Despe S.p.A., Milan
Prefabricated modular construction is gaining popularity in modern construction practice as a method of delivering
projects at a rapid speed and with superior quality. It is only a matter of time before prefabricated technologies become a necessity around the world due to issues such as limitations in skilled labour and growing expectations of investors to complete projects faster and it is expected to have the majority of the future tall buildings constructed using these techniques. This presentation will first summarise the current international knowledge using some case studies. Future trends will be highlighted related to the areas of design optimisation, sustainability, automation, etc. A technique developed by the authors to determine the optimum number of modules using artificial intelligence methods will be presented. The major challenges and barriers associated with using modular construction for tall buildings will be identified and presented. For example, the gaps and cavities between the modules bring some key issues in fire safety design in modular tall buildings compared o traditional buildings. Solutions for those issues will also be presented. New trends in tall buildings such as horizontal-vertical elevator systems can only be introduced if structural design requirements are satisfied. A method developed by the authors using modular design will give an opportunity to introduce those emerging techniques. In conclusion, these new opportunities along with future trends in advanced manufacturing techniques including automation, new light-weight materials etc., will be highlighted in the presentation.