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JUST IN: Modulars Hitting the Scene in a BIG Way

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Living the “American Dream” means consuming the most product while spending the least amount of time and money as possible. With that being said, it is no wonder that modular and pre-fabricated construction has seen exponential increases in popularity over the past few years. Companies in different fields are recognizing the various benefits that modular buildings have to offer.

Modulars Re-Building after Hurricane Sandy
Source: National Association of Home Builders, “Builders” http://www.builderonline.com/modular-building/modular-building-goes-mainstream-in-storm-ravaged-areas_o.aspx

 

New York forged the path for modular buildings last year with the construction of the worlds tallest pre-fab building reaching 322-feet in the air (Click here to read more). The architect of a New York City apartment building set in “the hipster capital of the world,” Jim Garrison, has a plan to make a “pod hotel” using modulars (Click here to read more). Even the mayor, Michael Bloomberg, has recognized the time-saving and cost-efficient benefits of modular buildings in his “tiny-apartment” initiative. The popularity of modulars in New York has a lot to do with time and money, but also safety and loss prevention. Since modular buildings are constructed in an off site building, the chances of theft are substantially less than a building constructed on-site, in an open area.

Not only are modulars popular in the big cities, but are the top choice when re-building communities after a disaster. After hurricane Sandy hit the east coast in 2012, modulars that met the requirements to withstand harsh weather were built to replace destroyed homes. The quick install time and lower costs makes modulars the perfect choice for helping to re-build homes and lives. Read more about how modular buildings help disaster-stricken communities, here.

 

 

Is Modular for You?

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Alex Levin posted an article Is Modular the Model for You? Modular Building vs. Traditional Construction on blogcritics.org on November 30, 2011. Below is the well written article identifying the pros and cons of modular homes. A full version of this article can be found by clicking here

 

Modular homes have come a long way in a short time. Once synonymous with trailer parks and shabby construction, most modern designs bear little to no resemblance to a classic double-wide.

Long gone are the days when the only choice was a box-like exterior with a dirt-cheap finish on the inside. Today’s manufactured homes feature designs that include second floors, elegant gables, and hardiplank siding, as well as luxury bathrooms and gourmet kitchens. However, this choice also has its fair share of drawbacks; consider both the pros and cons when contemplating a modular home.

 

 

Pros of Building Modular

Lower Cost: In the vast majority of cases, a modular home costs 10 to 20 percent less than a traditional home of the same size and with the same features because much of the waste and subcontractor expense is factored out of the equation. Of course these savings may vary based on the cost of labor and building supplies in each area, but in general prefabricated homes are more affordable options than their predecessors. Because of these savings, many decide to seek modular homes as they’ll free up room in a budget for custom interior designing and the purchase of high quality appliances.

Construction Speed: Modular homes can be move-in ready in much less time than any other housing option. Unless you order from a company with a backlog, current estimates show that modular construction can be completed in 65 percent less time than a traditional construction project. Those who have undergone home improvement updates know the speed at which your project moves along is vastly contingent upon who is performing the work. Finding reputable contractors is most important to how your project will turn out and whether it is done within your contract’s timeframe. Obtaining referrals and ensuring the crew performing the work holds a construction bond and is licensed are important steps in researching their professional reputation.

Assembled Out of the Weather: Although modular homes are constructed much like site-built homes, one of the primary differences in their manufacturing is that modular homes are built inside an enclosed space rather than on site. This keeps everything free from the elements until the structure is complete. Following this, the homes are broken down into modules for transportation and reassembly. They are, once again, protected from the weather as they are sealed and waterproofed until they arrive at their destination. Unlike traditional home building, this prevents any fear of unexpected storms or natural disasters delaying the finish of your home as well as the cost of damages.

Variety: Modular homes come in thousands of design choices, from small park models that resemble ski chalets or log cabins to massive homes with bonus rooms, master retreats, and spa-like glamour baths. Many models allow you to customize the floor plan within limits, and some even have additions for garages and basements.

