Modular buildings fall into two categories: permanent constructions – PMC (Permanent Modular Construction) and those that are temporary and movable – NPMC (Non-permanent Modular Construction). An architectural design should be adapted to these categories so to preserve all advantages of modular constructions, especially rapid construction and production of buildings in production halls using Off-site Construction.
Facades of modular buildings can be made from any materials available. But it is recommended to choose such materials most suitable for modular buildings and for manufacture at the production site. If the facades are made at site of destination, the overall assembly time is extended due to façade assembly. The type of façade chosen also has an impact on the demountability of the building and its further usage.Facade systems→
The size of a module affects its transportability – especially if it is oversized. Legislation pertaining to oversize transport varies from country to country. It is, therefore, recommended that the design be consulted with the manufacturer with reference to the final place of destination before any manufacturing be undertaken. There is a correlation that applies – the bigger the module, the quicker the assembly and the more costly the transport. The modules with a clearance of up to 3,000mm can be transported in a folded state and those over 3,000mm as, so called, flat-packs (the floor, the ceiling and the walls are put together in a packing which is assembled at the site of installation). Modules are producible with the external dimensions of up to 12.0m x 4.0m x 4.0m.
During design, the side-by-side placement of modules should be properly laid out and the feasibility of module joints must be ensured. It is necessary to provide for water drainage from the roof if no secondary roof with separate water drainage, as in the case of traditional buildings, is intended. A maximum 0.6m overhang of individual modules is possible without additional changes to module frame statics. If a larger overhang is required, the module must be shored up or a special frame construction must be designed which influences the price of the building and of the documentation as well.
KOMA MODULAR standardly manufactured modules stack up to 4 storeys high. The stackability is also influenced by the selected module model series. In the event that a multiple-storey building is required, this must be consulted with the manufacturer. It must be remembered that an atypical design influences the delivery time and price of the building.
When planning layout, it is recommended to take the modular frame assembly system into account. In each corner of the frame, there is a column, which should be properly incorporated into the layout. Inner partition walls should be installed with the frames or in the centre of a module keeping in mind window placements. A sanitary building element should be confined to a single module and, in the case of a multiple-storey building, the sanitary modules should be placed one above the other.
It is typical for modular constructions that individual modules are self-bearing, therefore, it is not necessary to use foundation plates for the foundations. Modular buildings can be set up on a strip foundation or on foundation feet. And foundation screws may be used where it is enabled by the naturally grown soil. Some module model series require an air gap under the lower deck to prevent condensation due to humidity. In this case it is necessary to ensure proper ventilation of such foundations. In some cases the air gap is used as a substitution for a radon barrier.