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Performance of Modular Prefabricated Architecture: Case Study-Based Review and Future Pathways

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Listed:
  • Fred Edmond Boafo

    () (Zero Energy Buildings Laboratory, Graduate School of Energy Systems Engineering, Kongju National University, Cheonan, Chungnam 330-717, Korea)

  • Jin-Hee Kim

    () (Green Energy Technology Research Center, Kongju National University, Cheonan, Chungnam 330-717, Korea)

  • Jun-Tae Kim

    () (Department of Architectural Engineering & Graduate School of Energy Systems Engineering, Kongju National University, Cheonan, Chungnam 330-717, Korea)

Abstract

Even though tightened building energy efficiency standards are implemented periodically in many countries, existing buildings continually consume a momentous quota of the total primary energy. Energy efficiency solutions range from material components to bulk systems. A technique of building construction, referred to as prefabricated architecture (prefab), is increasing in reputation. Prefab encompasses the offsite fabrication of building components to a greater degree of finish as bulk building structures and systems, and their assembly on-site. In this context, prefab improves the speed of construction, quality of architecture, efficiency of materials, and worker safety, while limiting environmental impacts of construction, as compared to conventional site-built construction practices. Quite recently, a 57 story skyscraper was built in 19 days using prefabricated modules. From the building physics point of view, the bulk systems and tighter integration method of prefab minimizes thermal bridges. This study seeks to clearly characterize the levels of prefab and to investigate the performance of modular prefab; considering acoustic constrain, seismic resistance, thermal behavior, energy consumption, and life cycle analysis of existing prefab cases and, thus, provides a dynamic case study-based review. Generally, prefab can be categorized into components, panels (2D), modules (3D), hybrids, and unitized whole buildings. On average, greenhouse gas emissions from conventional construction were higher than for modular construction, not discounting some individual discrepancies. Few studies have focused on monitored data on prefab and occupants’ comfort but additional studies are required to understand the public’s perception of the technology. The scope of the work examined will be of interest to building engineers, manufacturers, and energy experts, as well as serve as a foundational reference for future study.

Suggested Citation

  • Fred Edmond Boafo & Jin-Hee Kim & Jun-Tae Kim, 2016. "Performance of Modular Prefabricated Architecture: Case Study-Based Review and Future Pathways," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(6), pages 1-16, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:8:y:2016:i:6:p:558-:d:72071
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Matilda Hook & Lars Stehn, 2008. "Applicability of lean principles and practices in industrialized housing production," Construction Management and Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 26(10), pages 1091-1100.
    2. Wei Pan & Alistair Gibb & Andrew Dainty, 2007. "Perspectives of UK housebuilders on the use of offsite modern methods of construction," Construction Management and Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 25(2), pages 183-194.
    3. Chris Goodier & Alistair Gibb, 2007. "Future opportunities for offsite in the UK," Construction Management and Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 25(6), pages 585-595.
    4. Kim, Taehyoung & Tae, Sungho & Roh, Seungjun, 2013. "Assessment of the CO2 emission and cost reduction performance of a low-carbon-emission concrete mix design using an optimal mix design system," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 25(C), pages 729-741.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    prefabricated architecture (prefab); modular; energy; thermal behavior; acoustic constraints; seismic resistance; life cycle analysis;

    JEL classification:

    • Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics
    • Q0 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General
    • Q2 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q3 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products

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