiler, a thermostat, lighting and plug sockets, as well as flooring, worktops and a sink.
As with anything that preaches speed – Go Modular claim they can reduce build periods by up to 45% – one can’t help but wonder: ‘at what cost?’ Our tour of the factory suggested that there is certainly no compromise on quality, with the units reflecting high levels of craftmanship, while an explanation of the build methods revealed that modular building drastically reduces shrinkage cracks and the drying out period, as significantly less moisture is used in the building materials. In terms of financial cost, the efficiency is such that it can create additional client revenues of up to 6% of project costs through early delivery to market.
Ultimately, modular building is likely to have little to no impact on the eventual homeowner, who is the individual being served by the entire process. If companies like Go Modular can create accurate and quicker build times, it is easy to see why many developers may start embracing modular building as a way of getting the customer experience off to the best possible start.
To learn more about Go Modular, please visit www.go-modular.co.uk