As the demand for renewable energy continues to grow, the demand for infrastructure and support services has grown with it. As more renewable energy projects are being brought online, the industry is continually looking for ways to reduce the construction timelines and make production more economical and efficient. Whether it’s wind farms, biodiesel plants, or solar farms, the need to produce more energy at a lower cost drives the industry.
Modular technical buildings have grown in popularity across a wide range of industries as an alternative to traditional site-constructed buildings. Specialist Services RedGuard has manufactured modular technical buildings for the renewable energy industry and other industries, saving customers’ time and money through modular construction. The Renewable Energy Industry has found that modular technical buildings can be acquired at a reduced cost and lead time while producing a higher quality building. This combination of benefits is ideal for the renewables energy market as it continues to grow. Before understanding the benefits of modular technical buildings, it is important to understand what technical buildings are and how they support the renewables energy industry.
Technical buildings house and protect equipment and people from the outside environment in the locations where they are deployed. In the renewable energy industry, they are used to house electrical power equipment, energy storage equipment, controls/switches, motors, instrumentation, and other vital equipment. There are many different types of technical buildings, and there are even many common names for them and their uses.
Traditionally constructed technical buildings are built in a way similar to residential homes and commercial buildings. Contractors are brought in to lay a foundation; then, the building is framed, wired, plumbed, etc., with all the construction taking place onsite. The advantage of modular technical buildings, in contrast, is that the bulk of the construction happens at the manufacturer’s facility. The buildings are designed and constructed to be transported to the project’s location and installed.
The answer is by maximizing efficiencies. By constructing the building at a facility, the modular technical building manufacturer can lower the overall construction cost and increase its quality.
Modular technical buildings lower costs across three construction processes: labor, materials, and lead times.
There are no per diems, mileage, or lodging expenses. The construction team works at the facility and sleeps at home, decreasing the cost of constructing the building and increasing the work-life balance of the manufacturer’s team. Modular building manufacturers generally staff the necessary workforce to construct the buildings they are contracted to produce and rarely need to employ higher-priced third-party contractors. Working at the facility allows for repeatable processes to be put in place. This increases productivity and allows for savings in both time and money.
The manufacturer handles the procurement of materials, freeing up the buyer’s personnel for other tasks. They will have contracts with price breaks in place that the buyer couldn’t achieve on a single project build. These price breaks are then passed through to the buyer. Alternatively, the manufacturer can also install free-issued equipment if the buyer has already procured it.
Having the necessary workforce, along with repeatable processes, and a facility that allows for construction free from weather delays provides shorter lead times. This shorter construction timeline means the renewable project can come online quicker, providing a faster turnaround on the investment.
The modular building process enables manufacturers to produce higher quality buildings than can be achieved in the traditional onsite building process. This is achieved through the manufacturer’s ability to maintain an experienced workforce that operates within a controlled environment designed to ensure quality and safety.
The manufacturer staffs the workforce required to perform the integration of all the instrumentation, electrical equipment, and other components needed to construct the building. By employing highly skilled personnel versus continually hiring out to various third parties, the manufacturer’s workforce can accumulate the experience necessary to produce reliable, high-quality work.
Testing, such as factory acceptance testing, required by the client is performed at the manufacturer’s facility. These tests allow the manufacturer to find and correct any issues before the building is deployed to the location. This ensures all equipment and instrumentation are functioning and operating at their designed specifications prior to leaving the facility. When the buildings arrive on site, they are installed and commissioned without any costly delays.
Increased safety is built into the process at the facility. Constructing the building at the manufacturer’s facility allows for a controlled environment where safety protocols are much more easily implemented when compared to working onsite at an active production site.Through lower construction costs, reduced lead times, and higher quality, modular technical buildings lower the overall cost of technical buildings in the renewable energy industry. These buildings house and protect equipment and people across all the renewable energy markets including: