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  • 01 March, 2022

Arq.º Jaime Silva

Construction / Prefabricated Modular Construction / Traditional Construction / CircularBuild Construction Solution

In conversation with Arq.º Jaime Silva, we discussed the new paradigms of the construction sector, the dichotomy between modular prefabricated construction and traditional construction and the differentiating aspects of the CircularBuild constructive solution.


no. 1
Are modular constructions the solution to environmental problems derived from traditional construction?

Traditional construction has a significant impact on the environment, representing 35% of the waste produced worldwide, making it the economic sector that generates the most waste. However, other important factors are known today in defining the impact generated by the environmental footprint of the construction sector.

The life cycle of buildings, for example, from their concession to their end of life, represents the consumption of natural resources of more than 50%, where water resources, important for the development and sustainability of the environment, are also included.

Energy consumption, increasingly in vogue, through the creation and adoption of construction concepts with reduced energy consumption, will be fundamental in minimizing the current consumption of buildings, estimated at 40% of all the world’s energy produced, as well as, CO² emissions into the atmosphere, close to 35%.

Thus, following the above-mentioned, the prefabricated modular constructions, present themselves as an added value compared to the traditional construction, allowing a greater execution of the principles of architecture and sustainable constructions, with the minimization of their impact on the environment, through optimizing the use of natural resources, optimizing the waste generated (from its conception to its end of life), as well as, through the careful selection of materials, in line with the new construction paradigm, the Circular Economy.


no. 2
What are the limitations of modular construction in terms of materials or products to be used?

The limitations of prefabricated modular construction are mainly aimed at the dimensional limits of the materials and the modularity of the construction systems, which cannot be cut or expanded, as same as what happens with Lego, giving the construction dimensions resulting from the modularity of the elements that make up the construction, floors, and walls.

These limitations are reflected in significant gains in the optimization of the entire production process, through its standardization, as well as in an optimization of the resources and means, environmental and economic, necessary for the prefabricated modular construction, in an industrial unit and on-site.


no. 3
What is the environmental impact of the CircularBuild solution?

The CircularBuild solution has an exponential impact on the environment, through the integration of new construction concepts, prefabricated modular, industrialized, sustainable, and evolutionary, with conceptual and constructive characteristics based on the principles and almost zero primary energy needs, nZEB – near Zero-Energy Build.

The prefabrication of the CircularBuild solution in an industrial unit, under strict planning and selection of the materials used, allows the production of components in a controlled and standardized environment, amplifying its potential in adverse situations, in line with the Passive House principles. This qualification of the constructions with high levels of thermal comfort, and optimization of air conditioning and ventilation systems, with heat recovery, gives the buildings high levels of energy efficiency.

With the careful selection of materials integrated into the CircularBuild solution, it is possible to optimize natural resources, as well as the optimization of waste creation, on the one hand in the industrial process, on the other hand, on-site, reflecting in the reduction of resource use and in the minimization of the environmental footprint, from its conception to the end of its life.

In short, the CircularBuild solution is aligned with the new principles of construction, through industrialization, sustainability, and energy efficiency, reflecting the nZEB concepts – near Zero-Energy Build and Zero Carbon.


no. 4
What is the best market for this solution? Is Portugal a target market at the moment?

The markets are favourable to the integration of the CircularBuild construction system since its conceptual and functional characteristics match the physical characteristics of the various geographies.

We emphasize that the real estate market, in the recent past, had some reservations in the adoption of prefabricated modular construction systems, often associated with less favourable experiences in the past, where constructions were weak and cheap.

The CircularBuild solution fills this gap in the market, as it presents itself as a solid and laboratory-validated solution, together with LNEC and the Norwegian laboratory RISE, through resistance and reaction to fire tests, mechanical resistance, thermal, acoustic behaviour, and durability, culminating in a European “ETA” certification.

In view of the current difficulties shown by the construction sector, particularly in the Portuguese market, resulting from the shortage of labour and some raw materials, with clear reflexes in the temporal non-compliance of the works, or in the responses to budget requests, the demand on the systems prefabricated modular construction demonstrates the paradigm shift.

In this sense, we understand that the CircularBuild constructive solution is the solution to the current and future construction needs, on the one hand in response to the construction difficulties presented, on the other hand in response to the new construction paradigm, fast, efficient, and environmentally friendly, enhancing the well-being and comfort of its users.




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