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What are Construction Techniques (Modern Building Construction Techniques)?

Last Updated on September 3, 2021 by Admin

Most people probably don’t think about how buildings, homes, sheds, barns, garages, or other structures are constructed or what type they use. Here are some of the top modern building construction techniques that you can use for your home.

When it comes to building a home, the list of available construction methods ranges from well-known and widely used, such as stick-built homes made of wood, to techniques steadily gaining popularity like light-gauge steel-framing, to age-old methods like earthen-block construction and masonry that are used in specialty projects.

Building construction methods have experienced significant improvement in recent times, with innovative modern technologies being harnessed optimally for improving the qualitative index of buildings.

Modern Construction Techniques

The latest materials for use in building any home require critical coordination with builders and architects. There are many ways that you can create a brand-new residence, especially with prebuilt materials like light gauge steel, modular components, and new concrete designs.

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Once you have a custom plan for your home construction, several items can be easily framed on-site and completed alongside the best standards in the industry.

In modern home construction, there are many standard methods for generating improvements with your new home. When you decide it’s time to build a new home, it’s essential to know about these latest methods. It can often be helpful when you’re trying to decide which home construction approach would be best for your home in the future.




Every building design lifecycle having three primary stages: Pre-Building, Building, and Post-Building.

Here are eight questions to help you identify potential areas of sustainable gain in your job site processes:

Minimal Construction Waste: Is there a way to reduce the need for landfill space and save costs?

Locally Produced Building Materials: Can you shorten the transportation distance from manufacture to the job site, thereby reducing fuel costs and air pollution?

Energy Efficiency: Can you reduce the amount of generated energy brought to the building site through lighting systems or electrical/mechanical efficiencies?

Water Treatment/Conservation: Can you reduce the amount of water used on a site, which reduces the amount of water that must be treated by municipal septic systems and potentially saves accompanying chemical and energy costs for water treatment?

Non-Toxic or Less-Toxic Materials: Is there a way to use materials in the construction process that are less hazardous to construction workers and building occupants (i.e., materials that require minor cleanup or treatment post-installation)?

Alternative Materials: Can we reduce landfill needs and costs by using alternatives to traditional concrete, which contributes over 500 million tons to landfills every year worldwide? Are there opportunities to use greener materials that don’t require landfill space, like bamboo, recycled plastic, ferrock, or even hempcrete?

Renewable Energy Systems: Can you supplement or eliminate heating, cooling, or electrical during the build by using alternatives, such as utilizing natural energy for heating/cooling/lighting or changing work hours to times that are warmer/cooler?

Longer Life Materials: Can you build with materials that have a longer lifecycle and will need to be replaced less often? For instance, recycled plastic for a project will last more than 50 years, compared with 20 years for traditional structures from wood or concrete, which means more than double the amount of time before the waste and cost associated with replacement will be incurred.

That’s a checklist of eight things to consider that can help eliminate waste from the building process. These are Eight steps towards designing out construction waste and saving literal tons of space in landfills.

How to determine the construction type?

When it comes to designing a structure, the construction type is chosen based upon several things, such:

Purpose of the structure – Let’s say that you want to build a detached garage to house extra an extra vehicle, a boat, and lawn equipment. In designing it, you wouldn’t need a structure that will support multiple floors, although you could include a room upstairs so that heavy construction methods won’t be required.

Size of the structure – When building something more significant than a garage or a house, say a grocery store or car dealer showroom, a heavier construction type would be the choice. We’re talking open floor spaces without columns or inner walls, and long spans of metal truss supported roofing.

Load bearing constraints – As buildings grow in height, the structure loads must bear the increase. With that, the construction type must be strong enough to handle these loads. In this case, wood will probably not be the best choice for a structure with numerous floor levels.

Environmental Factors – If you’ve ever driven along a coastline, you’ve probably seen that the buildings are elevated to shelter the structure from tidal surges. Buildings in earthquake-prone areas also require that the appropriate construction type be used. Too stiff a system and it cannot flex during the tremors.

Necessary Speed of Construction – If your building needs to be put up rapidly, construction types can speed up the building process. These construction methods utilize pre-engineered methods, allowing significant parts to be dropped off at the construction site and quickly erected.

Cost of Materials – Of course, the cost of materials comes into play when choosing a construction type. There’s no need to spend money on an overbuilt structure.


Types of Construction Techniques/Methods

The type of construction method will typically depend on the type of construction that is happening. Below is a list of standard techniques used in construction today. Let’s look at the following building construction types that are commonly used:

1. Pre-engineered/Precast Flat Panel System/Precast Foundations

Floor and wall units are produced off-site in a factory and erected on-site to form robust structures, ideal for repetitive cellular projects. Panels can include services, windows, doors, and finishes.

