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One Finnish company is determined to show how an entire building can be built environmentally sustainably – inside a factory. But how mass-production of houses can be the eco-friendly option?

Imagine a factory with production and assembly lines. Automation. Skilled operators and swiftly moving robots. But instead of pushing out TVs, mobile phones or cars, this factory would be producing whole rooms, fitted with furniture, bathrooms, lights, and sockets. 

Automation has increased efficiency in many industries. But one field that still relies mainly on traditional construction labor, a spider web of delivery timetables and chaos defying project planning by humans, is construction. 

Yet the demand for affordable new housing is increasing. World’s population is growing, and urbanization is moving more people to live in cities. At the same time, the effort to fight climate change is changing industries. As resources become scarce, the circular economy is proactively encouraged. There is a big momentum to build more, with controlled costs and sustainability in mind.

Unmatched speed

“The traditional building site is a battlefield,” says Mikael Hedberg, CEO of Admares. Admares is a construction company that combines marine, offshore, land, and modular construction techniques. The company has its headquarters in Turku, on the southwest coast of Finland.

Mikael Hedberg has teamed his company with industrial giant Porsche Consulting. Together the Finnish-German team has designed a smart factory, which, once up and running, can produce two rooms for a hotel or a hospital every 45 minutes.

Reduction in construction time compared to traditional building method? 85 percent.

Mikael Hedberg

Even elevators and technical shafts can be built inside the factory. Only connecting the core elements, corridors, and room modules are done at the actual building site. Reduction in construction time compared to traditional building method? 85 percent.

“The modular construction technique has unmatched speed and consistent quality,” describes Hedberg. 

Moving construction of a building inside a controlled environment like a factory, the building process becomes much more manageable, he assures. Hedberg refers not only to costs but also to schedule, efficiency, and, most of all, sustainability. Compared to the traditional way of building, the factory operated model results in 60 percent reduction in CO2 emissions.

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