On August, 29, 2011 The Gazette published a response article in defense of modular buildings.
” Re: “Failing grade for trailers” (Gazette, Aug. 6).
The Gazette’s story on emergency classrooms in Haiti called into question the quality and durability of those modular classrooms.
The reporters cited issues such as “incredible heat, unsatisfactory sanitation facilities, lack of ventilation, leaks, mould and, in one case, high levels of formaldehyde,” as well as questioning whether they are, as billed, hurricane-proof.
In 2004, four hurricanes hit Florida, causing over $50 billion in property damage. What went underreported was the fact that 1,600 manufactured homes built to the 1994 wind standards of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development were hit by those hurricanes.
How many were blown off their foundations? None.
How many were destroyed? Zero. Based on reading The Gazette’s story, would readers know that those classrooms, if properly installed, could withstand 140-mile-per-hour hurricane winds?
The story also said that the modular classrooms did not have running water and latrines. Imagine Haiti’s devastation. There are problems with infrastructure, transportation, shortages of materials and a host of other things.
Bathrooms in classrooms require hookups to sewer lines. There is no failure in design or construction if proper utility hookups were not done.
On the reported issues with air quality and mould: no air conditioning was evident in the photos, and it was not mentioned in the story. These modular units were probably designed to have air conditioning installed on site. Without air conditioning in a highly humid climate, mould could form. Blame nature, but not the builder or those who provided humanitarian relief.
Formaldehyde exists in most construction. It is found in building materials, resins and fabrics. It is also part of your body chemistry. Energy-efficient construction is “tighter,” so formaldehyde’s effects on the eyes in hot conditions are more acute. Air conditioning is a solution.
Can we believe that those involved wanted to do a bad job for Haitians? We do not know enough to cast blame on anyone or anything, other than the difficult conditions in Haiti.
Modular and pre-fab construction is used worldwide in commercial, office and residential housing. More than 20 million people in the U.S. and Canada live in factory-built homes.
Hundreds of thousands are employed by the industry and its suppliers. The article does an injustice to builders of manufactured and modular homes and those who dwell in them by using derogatory terms like “trailer.” The media should use proper terminology and avoid outdated stereotypes.
L.A. (Tony) Kovach Publisher, Manufactured Home Marketing Sales Management (MHMSM.com) Chicago
Prevost Construction is proud to participate with Modular Building Institute. A brief history can be found on their website: www.modular.org. Founded in 1983, the Modular Building Institute (MBI) is the international non-profit trade association serving non-residential modular construction. Members are manufacturers, contractors, and dealers in two distinct segments of the industry – permanent modular construction (PMC) and relocatable buildings (RB). Associate members are companies supplying building components, services, and financing.
This is a great association to be a part of to get the latest information on modular buildings as well as discuss information with other contractors, manufacturers or dealers. Being that Prevost is a big part of school and modular buildings, education is a big part of this association. Below find an article that can be found here, to learn more about the school system’s involvement with modular buildings.
From single classrooms to complete campuses, permanent modular construction offers public, private, and charter schools what other construction methods cannot: accelerated project timelines, more economical pricing, and less disruption. Permanent modular schools are indistinguishable from other schools and can be constructed to any architectural and customer specifications. MBI members design and build schools of all types and sizes using traditional building materials like wood, steel, and concrete. Virtually any size permanent school can be built, installed, and ready for occupancy, some in as little as 90 days. Perhaps most importantly, by using off-site technology, open construction sites are eliminated while school is in session. Students are safer and teachers compete with less disruption.
High Tech High in Chula Vista, CA by Williams Scotsman. Find case study here.
Millmont School, Reding, PA by Triumph Modular & NRB Inc. Find case study here.
Relocatable buildings have become a critical factor in managing student demographics and increasing enrollments. Relocatable classrooms are also ideal for use during new construction or renovation. Convenient, flexible, cost-effective buildings can be delivered and operational in as little as 24 hours. Relocatable classrooms are measured for quality and code-compliance by state or third-pary agencies through routine and random inspections, testing, and certification services. Single classrooms or multiple buildings can be arranged in clusters to create a campus feel. MBI members supply steps, decks, ramps, and even furniture. Members also offer lease, purchase, and lease-to-purchase financing for a variety of public and private school needs.
