This week Tide Construction installed the last module at Apex House, a dormitory tower near Wembley Station in North London. The 25-story student residential building is a honeycomb of 679 separate modules, and the tower will be the largest in Europe and is expected to be ready for students by September.
The 12-ton modules are made by Vision Modular Systems in Bedford, England and resemble shipping containers. However, each one was delivered fully complete with a kitchen and bathroom, lights, switches, socket outlets, and internal finishes.
The building frame has a reinforced concrete core, concrete foundations, and a series of concrete columns at ground level to support a transfer slab on level two. The transfer slab provides vertical support for all the modules above, which are stacked one on top of the other. The modules are lifted by a tower crane and plugged into position in 10 minutes. Up to 11 units can be installed per day, cutting months off the construction time for a conventional steel and concrete building.
The modules are welded together on site to form a rigid honeycomb structure. The most complicated weld junctions are at the point where four modules meet on an external face. Supervising engineers photograph each weld detail to ensure quality control.
For more information on the European modular construction trend, visit HTA Design here: