Aug 2012

Prefabricated Building Modules for Sustainable Construction

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As reported in the literature, approximately 50% of the global oil supply has been depleted.  Metals are being mined, used, and discarded, such as 26% of the extractable copper and 19% of the zinc in the Earth’s crust that are now lost in nonrecycled human waste.  The U.S. construction industry consumes 40% of extracted materials and produces 145 million tons of construction and demolition waste annually.  The unchecked use of nonrenewable resources, man-made changes to the earth’s atmosphere, and large amount of waste produced by the construction industry is not sustainable in it’s current form.

A promising method for significantly reducing construction waste is prefabrication of building modules.  This project, conducted in collaboration with Dr. Pearce of the Building Construction group is funded by Skanska Construction Company.  The objective is to assist Skanska in developing prefabricated bathroom units.  We’re excited to be teaming up with a leader in prefabricated building modules!

Prefabricated Bathroom Pod [Photo from Coast to Coast – Employee Magazine for Skanska in the U.S., Fall/Winter 2009]

Johannigmeier, E., Eatherton, M.R., and Pearce, A. (2013) Prefabricated Slab Performance Analysis for Hospital Bathroom Modules, Virginia Tech, SEM Report Series, Report No. CE/VPI-ST-13/01

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