Cons of Building Modular

It’s Not Stick-Built: This is one of the main arguments against building modular. Building modular will not be stick-built; this refers to a home constructed entirely or almost fully on-site. Proponents of stick-built homes prefer their custom look and uniqueness as opposed to a manufactured structure.

Limits to Customization: With a traditional home, the design options are virtually unlimited. As long as you have the funds and there are no legal restrictions, you can hire an architect to create plans for a one-of-a-kind home with any feature you can imagine. Even when using premade blueprints, it’s easy to change things around. Although modular homes offer many floor plan options and some customizations, most factories are limited to how much they can vary the outside structural look of modular buildings.

Not Allowed Everywhere: Many developments will not let you place a modular home on a site under their control. Before purchasing a building lot with the intention of buying a modular home, check all local ordinances as well as the rules of the homeowners’ association and the deed to the property for restrictions.

Although there is no clear answer to which option is best in every circumstance, modular homes and traditional homes offer a variety of options to their owners. Funding, design aesthetics, and legal restraints should all be weighed before deciding between stick-built and modular homes.

Courthouse retro-fitting project starts

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Brian Bullock of Santa Maria Times posted an articl eabout modular units being installed into a Courthouse. You can view a full version of this article here

 

Just when it looked like modular buildings were on their way out at the Santa Maria Superior Courthouse, a new one has been delivered.

Specialty Crane hoisted two sections of a new modular building over the courthouse’s Building C early Monday as retro-fitting work on the existing courthouse is set to begin.

The project will increase the seismic stability of the courthouse, said Bob Nisbet, county general services director

The modular will be used to relocate offices in Buildings A and B while they are disconnected from the main building to make them less prone to earthquake damage. The retro-fit is scheduled to be complete in May 2012.

While that project kicks off, work on the new 18,650-square-foot, two-story addition to the courthouse is winding down and slated to be complete just after the New Year’s holiday, said Ryan Edwards, vice president of Vernon Edwards Constructors of Santa Maria, the general contractor on the $3.5 million addition.

The new building will replace two aging modular buildings that house criminal and civil court records offices and office space the court currently leases across Cook Street from the courthouse.

Vernon Edwards broke ground on the project in September 2010.

“It’s been a challenging project. It’s a very detailed building. It’s in a tight site constraint. We had a lot of heavy weather last year. It’s a lot of things to do in a small space,” Edwards said.

The company is putting on stucco and installing exterior concrete walkways and curbs. Edwards said the building is about 85 percent complete.

Once it is finished and the court clerks have moved in, Vernon Edwards will remove the old modulars, cap utilities and cover the sites. Edwards said the second-phase work would take about 30 days.

St. Mary County Modular Addition

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Dick Myers posted the article below Modular Classrooms Approved for Evergreen E.S. on thebaynet.com. A full version of this article can be found by clicking here

 

St. Mary’s County’ newest school is already overcrowded. Evergreen Elementary School in Wildewood is designed for a local rated capacity of 614; there are currently 718 full-time equivalent students there. With that in mind, the St. Mary’s County Board of Education on Wednesday approved a contract for a two-classroom modular unit to be moved there.

The contract award was for $127,323 with a $25,000 contingency to a company called Modular Genius, which has supplied other units to the system for Dynard, Lettie Marshall Dent and Leonardtown elementary schools.
The company will manufacture, deliver, set-up and construct covered walkways and ramps. They will do site work for a second two-classroom unit that may be needed at a later date.
Supervisor of Design and Construction Larry Hartwick said the modular classrooms would be used for programs such as art and band and not for instruction.
Chief Operating Officer Bradley Clements said the proposed new elementary school for the Hayden Farm property in Leonardtown was the ultimate solution to the overcrowding at Evergreen. Short of that, there could redistricting, with students living along Route 4 returning to Leonardtown Elementary.
But the bigger problem, according to Clements: “All of the schools in the development district are overcrowded.” Board member Cathy Allen, while noting that redistricting can be traumatic, said it was a better problem to have than being faced with closing community schools, which is affecting other parts of the state and country.
The modular unit is expected to be ready to occupy in the spring.

