Many are drawn to the prospects of modular building construction because of the lower cost but assume modular buildings won’t last as long. That’s simply untrue! Modular buildings last longer than you think. With ever-evolving modular construction techniques, they’re built to the same IBC codes as traditionally-built structures. Still, like all buildings, proper maintenance is critical for ensuring a long lifespan. Let’s discuss the various factors that impact the longevity of commercial modular buildings.
Types of Modular Buildings
Temporary Modular Buildings
Did you know that even temporary modular buildings are designed to last for decades? Designed to provide a quick, portable space solution, they are not intended to stay on a site for a prolonged period of time. However, they are still designed to last around 25–30 years—certainly not an eternity, but definitely long enough to serve their intended purpose.
Leasing or purchasing a used modular building will mean its lifespan is slightly shortened, having already been owned for a few years. With proper maintenance of building systems, siding, and roofing, however, these temporary portable modular buildings can actually last a lifetime.
Permanent Modular Buildings
A permanent modular building is a long-lasting investment. Similar to a site-built structure, permanent modular buildings are placed on a foundation with no intention of relocation. Their supreme modular construction quality allows permanent modular buildings to last 50 years or more. With proper care and maintenance, a permanent modular building can last for generations.
To construct a long-lasting building, a modular builder needs to use strong, durable materials in their construction process. This will create a building that can withstand harsh weather conditions and decades of aging. VESTA Modular constructs our permanent modular office buildings, modular classrooms, and modular medical buildings using the best materials available. They're built to meet the applicable IBC for your project location.
3 Factors of Longevity for Modular Buildings
The key to a long-lasting structure is regular maintenance. Apply protective coatings to siding and roofing in anticipation of harsh weather each year, reducing the likelihood that paint will chip away or that it will be damaged by sleet and hail. Prevent water infiltration by checking the roof, gutters, and downspouts to ensure proper drainage. Make sure doors and windows are caulked, flashed, and sealed; replace or repaint any damaged siding.
Roofing and mechanical systems need to be replaced every 20 years on average. Every 25 to 30 years, windows, siding, electrical systems, and plumbing need to be replaced. Regular replacement of HVAC filters will ensure your system runs efficiently and will minimize repairs.
Quality determines how long a building will last, so buying from a reputable modular builder is a necessity. Find someone with years of experience and excellent customer reviews.
Extremely cheap modular building options are usually priced as such for a reason. They often deteriorate more quickly because they use low-quality materials—or they are older used buildings that may not even meet current building code requirements. Proper foundation installation is also vital. Without it, the stability of a building is compromised.
Insulation acts as the muscles of a building, keeping it strong and shielded from extreme weather conditions. Both hot summer days and cold winter nights pose a threat to a poorly-insulated building. Insulation regulates temperature and keeps moisture from seeping into a building. Without it, heating and air conditioning bills will skyrocket. At VESTA Modular, we build to meet or exceed IBC insulation requirements according to the building project’s location.
Misconceptions About Modular Buildings
“Modular Construction Hasn’t Evolved”
Modular construction has come a long way since its inception, with sturdier construction methods and materials. Modular construction quality has improved, and the modular buildings you see today are far more advanced than the modular buildings that were around 50 years ago. Commercial modular buildings today are built to meet the International Building Code, which is the same code that site-built structures must adhere to.
“Modular Buildings Aren’t Durable”
The notion that modular buildings are weaker or flimsier than standard buildings has carried on from decades ago. It’s an inaccurate and outdated belief. The Modular Building Institute referenced an assessment that FEMA conducted of modern modular construction following Hurricane Andrew in 1992, which concluded the following:
“Overall, relatively minimal structural damage was noted in wood-framed modular developments. The module-to-module combination of the units appears to have provided an inherently rigid system that performed much better than conventional residential framing.”
Additionally, modular buildings are built on a steel frame to withstand the rigors of transportation from the manufacturer to the site. Therefore, they actually have a more robust structure than traditional buildings.
“Modular Buildings Don’t Have Good Resale Value”
Some people have the misconception that modular buildings have a depreciating value. That’s simply untrue; modular buildings can be resold years later for an equal or even greater price. Modular buildings can actually accumulate in value as the real estate market increases overall property values.
VESTA Modular Buildings for Sale and Lease
Now that you know commercial modular buildings are a worthwhile investment, check out our selection of unique and classy models. VESTA can provide delivery to any location, no matter how remote, and we can work with you to find a floor plan that fits your needs. Reach out to us to request a free quote, and get started toward acquiring one of our modular buildings for sale or lease.
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