Modular construction in South Africa

Is the South African construction industry stuck in a rut?

In a rapidly changing world, each industry sector faces unique transformations. Whether driving the change or being subtly forced to keep up, organizations have a responsibility to manage many ever-evolving macro factors to avoid being left behind. These include various forms of social, political, economic and environmental forces.

Factors that impact construction as we know it

It is hard not to notice that today’s green trends look to the construction industry with high expectations. Sustainable building standards are being developed and applied at an exponential rate. Just like our takeaway coffee cups, people are actively noticing recyclable building solutions that produce less waste and incorporate recycling into their everyday way of operating.

From a social point of view, global population growth demands quicker construction solutions. Five of the nine countries expected to show the biggest population growth by 2030 are on African soil. Egypt, Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia and Nigeria. It is estimated that South Africa’s current 59 odd million-population will reach between 65 and 67 million people by 2030.1

These inevitable factors put the faster building technology of modular construction in a very appealing light. This steel building method refers to factory-produced pre-engineered building units that are delivered to site and then assembled as large elements of a building.

Benefits of modular construction

It is a construction method that offers reduced project duration to developers and general contractors. When a project can be delivered in a shorter time period, the return on investment is realized faster. This means that the market demand can be met in a shorter period.

Did you know that modular construction can help you drastically reduce overall project cost?

Modular construction can also reduce construction waste by more than 50%, creating efficiency for building projects such as apartment buildings, hospitals and hotels.2 Modular construction waste that do occur is no longer seen as a bad thing – In fact, steel framing scrap form part of the industry with the highest overall recycling rate – The steel industry recycles at a rate of 66%. All these factors contribute towards a shift away from traditional methods of construction. 

Modular construction used in South Africa

An example of a recent local project that was built using modular construction technology, is the Hi Monte hotel at Montecasino in Fourways, South Africa. Built within just eight months, it consists of 130 modular units and five facades. Being one of their key areas of expertise, the team at JTC Building Systems played a key role in the design development of the modular system used in this multi-story project.

Considering all the benefits, it seems baffling that there is résistance to change the ways in which we construct buildings, even in the world’s most developed countries (like North America).3

Instead of constantly looking at the global pace of change as an intruder into an age-old building recipe that works, faster building avenues should receive greater consideration. Isn’t it time to start looking at advancements in the building industry as promising opportunities rather than intruding inconveniences?


  1. Business Tech – Population growth by 2030

Published: June 22, 2019

  1. The Future: Erecting with cold formed steel

Published: Mar 1, 2018

  1. Deluxe Modular – A new era

2018 FMI/CURT/CII Owner Survey

Scroll to Top