Modern Methods of Construction
New and modern construction methods are both hi-tech and although conceptually simple, are pretty complex.
The systems require a work force to keep up to date with the rapidly changing technologies within the construction sector. This may mean that some traditional roles of skilled trades, such as the carpenter, are replaced by a technician with a nail gun.
Modern construction methods are seen on new housing sites, such as timber truss roof frames or flat pack build, or pre- built windows.
Machinery has become more hi-tech on the construction site (see hanlon-case.co.uk for latest construction equipment), on larger developments machines with specific hydraulic designs now can lift pallets of bricks, cement or timber up on to scaffolding or upper floors.
Modern building techniques bring economies of scale through factory based pre-built sections or frames, they bring computer based accuracy which helps eliminate on site waste.
Other modern ecological requirements such as lower co2 emissions, limiting water use, and better use of environmental resources such as solar panelling, or recycling grey water.
Continued construction advances within the factory environment, the use of modern lightweight materials and computer designing continually provide the construction site with pre-fab units which allow faster, accurate building.
One of the current contentions that modern house construction has, is that of Greenfield and brownfield development.
Greenfield is the countryside gap between towns or cities, keeping urban or industrial sprawl from becoming continuous development. They are often areas of rural beauty and responsibility for decisions as to whether or not to develop parts of it lies with local councils.
Pressure from housing shortages or industrial, therefore economic, reasons may result in some councils having little option other than to allow greenbelt development, even though on our small island, once countryside has gone, it’s gone forever.
Development of Greenfield sites takes considerable outlay, as often, roads have to be constructed, and utilities and services such as gas, water and electricity brought in, and run-off water and waste piped away.
The compensations are that the developers can start with a blank sheet on ground that rarely carries any contamination, and the process of construction has little detrimental effect on surrounding habitations.
Brownfield sites are areas within urban confines that have previously been used as residential or industrial land and is derelict, vacant or even contaminated.
Brownfield development helps to regenerate urban areas possibly facing decay.
Problems with these sites can be the removal of contamination, in various forms, which may prove costly, but the opportunities for using reclaimed materials can help with the economics, also roads, services such as electricity etc. are all in place, or close by.