Building envelope panels with factory-fitted insulation and decorative cladding can also be used as load-bearing elements. This offers factory quality and accuracy, together with the speed of erection on-site. This type of construction is usually called cross-wall construction, and advice on the design can be found in The Concrete Centre’s publication Crosswall Construction. More detailed structural guidance can be found in The Concrete Centre’s magazine Residential Cellular Concrete Buildings.

Precast concrete systems can be used to construct foundations rapidly. The elements are usually bespoke and cast in a factory environment, giving the finished product assurance. The foundations are often supported by concrete piles and connected.

These systems improve productivity, especially in adverse weather conditions, and reduce excavation required – particularly advantageous when dealing with the contaminated ground.

2. 3D Volumetric Construction

3D Volumetric construction (also known as modular construction) involves producing three-dimensional units in controlled factory conditions before transportation to the site. Modules can be brought to the site in various forms, ranging from a basic structure to one with all internal and external finishes and services installed, all ready for assembly. The casting of modules uses the benefits of factory conditions to create service-intensive units where a high degree of repetition and a need for rapid assembly on-site make its use highly desirable.

This modern construction method offers the inherent benefits of concrete, such as thermal mass, sound, fire resistance, factory quality, and accuracy, together with the speed of erection on-site.

3. Tunnel Formwork systems

Tunnel form is a formwork system that allows the contractor to build monolithic walls and slabs in one operation on a daily cycle. It combines the speed, quality, and accuracy of factory/offsite produced ready-mixed concrete and formwork with the flexibility and economy of cast-in-situ construction.

This fast-track construction method is suitable for repetitive cellular projects, such as hotels, apartment blocks, and student accommodation. It offers economy, speed, quality, and accuracy and utilizes the inherent benefits of concrete, such as fire and sound resistance.

The formwork sections for tunnel form are significant and need to be swung by crane out from the side of the building when the concrete is being struck. This means that it is not suitable for tight sites.

More detailed structural advice can be found in Residential Cellular Concrete Buildings published by The Concrete Centre.

4. Flat Slabs

Flat slabs are built quickly due to modern formwork being simplified and minimized. Rapid turnaround is achieved using a combination of early striking and panelized formwork systems. Prefabricated services can be maximized because of the uninterrupted service zones beneath the floor slab, so flat slab construction offers rapid overall construction, simplifying the installation of services.

In addition to saving on construction time, flat slab construction also places no restrictions on the positioning of horizontal services and partitions. This offers considerable flexibility to the occupier, who can easily alter internal layouts to accommodate changes in the use of the structure. Post-tensioning of flat slabs enables longer and thinner slabs, with less reinforcement, hence offering significant program and labor advantages.

5. Hybrid Concrete Construction

Hybrid concrete construction combines all the benefits of precasting with the advantages of cast-in-situ construction. Combining the two as a hybrid frame results in even greater construction speed, quality, and the overall economy. Hybrid concrete construction can answer client demands for lower costs and higher quality by providing simple, buildable, and competitive structures with consistent performance and quality.

6. Thin-Joint Masonry

Thin-Joint Masonry allows the depth of the mortar to be reduced from 10mm to just 3mm or less, resulting in faster laying and improved productivity, particularly on long runs of walling. Construction speed can be further increased by 13.5 percent using large-format concrete blocks, with a face size equivalent to two traditional concrete blocks. The mortar cures rapidly, achieving full bond strength within one to two hours, eliminating the problem of ‘floating’ therefore enabling more courses to be laid per day.

7. Insulating Concrete Formwork

Insulating Concrete Formwork (ICF) systems consist of twin-walled, expanded polystyrene panels or blocks that are quickly built up to create formwork for the walls of a building. This formwork is then filled with factory-produced, quality-assured, ready-mixed concrete to create a robust structure. The expanded polystyrene blocks remain to provide high levels of thermal insulation, and the concrete core provides robustness and good levels of sound insulation. More information on ICF is included in The Concrete Centre publication Insulating Concrete Formwork.

8. Wood Frame (Engineered Wood Products (EWPs))

Engineered Wood Products (EWPs), materials manufactured by binding particles, fibers, or wood veneers together with adhesives, are often used in framed home construction. The most commonly known and used EWPs include plywood and oriented strand board (OSB); often, these wood panels are attached to the studs of a framed wall to provide additional structural support and the surfaces for walls. EWPs can also come in engineered posts and beams stronger than beams cut from timber and used for special projects.

Another form of EWPs is Structural insulated panels (SIPs) – panels made of an inner layer of an insulating foam core sandwiched between two sheets of EWPs, typically OSBs. SIP panels can be used to cover a home’s framing but can also be used in place of a frame, making up the entire structural support. Their strength and size can provide advantages over standard platform framing for certain types of home design.



