Glossary of Terms

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Volumetric Modular Construction

Volumetric modular units are large building elements that can be linked together to form complete buildings without the need for additional superstructure. The internal fit-out, finishes and building services are pre-installed and commissioned in the modules prior to leaving the factory ensuring that defects are minimised and quality control is very high. The external façade, claddings and roof treatments are usually installed onsite. Volumetric units plant rooms or flexible living and working spaces. Applications include commercial offices, public buildings, hotels, airports, sport stadiums, hospitals, universities and schools.

Systems: Volumetric Modular     Components: Cladding Solutions, Roofing

Volumetric Unit

These terms are usually used in one of two different ways:

  • To describe volumetric units that enclose useable space but are installed inside or on top of a building (i.e. pods)
  • To describe volumetric units that enclose useable space and are joined together onsite to form the whole building without the need for any extra support structure. Units may be manufactured from many different materials including, steel, concrete and timber, with smaller pod units also available in GRP.

Units are invariably fully finished internally in the factory with external finishes, often brickwork, applied onsite or sometimes also externally factory-finished.

Systems: Pods, Precast Concrete, Timber Frame, Volumetric Modular

Whole Wall Panels and Partitions

Traditionally the construction of internal walling systems has been an onsite construction process involving the adaptation and use of standard sized components to create walls of any size.

This is a very flexible approach and is particularly suited to the needs of the refurbishment sector. However, inevitably the installation process can be time consuming, requires a considerable amount of manual handling, can involve a considerable amount of material waste and unless the workmanship is excellent the visual appearance can be such as to require an additional wet trade finish.

A number of manufacturers are now bringing factory finished whole wall systems to the market that are manufactured under controlled conditions to meet the precise dimensions and other requirements of the project. This can include service runs. These systems are fully factory finished and installation – usually direct from the delivery vehicle – is rapid. These systems offer a number of benefits including: speed of installation, quality of finish, minimisation of material waste, elimination of manual handling, minimising the number of trades on site and ensuring predictability of specification.


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