 

 

 

 

 

 

ROWVA board expanding new school building options

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Linda Bell wrote the article below for galesburg.com in Illinois discussing the expansion of schools using modular buildings. A full version of this article can found by clicking here

NEIDA —

Traditional building costs have the ROWVA District 208 School Board planning a field trip to investigate a different type of building construction for a proposed new elementary building to replace East and Central schools.

Superintendent Lloyd Little will make plans for the board to visit Thea Bowman Leadership Academy, a modular school building in Gary, Ind., when the board goes to the Illinois Association of School Boards annual convention in Chicago later this month.

Little said at a special board meeting Tuesday that he and board member Rob Kalb had been discussing alternatives to traditional construction after the board received revised building plans from Farnsworth Architect Group earlier this month. Kalb visited the Gary, Ind., school while on a business trip in the area and was impressed.

“It’s in its fourth year and looked great,” Kalb said of the urban junior-senior high school.

Kalb said a modular building would cost $60 a square foot compared to a $175 per square foot for traditional construction, not including any furnishings. The Gary, Ind., school cost was $188 per square foot, including furnishings. A variety of options are available for the outside of the building. The Gary, Ind., school district built a traditional gymnasium rather than a modular.

Kalb said modular units are 14 feet wide and 70 feet long, come prewired, can be finished with floor decking, wallboard, with true ceilings on the interior and sheathing and roof membrane on the exterior. Such a building could be designed to be moved later, if desired.

He said modular buildings are projected to last 35-50 years, about the same as regular construction.

Little is familiar with modular buildings since he has worked in a district with modular buildings in the past.

Lower building costs might allow the district to build a larger building than the most recent revised building plans presented by Farnsworth.

Several board members had expressed concern about building a facility that was not really large enough for the district’s needs.

Prior to the discussion about modular buildings, David Pistorius, bond underwriter for First Midstate Inc. Investment Bankers, spoke to the board about its options for financing a new building, which essentially would be a life safety replacement project.

His conservative estimate for interest rates on bonds the district might purchase was 4.95 percent.

Little said the board has not discussed if any of the district’s reserve funds would be used for the proposed building project. The district currently has 10-11 months in reserves.

Modular Construction Begins

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Construction Begins for Louisa County Middle School 
** To view the video attached with this article, please visit the link at the bottom of the post. Thank you!

Construction crews are moving dirt for Louisa County’s modular high school.  The pod-style structures will placed on the parking lot in front of the now condemned earthquake-damaged school.

Construction is on track to have the modular school in place by late November so teachers can begin moving into their makeshift classrooms in mid-December.  Then students can return to a regular, five-day class schedule on February 1.

Crews started uprooting trees and pulling out parking lot lights to make way for the modular school.  Right now, they’re putting the pipe work in place to hook the units up to water and sewer.

The modular school consists of a collection of more than a dozen pod buildings with space for 90 classrooms, a library, gym, and cafeteria.  It will wrap around the front of the earthquake-damaged high school and cover most of the parking lot.

Louisa County Assistant Superintendent Doug Straley stated, “It’s vital – we need to get our kids back in school five days a week. We want to be able to provide an education for our kids just like everyone else around the commonwealth is getting at this time – and that’s a five day a week education and a quality education. We want to give them their own school they can be proud of.”

County schools expect to pay about $3.6 million to set up and rent the modular high school for the next two school years.

The county is also waiting on three separate damage assessments to see how much it will cost to rebuild the high school and Thomas Jefferson Elementary.

The schools have already spent about $884,000 on earthquake expenses.  The system hopes the Federal Emerge

 

A complete version of this article can be found here: www.nbc29.com

Modular going Global

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Modular Housing System (MHS) Ensures Global Connection with China Patent Approval
A full version of this article can be found by clicking this link
Optimized Components, Optimized Distribution, Optimized Results

Beijing, China (PRWEB) October 30, 2011

Mr. Tim M. Siahatgar, Architectural Engineer, developer of MHS Prefabricated Building System Technology, is pleased to announce that he has been awarded the Patent right for Modular Housing Systems (MHS) from State Intellectual Property office of the People’s Republic of China under the following patent number: 200610127616.0.

