Newswise – The Korea Institute of Civil Engineering and Construction Technology (KICT, headed by President Kim Byung-suk) announced the development of a new modular construction method that can build structures by assembling modular components in a short time, especially in case of emergencies or disasters.
The modular construction method involves pre-fabricating approximately 70 to 80% of the main members and components of the target structure in factories and then transporting them to the construction site to complete construction with simple assembly and installation processes. This method is different from conventional methods of field operation-oriented construction. This new method is increasingly recognized as a key construction solution for the future worldwide, for its significant contribution to eliminating the risk of safety accidents while reducing construction periods. Compared to conventional construction methods, this approach produces less noise, dust and waste, and the modular components used in this method can be recycled or reused, helping to promote environmental, social and governance (ESG) management.
A new modular method developed by the KICT research team (Dr. Lim, Seok-Ho and Dr. Chung, Joon-Soo) is suitable for use in structures in which a box-type infill module, with floor, interior walls and roof assembled in a factory, is incorporated into a U- Formed in a computer module with a wall-type supporting structure. The U-shaped computer module covers the floor and two side walls, and the filler module is inserted through its top opening. The modules are manufactured in a factory and simply assembled on site, resulting in a faster and simpler construction process.
The method developed by Dr. Lim and Seok-ho's research group allows for easy assembly of the filling modules by lifting them up and into the target U-shaped PC module using a crane, thus eliminating the need to use separate machines. move them. Moreover, its plug-in assembly method, in which modules are lifted up and placed down into target modules, helps to enhance constructability.
The detailed procedure of the developed modular construction method is as follows. ① Install the PC modules, ② Insert the box-type filler modules and lift and stack the integrated set of PC modules and filler modules, ③ Install the roof and ④ Install the stairs and corridors
The developed technology not only reduces construction periods, but also allows easy installation and dismantling through plug-in assembly, unlike conventional construction methods that rely on on-site operations using concrete and steel modular frames. Moreover, this approach leads to a reduction in self-loading and work volume, since the modules are stacked in a single-slab mode. In addition, the use of fire-resistant concrete construction eliminates the need for external finishing works. Most importantly, the choice of factory-assembled PC modules as an alternative to steel frames, together with infill modules that do not require on-site operations, including interior finishing, enhances both cost-effectiveness and constructability simultaneously.
In 2023, Korea's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport announced a plan to promote the use of modular construction not only in new rental homes in the Seoul metropolitan area, but also in new third-generation cities to accelerate housing. Delivery. In line with this development, new orders in the Korean modular construction market are expected to grow from 800 billion won in 2019 to 2.4 trillion won by 2024.
The new modular construction technology developed by KICT is believed to meet the Korean government's needs to expand housing supply while effectively accommodating the expected increase in new orders in the market. Not only that, structures built using this method can be easily disassembled later, if necessary, by reversing the assembly procedure. Dismantled modules can be recycled or re-purposed, creating a true resource circulation system for manufacturing. This technology is expected to find applications in a variety of areas, with potential uses ranging from negative pressure hospital rooms for the prevention of infectious diseases and military bases or barracks to the homes of the underprivileged, as well as for export purposes.
Dr. Lee, Seok-ho points out, “The developed modular construction method will offer effective solutions in the construction industry to solve environmental issues and housing shortages. Conventional methods using steel modules are considered less economical compared to concrete construction methods. In contrast, this technology significantly reduces construction costs and reduces on-site A large amount of work is required, resulting in shorter construction times compared to conventional concrete construction methods, all thanks to the mass production of repeated sets of required modules.”
The Korea Institute of Civil Engineering and Construction Technology, a government-sponsored research institute with 40 years of extensive research experience, is at the forefront of solving national issues directly related to people's quality of life.
The research for this paper was carried out under the KICT Research Program (Project No. 20230064-001, Development of a Modular System and Establishment of a Supply and Operational System Capable of Rapid Response to Disasters) funded by the Ministry of Science and ICT.