Most permanent modular buildings can last 35 years, 50 years or even centuries given the care and building type. To construct longer lasting modular buildings, developers and architects engineer more robust buildings with thicker, stronger materials designed to stand the test of time, weather and seismic activity.

Choosing permanent modular buildings is a different story when it comes to their average lifespan. They are built on permanent foundations and to the local and state codes required of any type of modular building type you might be interested in. It’s important to know that multi-story apartments have different codes than a single-story office double-wide has.

How well is the building maintained and was it properly installed?

Almost all of the answers to these questions depend on the quality of the company you are working with. Properly constructing and installing a modular building requires an understanding of how to properly fabricate modules, transport materials, weld components together onsite, and develop a strong foundation on which to build the modular structure.

Maintaining a modular building requires frequent inspection of the buildings major components. This includes flooring, roofing, exterior sidings and decks, plumbing systems, HVAC systems, and mechanical systems. Typically tasks and updates should be completed every 10 to 20 years depending on the quality of the materials and the system being discussed.

Misconceptions about Modular Building Durability

One common misconception associated with the terms modular, prefabricated, mobile, and portable buildings is that they mean the same thing. Some may assume they are weak and won’t last as long. Others may be considering the image of a mobile trailer home that is falling apart from decades of neglect.

First of all, a modular building is different from the mobile trailer that you and I grew up with.

A modular building is a manufactured structure, built out into volumetric modules and assembled in a controlled environment such as a warehouse (sometimes referred to as “factory built modules”). Modular buildings must meet the same strict local and state building codes and permit requirements as conventionally (stick built) constructed buildings.