The unique structural Methodology of Modular Housing System is to maximize the Built Environment with cutting edge Aluminum Structure Technology. MHS Building Technology is the result of many years of research, development and considerable investment by Inventor, Mr. Tim M. Siahatgar, Architectural Engineer.

Mr. Tim M. Siahatgar and his related worldwide companies, are the original designers, developers and manufacturers of MHS Aluminum Building System. These structures are assembled on site, using our exclusive patented Modular Aluminum Extrusion and its interlocking connection system, in conjunction with MHS modular components and Flameproof Structural Insulated Panels (FSIP).

MHS prefabricated Modular Aluminum Building System is easily mounted, dismounted, moved location to location, from temporary to permanent quality green buildings of any size residential to multifunctional. MHS Buildings are of superior quality to those constructed by conventional means. “Our approach is an alternative to building with Non-Renewable construction materials”. The easy to learn, teach, design and construct approach provides truly waste-free modular structures and by weighing only one third of I-beam steel structures and one fifteenth of concrete structures, resulting in reduced total building weight, energy and seismic loads. Saving Time, Space and Resources.

The MHS Aluminum Building System allows Modular Manufacturers, Developers, Contractors, Engineers, Designers, Architects and Students to build from simple studios, Mobile RV’s, and camping homes to highly customized commercial structures.

This patented process helps users create availability, usability, reusability and sustainability for our future.

Optimized Components, Optimized Distribution, Optimized Results
We invite you to become a valued licensed fabricator or certified builder in your area.
For more information on MHS and its products please visit: http://www.modularhousingsystem.com

CONTACT:
Tim Siahatgar, Inventor
Modular Housing Systems (MHS)
USA-FAX: +1-949-266-8925
Email: office(at)modularhousingsystem(dot)com, or ussystems(at)aol(dot)com
China: Cherry Wang, Tel:010-58174026 Email info(at)yokiriko(dot)co(dot)jp

Virginia Modular Relief

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Louisa County school officials say crews are preparing to place the county’s modular high school that will temporarily shelter students until the earthquake-damaged Louisa County High School can be repaired.

“Site work on the modular high school has already begun with tree removal and trenching for water and sewer lines,” schools spokeswoman Jaclyn O’Laughlin said Wednesday.

“The first set of trailers will arrive by the end of this week,” she said. “All units should be installed by Dec. 15, at which point walkways will be added, and furniture will begin to be moved into the mobile classrooms.”

The modular school is expected to open Feb. 1. The school should be able to meet the required hours and accreditation standards set by the Virginia Department of Education, O’Laughlin said.

The high school and Louisa County Middle School, which have been sharing facilities since school resumed after the Aug. 23 magnitude 5.8 quake, will resume a normal weekday schedule.

School officials are also reviewing an independent damage report of Louisa County High School and Thomas Jefferson Elementary School. The schools’ insurance company has also provided the district with a damage assessment.

The report indicates that damage repair costs are about 70 percent of the cost of building a new Thomas Jefferson Elementary School, according to a filing by Gov. Bob McDonnell with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and President Barack Obama.

The high school is comprised of buildings built in 1938 and 1972 and joined in 2000. Damage estimates indicate that repair costs equal about 54 percent of replacement costs for the 1938 section and 50.2 percent of the 1972 building.

McDonnell included estimates as part of the official request asking that Obama declare the county a federal disaster area to gain federal funds to help rebuild the schools.

FEMA earlier this month denied McDonnell’s request for federal money for county residents. The county and the governor are appealing the denial. The requests are separate.

No repair efforts at the schools are planned until the insurance coverage is finalized and FEMA has made a decision on the school request for help.

