What is a modular office building?
A modular office building is a prefabricated commercial building, made of building units called “modules.” Compared to a traditionally constructed building, modular buildings are assembled and prepared off-site. Then, the parts are delivered to the office site and assembled there. There are numerous configurations in which the modules can be assembled. Most typically they are combined side-by-side or stacked, depending on the preference of the buyer.
Modular buildings are becoming the future of buying office buildings for many reasons. These days, finding office space can be more difficult than you think! First of all, renting or buying an office is getting expensive. Paying rent over a long period of time can drain your resources. At the same time, paying for traditional construction to build a new office building can be out of the question for many. Many business owners ask – why pay more for a building of equal or lesser quality, which also takes longer to construct? That’s why modular buildings are offering a solution for tons of companies.
What are the benefits of a modular office building?
There are so many reasons why companies today are choosing modular office buildings. They are extremely flexible options for a variety of different commercial needs, because they offer:
Temporary OR permanent space solutions
One great advantage of modular office buildings is that they’re portable, which means they can be relocated easily. Modular buildings are easily transportable and removable. So if you have a need for a temporary space solution, you can have your modular office building delivered and removed in your desired time frame. You can also opt for a permanent modular office building if you choose to do so. Permanent modular buildings are extremely durable and can last an average of 50 years.
Since modular office buildings are pre-assembled beforehand, they save you tons of time when it comes to construction. On average, you’ll be spending 25-50% less time waiting for your office building to be constructed. (Plus, you’re saving serious dollars in labor costs! See below.) This is seriously helpful for businesses that need a temporary space solution FAST, and don’t have time to wait!
Modular office buildings require less materials, time, and labor compared to traditionally constructed buildings. So right off the bat, you’ll be paying less for a modular building. It’s estimated that choosing a modular building over traditional construction can save you 20-60% on your office building. Plus, there’s leasing options, so you’re able to spread out the cost over time. This way, you’re not overwhelmed by the cost!
Leasing and buying options
Suppliers offer both leasing or buying options for modular office buildings. Whether you choose to lease or buy depends on how long you need your building and how much you’re willing to invest in the project. Many companies (ie. start-up companies) simply don’t have the financial capital to make a sizable investment on an office building when they really need it! With a modular office building, you can lease for as little as 1-2 years, extend your lease across a longer amount of time, or buy the building outright. Lease rates often start at $1.00 -$1.50 per square foot per month, making them hard to resist from a financial perspective.
Some people think that because modular office buildings are “temporary,” this means that they’re unattractive in appearance. But this is not true! One huge advantage of modular office buildings is that they are prefabricated, so they’re extremely customizable. You can choose the appearance and functionality of your building before it’s delivered to your site. Plus, you can easily extend your space and add more modules if you need to down the road. You might even come into contact with modular office buildings everyday, and not even know it!
More and more businesses are shifting towards “going green” and using environmentally-friendly practices. Building and construction is becoming one of them! One perk of choosing a modular office building is that it’s environmentally sustainable. Installing them requires less waste and material usage compared to traditional construction, plus the parts are reusable!
Common uses of modular office buildings
There are endless types of companies and industries that can benefit from modular office buildings. Their cost-saving, time-saving, and customization opportunities give companies huge advantages when looking for office space! While modular office buildings are becoming more and more popular choices across the board, the types of industries that typically opt for modular office buildings include:
- Office & Administration - such as sales offices, real estate offices, administrative offices, and more
- Retail - such as storefronts or retail warehouses
- Education and schools - such as classrooms, dormitories, libraries, and laboratories
- Government - such as municipal offices
- Construction - such as contractors who need temporary space
- Healthcare - such as modular medical office, hospitals, and urgent care centers
How much do modular office buildings cost?
The cost for modular office will vary depending on many features! Remember that modular office buildings are very flexible and customizable. The cost depends heavily on the business’s needs. When buying, some office buildings cost as low as $35 per square foot while others cost as much as $200 per square foot. Keep in mind that wood frame construction for modular buildings typically cost less than steel framing. When leasing, your cost per square foot starts at around $1.
Factors that affect price include:
- Square feet
- Materials used
- Location of site and delivery costs
- Customization needs
To learn more about what to expect to pay for a modular office building, take a look at our in-depth modular building Buyer’s Guide.
What sizes are available?
As mentioned, modular buildings are highly customizable. While the building will be constructed using prefabricated modules, the way you assemble your modules and how many you use is largely up to you! With that being said, modules typically come in standard sizes like 12-13 ft. in width by 60-72 ft. in length. Normally, a modular office building supplier will ask the approximate square feet you need. Then, they can help you come up with a plan about how to assemble.
But you may be wondering - how do I plan my space and how many square feet do I need? Some questions you can ask to get started are:
- How many employees do I need to accommodate?
- How many new employees do I plan to add over the next few years?
- How many private spaces (like a manager’s office) and shared spaces (like a breakroom) do I need?
Normally, businesses will estimate the amount of square feet per space they would like. Most of the time, at least 60-100 sq. feet per employee is needed. Many businesses prefer more space for CEO and Manager offices. Larger shared areas like conference rooms and common rooms can require around at least 500 square feet.
For example, consider a business that has 10 employees. Ideally, they want 1 private office for the CEO with 400 sq. feet, 1 private office for a sales manager with 250 sq. feet, one conference room with 700 sq. feet, a break room with 600 sq. feet, and an open work space with cubicles at around 700 sq. feet. This business would need around 2,500+ sq. feet for their modular office building - or at least three modules.
Which features are included?
As with all modular buildings, there are some features that are included and some that you have to pay extra to add on. A modular office building will typically come with:
- Finished walls
- Flooring of your choice
- Electricity hook ups
- HVAC and air filtration systems
Luckily, you will be able to customize each of these included features for your particular business needs.
There are also tons of customized add-on features that you can choose from. These can help you make sure the building meets your business needs. They can also make your office feel more like your own. Some of these add-on features include:
- Steps and ramps (depending on whether or not your office sits on the ground floor)
- Technology add-ons (depending on your industry and needs)
- Bathrooms (ADA compliant, if needed)
- Shelves and other interior finishes
If you're ready to get started comparing options for your new office building, we can help! We partner with the top modular building suppliers and can cater to your local area. Take a moment to fill out our modular building form, and we'll be in touch with you in minutes!