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
Modular Homes = a new construction that is cost efficient, eco friendly and can be built in a matter of days.
Many people forget about all aspects of building, including insurance. When you construct a modular, how do you insure it? Below is a useful article that identifies steps you can take to properly insure your new modular home.
Author: John Ben Insurance Options for Modular Homes
Modular homes are prefabricated structures that are built in factories and assembled at a site. These are cheaper to construct than traditional site built homes and can be customized as per specifications detailed by homeowners. Though these are built by a home builder in climate controlled factories, there are many risks associated with prefab homes, like bad weather or damage while being transported to installation site. Therefore, IT is important that homeowners should opt for insurance while buying such homes.
Many homeowners are under the wrong impression that modular homes are insured differently from site built variants. Contrary to popular belief, insurance agencies treat these structures exactly the same as traditional homes. Therefore, they insure these under the same plans, provided that the unit adheres to the HUD code. Nowadays, even a home builder can recommend an insurance company that renders all-encompassing accident covers to clients.
One of the most important insurance policies that owners should opt for is trip collision insurance. Under this, the company covers the cost of all damages suffered by the home as it is being transferred from the factory of the home builder to the installation site.
Upon installation, it is essential that buyers should get insurance cover against adverse weather conditions for their modular houses. This is vital, as windstorms, hailstorms, lightning, snow and incessant rains are known for damaging even the sturdiest of homes. Owners can also opt for insurance against fire, smoke, frozen plumbing, theft, explosion and vandalism to safeguard their homes. It must be noted that floods and earthquakes are not covered under the insurance policies of most service providers. It is a well known fact that home repairs make a sizable dent on a homeowner’s pocket. Therefore, insuring prefab homes against unprecedented repairs is a wise idea for all modular home buyers. This entails that damages which occur while repairing lighting fixtures, cabling or plumbing network will be paid for by insurance agencies. Usually, service providers offer insurance cover for the home, but add additional charges are levied for sheds and garages.
Before buying prefab houses from a home builder, people must give a thought to the reimbursement offered by the insurance company. Some of the important factors that decide the amount paid by the service provider to the homeowner are deductible levels and the neighborhood. Frequency of claims, continuous insurance coverage, quality of structure built by home builder and insurance credit as per credit history are other relevant factors that decide insurance returns on prefab homes.
To view the entire link to this article, click here: www.prfire.com
Although Prevost Construction works primarily on the East Coast, below is an article on Modular Buildings in the West Coast! It explains the GO GREEN benefits of modular buildings. Happy reading on this sun filled Friday afternoon:
More stories by this author…
ZETA Communities employees at work at their McClellan Business Park headquarters.
Green Days is on the lookout for innovative sustainable projects throughout the Sacramento region. Turn us on email@example.com
What is ZETA Communities doing at Sacramento’s McClellan Business Park?
There, this San Francisco-based company is building sustainable, modular, “net-zero energy” residential and commercial structures that actually produce as much energy as they consume.
ZETA, who formed in late 2007, a year later received an investment of $5 million from North Bridge Venture Partners, just as the stock market plunged nearly 800 points when the housing bubble burst. While Wall Street crashed, opportunity blossomed for those offering ecologically friendly building solutions for the housing industry, according to Shilpa Sankaran, ZETA co-founder and current director of marketing and communications.
“Our investors said that ZETA was the most game-changing company in its portfolio,” she recalled.
A great deal of waste in the building industry had fed and led to the housing bubble, according to Sankaran, and it was a trend that ZETA had seen coming. Thus, its research-and-development team had been studying the construction industry’s methods and uncovered ways to design and build with fewer delays and less material waste for the mass market.
This R&D outcome propelled ZETA’s current business model for eco-friendly, modular construction in the urban cores and surrounding areas, Sankaran said.
RIP, suburban McMansions?
Maybe. Either way, building modular structures means that ZETA workers assemble commercial and residential buildings inside a 91,000-square-foot factory at 20 work stations at McClellan—from floor framing to roof subassembly to shipping. The company arrived there in October 2009.
Foundations are built at project sites, but workers at McClellan build 80 to 90 percent of the modular structures at ZETA headquarters for delivery.
Modular production saves labor time. As good capitalists and Marxists across the social-class divide well know, labor time creates wealth.
ZETA’s “parallel” work processes can shave up to 70 percent off construction time vs. “sequential” construction methods at a standard on-site building project, according to Sankaran. That time savings can translate to up to a 20 percent lower project cost, compared with on-site building expenses.
Also, ZETA cuts its factory production waste by about 90 percent, compared with that at a typical building site. For instance, the company reuses and recycles drywall, paint and wood scraps instead of discarding such materials.