9. Light Gauge Steel Construction

This is similar to wood construction in that studs, rafters, plates, and joists are also used in building structures. Instead of wood, light steel is used. The steel members usually come in a c-shaped cross-section, although s-shaped cross-sections are available.

Like wood construction methods, this type of construction also allows for the ease of carrying materials. The materials can also be cut and erected on sight. This construction method is commonly used in commercial buildings and utilizes screw guns and metal cutting tools rather than saws and nails used in wood construction.

10. Joisted or Load Bearing Masonry Construction

This construction method involves the use of concrete bricks or blocks to build load-bearing walls. This technique results in heavy structures, which is not good in earthquake-prone areas. The joisted Masonry term comes from the fact that the floors and ceilings are constructed with wooden joists. Each brick or block has to be a handset, which makes this technique labor-intensive.

11. Hybrid Concrete Building Technique

This technique expedites construction turnaround time by blending the advantages of concrete pre-casting with the in-situ building. Quality improves, whereas the cost of construction plummets.

Hybrid concrete structures are easy to build, competitive in nature, and perform consistently.

12. Insulating Concrete Formwork (ICF) Technique

The ICF technique uses polystyrene blocks that feature twin walls and can be rapidly put together to create building wall formwork. The formwork is then pumped in with high-quality, ready-mixed, factory-made concrete.  The building construction process becomes fool-proof, and the resultant structure has a high sound and thermal insulation level.

Building construction methods have matured significantly with advancements in technologies underlying them. Resourceful builders are taking recourse to these methods to help you optimize your investment.

Buildings developed with these methods offer exceptional cost competitiveness, quality assurance, and supremacy of outcome.



New & Innovative Building Construction Techniques

Several construction techniques in use today have been around for hundreds of years. Others are a bit more modern—and while we love the time-tested approaches that brought the industry to where it is today, it’s exciting to see how new construction techniques and construction innovations are reshaping our approach.

You can ensure that the innovations impact each aspect of building construction techniques, from modular to insulation panels.

To be clear, there are plenty of great new building techniques for construction coming out these days. Kindly check below the most innovative construction techniques that developers are excited to try out:

1. Augmented Reality-Assisted Building

One of the most anticipated changes in new construction techniques is integrating augmented reality (AR) into the process. By combining Building Information Modeling (BIM) with modern AR wearables, developers can see fully-rendered visualizations of what a construction project will look like.

Aside from the obvious benefits to pre-construction planning for individual developments, this technology will support new construction strategies across all aspects of urban planning: zoning for housing developments, utility management, traffic routing, and more.

AR can also assist in determining the kinds of construction materials used on-site and whether the building requires insulating concrete, for example.

2. Raised Access Flooring

There are plenty of raised flooring options to choose from these days, depending on your facility’s needs, available space, HVAC structure, and cable routing demands.

Raised access flooring systems open up the possibilities for service distribution across your building and allow you to tap into more modern approaches to facility construction, such as underfloor air distribution – this type of system offers better airflow and lower energy use compared to conventional HVAC systems.

These modifications are important for future-proofing a facility by keeping reconfiguration costs low over the building’s life cycle.

3. Self-Healing Concrete

Given that concrete is the most widely used material globally, it’s a little surprising that it took us this long to get to this point. But finally, self-healing concrete has advanced to the point where it’ll soon be a viable alternative to traditional materials.

By leveraging bacteria that live within the concrete building itself, these materials automatically repair any cracks or fissures that may appear over time, offering a great long-term solution for concrete degradation.

4. Kinetic Footfall Energy Harvesting

It’s no secret that one of the biggest areas of new construction techniques in buildings is incorporating alternative energy in various forms. Kinetic footfall energy harvesting involves placing ground sensors in high traffic areas that generate and store thermal mass energy taken from pedestrian steps.

In terms of long-term planning, this is an innovative way to integrate more sustainable energy solutions that live off the traditional grid. These kinetic solutions are also being tested on roadways as we speak – however, just like solar roadways, these innovations have so far earned mixed reviews. It may be a while before the technology truly goes mainstream.

5. 3D Printed Buildings

In recent times the 3D printing technology is streamlining construction on the job site. Companies are now leveraging 3D printing to fabricate materials on-site in a near-perfect replica of factory settings. This decreases reliance on extensive supply chains and reduces project costs overall.

But now, we see more extensive use cases where architectural designs are uploaded directly to 3D printing software. This lets builders automate the construction process as much as possible and opens the doors to a faster, smarter system of development, which takes less time and effort from all parties involved. Not bad for a new building system.

Bottom Line

Once you know the various construction techniques, choosing what will work best for your needs is easier. The construction type is chosen based on the purpose and size of the structure, load-bearing constraints, necessary speed of construction, environmental factors, and cost of materials.





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