Innovative Construction: Panelized VS Modular
Updated: Mar 11
TechPrefab believes in prefabrication, which will disrupt the construction industry. Prefabricated homes offer a number of attractive advantages compared to the traditional on-site construction method such as substantial reduction of construction time, higher quality control, and potential cost savings.
However, people sometimes are very confused with different prefab approaches. Currently, the prefabricated homes category encompasses two main construction methods: panelized and modular.
Modular housing is defined as “housing that is partially built in a plant, shipped to a development site, and placed on a foundation, where the roof structure and exterior finishes are completed”. Panelized hosing is a similar construction technique that utilizes wall panels manufactured in a controlled environment, shipped to the construction site, and installed on the prepared foundation. TechPrefab is specialized in the panelized method.
The fundamental difference between the two is the prefabricated unit, which for the first are structural panels and for the second are complete box-like modules including the roof structure and exterior finishes and which sometimes represent the home’s functional units. From TechPrefab's past experience, panelized is the ideal method for ADU and Single-family project.
Here are the reasons：
The first benefit that the panelized construction method has over the modular construction method is transportation. Because of their flat square configuration and lightweight, panels can be stacked and fit into smaller trucks, compared to the considerably larger trucks needed to transport complete prefabricated modules. All the Panels needed to build the home can be placed on top of a couple of flatbed trucks and transported to the site at once. On the other hand, only one or a maximum of two modules can be transported per truck, which implies a larger number of trucks needed to get to the construction site. In addition, Panels are proved to suffer little to no damage during transportation as they can be stalked and securely placed, strapped, and tightened to the flatbed truck which doesn’t allow them to move.
The next benefit is the equipment and machinery needed to perform the on-site installation. Because Panels are much smaller and lighter, they can be installed with smaller equipment which is also easier to transport, such as a telehandler forklift or zoom boom. To install the modules, a larger crane is needed given that the modules are many times bigger and more complicated to handle than the Panels. Additionally, the transportation of both larger equipment and larger trucks to move the modules becomes more complicated if the site has difficult or narrow access, which is the common case for ADU and single-family projects. As a result, having smaller and easier to transport equipment and trucks can avoid potential problems on a complicated construction site.
The last benefit of the panels method over the prefabricated modules is their insulation technology, which leads to energy efficiency and other advantages. Between the MgO board sheathing is rigid insulation which can be dimensioned to attain different levels of insulation. Also, the Panel composite is an effective moisture and vapor barrier that is resistant to mold growth and insect infestation. In addition, the panel connection design also gives the envelope a high R-value and an airtight envelope to prevent heat losses. The mentioned features are important to enhance the performance of the overall home and to prevent future maintenance issues for ADU or Single-family projects.
In conclusion, TechPrefab's panelized construction method is tailored for ADU and single-family projects. Using this hybrid approach of prefab and site-built, TechPrefab delivers your future homes faster, cheaper, and better.