Modern Modular Prefab.. Sustainable?


I am deeply fascinated by Pre Fabrication Systems, it’s somehow a paradox that during the rapid development of Malaysia during the post independence era, PreFab was a popular choice, IBS Industrialized Building System was then widely used but not today anymore. The ultimate purpose was speed that time, but in today’s context, we are all talking about sustainable, or the “life cycle” of a building, carbon auditing etc. I see Pre Fab as the answer to these, able to be relocated, recycled, just like how a original Malay House would adapt to. One of the post i did was about Broad Sustainable Building, BSB, a china construction company built a 15 storeys hotel in less than 6 Days.

Recently i came across with Garrison Architect’s Koby Cottage at TreeHugger . The 1,100 square foot prefab cottage consists of two modules raised and separated for light, space and privacy. Koby is the first building constructed using the KFS (Kullman Frame System), an extremely strong and efficient modular space frame system consisting of hollow tubular steel and allowing large cantilevers and window openings. It is a prototype structure featuring a system designed for the construction of multi-story modular buildings — its tubular steel space frame has the unique capacity to achieve heights of twelve stories using a patented connection system that minimizes field finishing and speeds the overall construction process.

The modern Modular prefab here suggests a shipping container like shape prefabs. The not so cool factor of prefab during the IBS era in Malaysia was the prefabs of concrete blocks or slabs, while having steel frame prefabs and cladding can be done along with internal finishes and services together in a package, i believe KFS can offer better aesthetic design instead of a solid concrete slab. Besides what i really love about steel frame is that it’s capable of reuse and needless for me to elaborate.

Garrison Architects and Kullman Industries have formed a strategic alliance to produce a new line of manufactured buildings oriented to the needs of college and university clients. This alliance combines the award-winning and socially-responsive architecture of Garrison Architects with the innovative, technologically-advanced building systems of Kullman Industries. Both firms have a long history of successfully building for institutional users. Together they have created SIMPLE, a modular building system designed to remove the uncertainty of the typical building process and dramatically shrink production schedules from inception to occupancy.

These structures are designed with the latest advances in building technology. Sustainability and lasting performance are at the forefront of prefabrication today.

One of the greatest advantages of this product is flexibility. These buildings can be configured to fit any type of campus, from urban to rural by offering the option of constructing individual houses, apartments, or corridor-type dormitories. These buildings are designed to create a socially engaging atmosphere where students can meet, study, and learn together.

It is now possible, by using standard modules, to plan a building in the early spring and have it ready for occupancy by late summer. Design-construction schedules can be as little as six months. These building offer advantages comparable to automobile production, combining tested assembly methods and systems with rapid and predictable scheduling. Both design and construction times are significantly reduced through the use of standardized systems. A major cost and time-saving advantage of prefabricated technology is the ability to undertake site work and building production simultaneously.


For more information, please visit HERE, Or simply visit Garrison ARchitects page! 


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Japheth is currently working as a Green Building Consultant, based in Kuala Lumpur. As an architecture fresh graduate from Universiti Sains Malaysia, his passion for environmental sustainability and built environment speaks for himself. During free time, he runs his self initiative, MESYM, an open source platform aims to be the catalyst for communication platform for the better of environmental issues in Malaysia.

#Disclaimer# Anything in this blog is merely an individual expression of sharing and does not represent any organization/company in any matter. All pictures and information are copyrighted and must be asked permission first before circulation. Do Contact Me Here for more details.

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