What are Modern Methods of Construction?

Modern methods of construction (MMC) are innovative building construction techniques used by construction professionals that streamline the construction process. From comprehensive digital design to prefabricated building components, modern construction methods help lower costs and reduce construction time while driving sustainability.

Modern construction methods involve both onsite and offsite techniques, and the specific MMCs used by a construction company will vary depending on the nature of the project. There are a wide variety of innovative modern construction techniques being used by construction professionals today that you should know about.

Pre-engineered/Precast Flat Panel System

In a precast flat panel system, floor and wall units are produced off-site in a specialized facility. The pre-engineered panels are then installed on-site to create structures with minimal construction time. This method is especially useful for projects that involve a repetitive cellular design.

Insulating Concrete Formwork (ICF) Technique

With an insulating concrete formwork (ICF) approach, builders use double-walled polystyrene panels as the basis for the walls of a building. The empty panels are filled with construction-grade ready-mixed concrete to ensure a strong, durable structure. Airtight ICF systems provide excellent insulation for both heat and sound and help buildings to maintain steady thermal mass energy.

Augmented Reality-Assisted Building

Augmented reality (AR) has been touted as one of the most innovative technologies adopted in the construction industry, and for good reason. Leveraging building information modeling (BIM) and wearable AR equipment, developers can explore fully-rendered and completely accurate 3D renderings of particular structures. This is incredibly useful for pre construction planning as well as determining specific materials required for construction in a new building system.

Raised Access Flooring

Raised access flooring is a modular construction method that uses modular floor panels installed over an existing floor surface. The raised floor panels are suspended over the existing floor to create empty space that can be used to channel plumbing, electrical wiring, or HVAC systems rather than installing them in ceiling space. Repairs and maintenance can be much more easily performed through raised access floor panels compared to overhead systems.

3D Volumetric Construction

In 3D volumetric construction, three-dimensional units are produced in a specialized facility and then transported to relevant job sites for assembly. 3D modules can be made with varying degrees of complexity. Some units may be a bare structure while others can come with external finishes and internal features already installed.

Hybrid Concrete Construction

As the name suggests, hybrid concrete construction is a combination of construction methods. Specifically, hybrid concrete construction uses cast-in-place concrete with other precast materials like steel or concrete units. A hybrid method using both in-situ construction and precast materials helps to accelerate facility construction and lower project costs while controlling the overall quality of the building process.

Thin Joint Masonry

The thin joint masonry building technique helps to reduce build times by lowering the amount of mortar needed to construct structural walls. Using a special adhesive mortar, large-format concrete blocks can be layered much faster while lowering waste and cutting costs for required construction materials.

Precast Concrete Foundation

Every building needs a solid foundation but constructing a traditional concrete foundation can be an exhaustive process. With precast concrete foundations,  the building components are produced in a specialized facility, then assembled on-site. This method mainly involves the use of concrete piles connected together to form a cohesive foundation system. Precast concrete foundations are ideal for extreme climates or other hazardous construction situations where speed and efficiency are crucial.

Twin-Wall Technology

Twin-wall technology allows for streamlined construction using both precast and in-situ concrete. Two concrete slabs are separated by a cast in lattice girders and then joined through reinforcement techniques. The space between the twin walls is filled with concrete to ensure structural integrity. This construction method is most often used in combination with precast flooring.

Timber Frames

Using wood or timber frames is an indispensable modern building method thanks to advances in the manufacturing of engineered wood products. Engineered wood products (EWP) such as plywood panels are attached to the studs framed walls to provide surgical support and surface area. Besides wood panels, there are also EWP posts and beams, which are designed to be stronger than similar components made from raw timber.

Flat Slab Construction

This method uses flat slabs of concrete reinforced with concrete columns. Flat slab construction is a method that eliminates the need for support beams and offers flexibility in the layout of the structure since there are no restrictions on height between floors. As with many modern building techniques, flat slab construction reduces overall time needed for installation and construction