Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Periodic Report Summary 1 - MODCONS (DEVELOPMENT OF MODULAR CONSTRUCTION FOR SUSTAINABLE DESIGN, STABILITY AND SEISMIC APPLICATIONS)

Project Context and Objectives:
Modular construction is used in housing and residential buildings because it is fast to construct and of high quality. The purpose of the MODCONS project is to provide the research necessary to extend two types of modular building systems into high-rise building applications where means of providing stability and in some areas, seismic resistance are very important. In addition, the project will lead to quantification of the sustainability benefits and acoustic performance, which affect the use of modular construction in the residential building sector. The overall project objective is the development of new and innovative products to enter the market in a short to medium term.
With the gained information, it is possible to develop design guidance to support the use of these modular systems and to create new markets in high-rise and mixed use buildings. The research involves full-scale physical tests on modules and on elements of modules, and supported by finite element analyses as well as on-site measurements of performance. The tests cover the basic structural performance of the modules and their connections and in particular, their robustness to removal of supports. This also simulates the loss of support and tying action in seismic events. The structural guidance will be presented in the form of application rules to Eurocode 3.
The project is divided into 7 work packages.
• WP1: Design and Physical Tests on Modular Systems for High-Rise Buildings in Accordance with EN1993: Eurocode 3.
This work package scope of work concentrates on the preparation of application rules for design in modular construction using steel technologies, which takes account of the nature and practicality of the construction system.
• WP2: Emerging Themes and Building Typologies for Multi-storey Modular Buildings
This work package develops a diverse range of innovative typologies for modular residential buildings. An important task is to understand future demands and therefore to create building typologies that respond to these needs.
• WP3: Seismic Design of Modular Buildings
In this work package various scenarios and intensities of seismic events are considered which are modelled statically by progressive ‘failure’ of the connections between the modules. Strategies to prevent collapse of modular buildings in severe seismic events will be evaluated.
• WP4: Sustainable Design of Modular Buildings
The scope of work in this work package is divided into four parts; Quantification of the sustainability benefits of the construction process, Quantification of the operational energy benefits of modular construction, Effective integration of renewable energy technologies in modular construction, Environmentally conscious design solutions for modular buildings in terms of architecture.
• WP5: Acoustic Design of Modular Buildings
The objective is to improve the acoustic characteristics of the modular systems in compliance with basic regulatory requirements, and then to achieve 3 and 5 dB improvements in acoustic insulation based on the double layer nature of modular systems.
• WP6: Dissemination and Exploitation Tasks
The objective of the dissemination task is to publicise the information obtained from the project and to manage the exploitation of the results.
• WP7: Management Tasks
The objective of WP7 is to facilitate achievement of the overall project objectives with regard to cost, quality and time.
Project Results:
Since the beginning of the project in January 2013, work has progressed well on all work packages.
Progress on Work Package 1 has achieved the completion of Task 1.1 and the associated deliverable D1.1.
The work for Task 1.1 work has included a review of the actions specified in EN 1991 and finite element analyses (FEA) of assemblies of modules subject to these actions under various support conditions.
Progress on Task 1.2 has been substantial. The completed includes; a review the EN 1993 application rules for light steel sections and planar elements, a series of tests on module walls with plasterboard attached and sheathing board attached. This has led to the development of a design methodology considering buckling of the walls and stiffening effects of attached boards. Further racking tests are to be carried out to complete this task.
Progress on Work Package 2 has achieved the completion of Tasks 2.1, 2.3 and 2.4 and the associated deliverables D2.1, D2.3 and D2.4.
The work for Task 2.1 has included the definition of building forms for defined sectors and the investigation of optimised modular designs to meet the requirements of these sectors. Drawings and details of the proposed modular systems have been produced.
The work for Task 2.3 has included the definition of geometric forms and building typologies of high-rise residential buildings. Fire safety and means of escape have been investigated with the consideration of access and circulation space. New and modified building typologies have been developed.
The work for Task 2.4 has included the development of modular solutions with specific reference to mixed-use buildings. Special requirements for mixed-use buildings, such as acoustic performance, fire safety, access and services issues have been considered.
Progress on Work Package 3 has achieved the completion of Task 3.1 and the associated deliverable D3.1.
The work for Task 3.1 has included a review of existing information on seismic design methods and on seismic design of modular buildings based on Japanese and worldwide experience. Carry out FEA modules of various assemblies of modules to determine the fundamental natural frequency by analysing the connections as equivalent ‘springs’ and by considering the stiffness characteristics of the modules.
Progress on Work Package 4 has not resulted in the completion of any tasks or deliverables.
Completion of WP4 will occur in the remaining period of the project.
Progress on Work Package 5 has achieved the completion of Tasks 5.1 and 5.2 and the associated deliverables D5.1 and D5.2.
The work for Task 5.1 has included the identification of acoustic requirements for airborne and impact sound attenuation in various countries and the collection of acoustic test data from recent modular projects.
The work for Task 5.2 has included conducting laboratory acoustic testing on walls and floors of modular construction. Analysis of results has been carried out and findings presented in D5.1.
Progress on Work Package 6 has included achieving the following activities: management of the exploitation and dissemination activities, production of an introductory project presentation, production of a project website and publication of articles in sectorial magazines and on company websites.
Progress on Work Package 7 has included organizing the activities of the project partners, acting as the interface between the project participants and the European Commission, coordination and organization of technical work in accordance with the project plan. A major challenge has been dealing with the consequences of a project partner (NEAPO) being declared bankrupt and ceasing trading.
Potential Impact:
It is expect that the final results of the project will enable the companies involved to develop their products and produce innovative solutions within the high-rise modular construction sector.
The project is expected to produce design guidance and technical data to support the use of these modular systems and to create new markets in high-rise and mixed use buildings. The technical data will cover the important subject areas of; structural safety, architectural suitability, seismic design, sustainability for solutions and acoustic performance.
List of Websites:
http://client.steel-sci.org/_layouts/MODCONS/Modcons-Intro.htm

Reported by

THE STEEL CONSTRUCTION INSTITUTE LBG*
United Kingdom
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