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World's Tallest Modular Buildings Completed

Thursday, July 11, 2019

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Last week, Singapore celebrated the completion of a pair of 140-meter-high (459-feet-high) concrete module towers.

According to Bouygues Batiment International—the construction company that built the development in collaboration with its modular construction laboratory Dragages Singapore—the Clement Canopy buildings have broken the record for the world’s tallest towers using modular construction.

About the Project

Unlike traditional construction, where a team builds onsite, much of the project was manufactured offsite prior to assembling the modules onsite. According to Bouygues Batiment International's head of modular construction, Aurélie Cleraux, "Each module is around 85% finished offsite, before then being assembled onsite.”

Composed of 1,899 modules, the structures were precast from concrete in a Senai, Malaysia-based yard, and afterward sent to a factory in Tuas, West Singapore, where more technical and architectural work was completed such as coatings, waterproofing, tiling, electricity and plumbing.

After completing both preconstruction phases, the modules were then transported to what would become a residential and student district and were stacked according to a sequencing program to build the towers. During this time, the Clement Canopy’s concrete core was also built.

"This method is definitely more eco-friendly," said Cleraux. "We were able to reduce waste onsite by 70% and offsite around 30% with a central materials and logistics platform."

Cleraux also added that these kinds of modular projects can continue to be even more sustainable when parties choose different materials, such as timber over concrete. Modules can also be manufactured under strict quality controls, treatments and more. There is also time saved in regard to poor weather conditions.

The Clement Canopy towers are composed of 505 luxury residential apartments, ranging from two to four bedrooms, facades made of concrete and aluminum, which have been rendered and coated, in addition to a swimming pool complex located at the base of the development.

Modular Building Projects

Previously holding the title of world’s tallest modular project was Croydon, England-based George Street, a 44-story and 38-story tower completed in December 2018. The first high-rise modular building was constructed by SHoP Architects in New York in 2016.

However, Jan Mischke, a Partner at the McKinsey Global Institute, says that industry leaders are on the fence about modular construction: On one hand, the construction shows promise for commercial projects, but it can also lead to declining construction costs.

In its new report, McKinsey & Co. relays that modular projects can be completed between 20% to 50% faster than traditional construction methods and can decrease costs by up to 20%.

Although, other companies are planning to use the technology for enhancements in development and diversification of the economy. Earlier this year, in March, Saudi Arabia firm Elite for Construction & Development Company purchased what has been described as the “world’s largest 3D construction printer.” A few months later, TTWiiN Investment Partners, the innovation investment arm of global design firm Thornton Tomasetti, also announced its investment in XtreeE, a Paris-based technology company focused on 3D-printing solutions for the architecture, engineering and construction industry.

Bjarke Ingels Group has gone so far as to announce plans this year for a 10,000-resident sustainable floating city that can adapt organically and is composed of modular neighborhoods. And Zaha Hadid Architects recently completed its modular-constructed stadium for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.


Tagged categories: Architecture; Asia Pacific; Commercial / Architectural; Commercial Construction; Completed projects; Condominiums/High-Rise Residential; Eco-efficiency; EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa); Good Technical Practice; Latin America; Modular Construction; North America; Project Management; Projects - Commercial; Residential; Residential Construction; Z-Continents

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