Is Modular Construction Sustainable?

As a refresher, modular construction is the process of creating modules at an offsite location to build larger structures. In most cases, assembly crews will combine and stack the modules once on site to form the structure.

Now let’s jump to the topic at hand—is modular construction sustainable? The short answer is yes. Modular construction, when compared to traditional construction, is often a more sustainable building choice. Keep in mind that traditional construction projects “typically take 20 percent longer to finish than scheduled and are up to 80 percent over budget,” according to McKinsey & Company.

Here’s Why Modular Construction is Sustainable:

Reduces Material Waste

modular construction materials at factory

Modular construction first takes place at a factory or manufacturing facility. Well-organized facilities are designed to be a controlled environment that allows workers to streamline the manufacturing process. In doing so, workers utilize leftover materials—such as wood and steel—from one project to another, reducing the chances of material waste.

Recycled Materials

modular construction shipping container modification

Reusing wood and steel in modular construction is important, but why not reuse larger waste elements? Many architects and builders are choosing to use shipping containers as modified, modular building elements. Unused containers would otherwise sit abandoned at shipping ports, so repurposing them into building block-like elements helps give containers new life in construction.

Minimizes Site Disturbances

modular construction assembling container with crane

Thanks to the offsite nature of modular construction, most construction takes place in a well-controlled factory environment. Once the modules are manufactured and shipped to their final location, assembly is normally quick and easy, significantly minimizing disturbances to the surrounding land. Avoid months of loud and invasive equipment at the final site by simply unloading the units, securely stacking and placing them as needed, and finishing off with the final touches to complete the project.

Controls Emissions in a Controlled Environment

worker at modular construction manufacturing facility

Another aspect of the controlled environment in modular construction is the ability to control and monitor emissions more easily. In fact, it’s proven that factory-produced homes produce around 45% less carbon than through traditional construction.

The controlled environment also helps control worker safety. Not only do workers at offsite facilities have more consistent working hours than in traditional construction projects, but they follow the same processes every day in the same space, helping to minimize potential safety risks.

More about Modular Construction

The benefits of modular construction don’t stop there. In fact, the future of this industry looks bright and will likely encourage much-needed change in the sustainability expectations for construction as a whole. If you’d like to learn more about what we do here at Falcon to sustainably prepare modified shipping containers for modular construction projects, don’t hesitate to reach out. Contact us at 877-704-0177 or email us at

Go Green with Recycled Shipping Containers


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