 

A full version of this article can be found on The Daily Progress site by clicking here

 

 Photo credit:

Modular Hospital

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Modular buildings turned hospitals in Joplin, Missouri after being hit by a tornado! Below is the article discussing a modular building hospital, very cool!
To view a full version of this article, including a news video of the inside of the hospital, please click here.

(Joplin, MO) — St. John’s makes the move from its field hospital to a modular building. The sturdier structure will mean larger rooms and updated facilities for patients.

Registered Nurse Barbara Mammele has worked at St. John’s for six years. She says moving out of the field hospital into a modular building will add comfort for staff and patients.

“It helps to reduce the stress because you know it’s the best environment at the time, and that’s important,” Mammele says.

The new building features stable floors, indoor plumbing, and surroundings that remind employees, like Diana Clark, of work before the tornado.

“I found myself this morning coming in and I was placing everything like I had on my old floor – from the other hospital,” Clark says.

Staff transported patients with highest needs first. The new building offers spacious rooms and a higher level of privacy — making it easier for patients to come back to their hospital of choice.

“I really appreciated how they worked with me, and I had loyalty to the staff that was here. So when they asked me where I wanted to go I thought well, if they’re able to care for me, I’d like to go back there,” says patient Mark Hundson.

The modular unit also has windows — a key asset for any hospital.

“Which is just huge for the nurses, for our attitude and of course for the patient. Nothing helps a patient like a good deal of sunshine,” says Mammele.

And as light fills the air, so does the hope that St. John’s is one step closer to a permanent structure.

Crews will work to take down the field hospital this week.

All in favor…say I!

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To view a full version of this article, click here

67 percent favor modular buildings at WHE
By SEÁN O’DONOGHUE
Managing Editor
HAMLIN –  A comprehensive survey of parents, guardians, grandparents, community members, educators and businesses has found that two in every three would prefer modular buildings as a solution for West Hamlin Elementary’s overcrowding.
The survey was presented to the Lincoln County Board of Education at the Tuesday, September 20, 2011 regular session in Hamlin. A delegation from West Hamlin Elementary (WHE) was present for the meeting.

The matter of overcrowding was first brought before the board during the August 16 regular session in Hamlin. At that time, Lincoln County Superintendent of Schools Patricia Lucas described four possible solutions to the overcrowding problem at West Hamlin Elementary.

•A redistricting of the attendance area.
•Moving prekindergarten students to another facility before returning them to WHE for kindergarten.
•Moving the fifth grade class to Guyan Valley Middle School at the start of the 2012-2013 school year.
•Installing portable or modular units at WHE until such time as funding allows for permanent buildings.
Principal Kirk King was also present at the August 16 and briefed the board on the situation at the school. Following the meeting, in comments to The Lincoln Journal, Board President Kerry Matthews expressed confidence that the fifth grade move to GVMS would be workable. “Modulars won’t work because there is no room. I hate that we still have modulars at Duval,” said Matthews. He added that moving the attendance lines would not efficiently take care of the overcrowding because it takes a little out of all grades. “The only solution is moving the fifth grade. If you schedule the fifth and sixth grade to eat lunch and play together and change classes together, then they will have limited contact with the seventh and eighth graders,” said the board president in August.

The survey presented to the board last week included a summary report and all 534 completed questionnaires. In all, 650 forms had been issued. The survey therefore had an 82 percent participation rate. The breakdown of those taking part was as follows:
•312 parents
•65 grandparents
•55 community members
•42 educators
•35 business owners
•25 guardians

According to the survey, 67 percent  (361) of respondents would prefer portable units. The 361 who expressed that preference included 175 parents, 54 community members, 51 grandparents, 34 business owners, 27 educators and 20 guardians.

One in five of the respondents (20 percent, or 106 people) said they were in favor of moving the fifth graders to Guyan Valley Middle School. The 106 included 78 parents, 13 grandparents, 12 educators, two guardians and one community member.

Just nine percent (46) of those taking part opted for moving the prekindergarten classes to another facility and then returning the students to WHE for kindergarten.

Finally, four percent (21) of respondents were in favor of redistricting the attendance areas.
The board has yet to take final action on the matter.