The Greenest Resorts - Built from Prefabricated, Modular Bamboo Panels
By Sam Small Vice President - Developing Markets, Bamboo Living | August 10, 2010
Changing outdated notions regarding construction is like pouring refrigerated maple syrup - slow, but worth it. Unfortunately, time is tight for adopting environmentally sensitive practices; we need to do it now. Utilizing prefabrication and modular building techniques and choosing innovative and sustainable building materials like Structural Bamboo can play an important role in establishing a conservative and sustainable eco-footprint and identity for a hotel or resort development.
How to Build?
Construction utilizing prefabricated elements has been around for centuries in various designs for bridges and buildings throughout Europe, and, it can be argued, goes back to the pyramids of Egypt. The basic process was to produce some, if not all, building elements off-site in a controlled area to eliminate waste, time, theft and errors. Once completed, the prefabricated elements were delivered and efficiently installed, further saving time at the job site.
A hundred years ago the Sears catalog launched the Modern Homes program. These prefabricated kits were well respected and over 70,000 sold as an affordable choice over custom built homes. In London, many of the homes and buildings destroyed during World War II were replaced with prefabricated construction.
Common perceptions towards prefabrication suffered when London occupants remained even after the use of inferior materials shortened the prefab's serviceable life and in the US the post-war boom afforded the public the luxury of a custom-built home rather than "just a catalog house". Add to this the general confusion of housing terminology; "Prefab" and "Modular" are in fact quite different from "Manufactured" and "Mobile". A Prefab or Modular Home is assembled on a stable foundation just like a common "Stick" or "Site Built" construction, a "double-wide tornado magnet" is a Manufactured Home and a Mobile Home is a recreational vehicle. As well, Prefabricated and Modular refer to different things too: Anything that is assembled before-hand is "prefabricated", whereas "modular" refers to a level of design standardization, whereby elements fit together in a coordinated fashion.
Prefabricated and Modular structures today adhere to the same local building codes and restrictions as site-built constructions, use the same UBC approved materials, and must be certified by a qualified building inspector prior to occupancy.