Harvard University, Child Care Center by Triumph Modular.
Performance IQ, High Performance Green Modular Classroom design by M Space Holdings LLC.
Dearcroft Montessori School, Oakville, ON by Provincial Partitions Ltd.
Modular classroom design by Perkins+Will.
Case Study-North Andover Early Childhood Center:
Check out this great article that identifies how modular units were used to help schools!
Royal Concrete uses “Legos on Steroids” to build modular classrooms
By: Nadia Sorocka firstname.lastname@example.org
Royal Palm Beach-based Royal Concrete Concepts is using innovative construction technology to help the School District of Palm Beach County and Palm Beach State College expand facilities and meet the demands of their students.
For the Crestwood Middle School expansion in Royal Palm Beach and the college’s new fire tower, Royal Concrete Concepts used its modular concrete components to create vertical designs that can withstand high demands, according to the company’s vice president, John W. Albert III.
“Think Legos on steroids,” he said. “The concrete components are built in a controlled environment and assembled on site, allowing the customer to have complete control of their design, making the build custom and not ridged.”
Royal Concrete Concepts has been using modular concrete in custom design for about 12 years here in Florida. Albert said this type of construction is popular in Europe and is starting to become popular here in the states.
“With this type of construction what took months in the past to build now only takes weeks,” he added, which was the case with the Palm Beach State College Fire Tower.
Royal Concrete Concepts was able to use modular design and pre-cast stairs to create a durable tower that the college could use for years.
Each project is customized, Albert said. Royal Concrete Concepts use a variety of integrated building systems like concrete modular building units, pre-cast panels, tilt wall and concrete masonry.
For example in the Crestwood Middle School expansion Royal Concrete Concepts used existing modular classrooms that the district already had to create a two-level wing.
“The Crestwood project is really unique,” Albert said. “No one had ever moved modular classrooms and to create a two-story wing.”
According to Royal Concrete Concepts, the district began purchasing the individual units in 1998. The concrete modular classrooms can withstand hurricane-force winds and more importantly are relocatable, according to Albert.
“They [the district] had the foresight to design the modular classrooms to be relocatable and stackable,” he said.
Using modular classrooms has also saved the district money in construction; they were able to save 50 percent of the cost to expand Jupiter Middle School, Albert said.
The district also saved money with the Crestwood expansion, according to Jim Cartmill, general manager of Capital Projects Group, which is building the addition.
“The district was able to reuse existing modular buildings, which reduced the building construction cost by approximately 25 percent,” he said.
Albert said this type of construction not only cuts costs but it also reduces the project’s carbon footprint. In traditional construction all supplies are sent to the site before construction begins. With custom concrete building the components are assembled in a controlled environment and assembled on site.
“This also creates a cleaner construction site,” Albert said. “Onsite injuries are also reduced.”
For more information visit royalconcreteconcepts.com
Recently, modular buildings are becoming very popular on school grounds across the nation. Many schools have invested in using portable classrooms instead of building additions onto schools.
There are so many benefits using portable classrooms rather than building additions. One of the main reasons is the speed and ease with which modular buildings are set up. Additions can take months at a time to complete but modular building units can be delivered and set in only a few days. Individual units can be added or deleted at any time, unlike additions that cannot be torn down.
The use of modular buildings as portable classrooms is also benefiting as the student population of the school rises or declines. If a new school is built and there is a decrease in student population, portable classrooms can be removed. In terms of spacial limits, modular classrooms are a great way to build onto schools without using as much space.
Using portable classrooms saves money for the county and construction costs are significantly lower compared to traditional design-bid structures. It’s a great way for all schools being that schools are constantly looking for cost benefiting inventions! Single and multi-story portable classrooms are available as well.
Another benefit for using portable classrooms is the various styles and sizes offered. There is a large amount of flexibility offered in the design selections!