Once restricted to the world of mining and construction sites, modular buildings are now taking off as a preferred option for hospitals, hotels, and offices. It has also found its roots in construction, with the ease of movement and assembly suiting the fast-moving nature of job sites.
Currently, the modular and prefabricated building market in Australia represents about three per cent of the total $150 billion construction industry, according to Data61. However, it is expected to contribute more in the coming years. It is becoming a feasible option for affordable housing stock. Moreover, it continues to provide more infrastructure to the ever-growing number of job sites around Australia during the building boom.
Jobsite ANZ spoke with Louise Black, the projects delivery manager for Envirotech Water Solutions, an Australian engineering and civil contractor group, about the specific needs of a construction site office and the benefits of using a modular option.
Accessibility is Key
According to Black, modular offices are a common sight on the job site due to their flexible nature. Since they can be quickly assembled and then dismantled , the costs associated with construction projects can be successfully reduced. According to Black, “They need to be quickly and easily assembled and demobilised with modular parts, without the need to pay for the supplier’s specialist erect team to come and put it up.”
“It’s not economically feasible to have that extra cost, sometimes adding up to thousands on top of the hire.”
As construction job sites are often in locations far removed from major cities, job site offices need to be portable and easily put together to avoid adding extra costs onto projects.
“Projects are often hundreds and hundreds of kilometres away from metro areas,” says Black. “It’s not economically feasible to have that extra cost, sometimes adding up to thousands on top of the hire.”
The Benefits of a Modular Option
Due to the specific needs of a construction job site office, a modular or trailer option can prove beneficial for construction workers. Modular offices often come pre-equipped with some of the tools and facilities construction workers need on site.
“Often they will come included with basic furniture, such as desks, chairs, and tables, which is a bonus,” says Black.
Having facilities readily on hand leaves construction workers with one less thing to worry about while completing a project. Modular offices also come equipped with other amenities that can help insulate workers from poor weather conditions—a constant hazard on the outdoor job site.
“Air conditioning is always good, especially when working in summer. Also, being able to hold your daily meetings inside when it’s raining with everyone present, rather than conference calling from worker’s cars, is helpful,” she adds.
Modular offices for Large-Scale Projects
Bigger projects require further specific needs for job site offices. Offices on site need to be able to accommodate for larger numbers of workers and equipment. Modular and portable offices can help cater to the particular requirements of job site offices for larger projects.
“As an example, Envirotech Water Solutions uses modular offices mostly for the comfort and convenience of workers and staff in regards to meetings and lunch facilities,” says Black.
Modular and portable offices can help cater to the particular requirements of job site offices for larger projects.
Modular offices are equipped with services and facilities that can meet the needs of an increased number of workers. Having toilet facilities on site provides construction workers with a more pleasant alternative than having to use a portable toilet.
“It’s also convenient when you need to print plans or documents immediately, as you have all your normal office equipment set up,” adds Black.
Having normal office facilities on site that cater to an entire team working on a large-scale project can provide more comfort and allow for projects to be completed efficiently and at a reduced cost.