Sankaran says that business has been growing but, however, declined to give year-over-year revenue figures to SN&R. (ZETA is a privately held company and not legally obligated to disclose its finances.) Black Coral Capital invested $5 million in ZETA in July 2010, bringing its market capitalization to $10 million.
On the local front, ZETA recently broke ground in Stockton on 22 multifamily, three-bedroom, two-bath homes, dubbed the Tierra del Sol project. Each home has “passive” solar design, plus high-efficiency lights and water heaters. ZETA is working on this project with Visionary Home Builders of California, San Joaquin County, the federal Department of Energy and ConSol.
ZETA is also providing some down-payment assistance to its 55-person, nonunion workforce at McClellan to buy Tierra del Sol homes. However, 90 percent of them live in the Sacramento region and don’t want to move, Sankaran explained.
ZETA also builds schools and small commercial buildings. In July 2010, the company delivered two kindergarten classrooms, a central administration office building and multipurpose room to the Davis Waldorf School.
“We are a very green-conscious school and valued this option as being consistent with our larger socially responsible goals,” said Kelly Brewer, Davis Waldorf’s administrator.
ZETA is also building two weight rooms for the San Juan Unified School District in Carmichael, an unincorporated neighborhood in Sacramento County.
The company is looking to expand its green-jobs workforce fourfold to 200 workers in two to three years across the country, according to Sankaran.
“We’re the traditional startup model,” she said. “Our goal is not only to have a factory at McClellan but to expand nationally.”
To view thntire article click on this link: www.newsreview.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!
What Is A Modular Home?
A modular home is highly engineered. It is constructed in sections and put together by a builder on your building site.Modular homes are designed, engineered and built in a factory controlled environment.
How Are Modular Homes Built?
The building process begins at the design phase. Most modular producers use state of the art computer aided design programs which aid them in customizing floor plans and producing drawings and material requirement lists. Once designed, the building process begins. This process is similar to what you’ve seen during the construction of houses in your neighborhood. The quality materials and care for detail, and the same building codes and standards are observed. As you can see, today’s modular homes are models of efficiency and quality assurance.
How Long Does The Building Process Take?
Speed and consistent quality are two of the many advantages for choosing to choose modular housing. On the average, a home consisting of two sections will be built in the factory within a couple of weeks. Once the manufacturing process is complete, typically with interior finish right down to carpets and wall finish, the unit must he transported to your home site and placed on the foundation. Final completion is usually handled by a local builder or general contractor and includes connection of utilities to the home, and a short list of finish work. Normally the home is completed in two or three weeks. For more information on the site work phase, and a slide show of a house being set, click here.
What’s The Difference Between a “Modular Home” and a “Manufactured Home”?
Manufactured homes, sometimes referred to as mobile homes, are constructed to a different building code. This code, the Federal Construction Safety Standards Act (HUD/CODE), unlike conventional building codes, requires manufactured homes to be constructed on a non-removable steel chassis. Many communities have restrictions on where manufactured homes can be located. Modular and site-built homes on the other hand, are constructed to the same building code required by your state, county and specific locality and therefore are not restricted by building or zoning regulations. Your new modular home is inspected at the assembly plant during each phase of construction. Evidence of this inspection is normally shown by the application of a State or inspection agency label of approval.
What Do Modular Homes Look Like?
Modular homes look like any other home. Today’s building technology has allowed modular manufacturers to build most any style of home from a simple ranch to a highly customized contemporary. And, it doesn’t stop with houses. Modular producers are busy building banks, schools, office buildings, motels and hotels. Chances are you’ve been in many modular structures and probably never realized it.
Can I Design My Own Modular Home?
Yes. Most modular companies allow the customer complete design flexibility. But remember every manufacturer is different. Engineering capabilities and product specifications will vary from company to company.
Is A Modular Home Better Than A Site Built Home?
The decision is clear. With a modular home you get efficiency and quality control. Efficiency begins with modern factory assembly line techniques. Your home travels to workstations, with all the building trades represented. Work is never delayed by weather, subcontractor no-shows or missing material. Quality engineering and modular construction techniques significantly increase the energy efficiency of your modular home. A quality control process provides 100% assurance that your home has been inspected for code compliance and workmanship. In-plant inspectors as well as independent inspection agencies inspect the home on behalf of your state & local government. Click here to learn more about modular home construction methods.
Are Modular Homes Difficult To Finance or Insure?
There is no distinction between modular and site built homes as far as appraisal or financing. Banks and lending institutions treat both types of construction the same. Likewise, there is no difference in insuring the modular property.
What Do Modular Homes Cost?
When you add up all the labor, material and time savings inherent in the modular building process, you will find that the price of a modular home is generally lower than a site built home of comparable size. Plus you will keep saving money year after year, as your energy efficient home keeps your heating and cooling bills low.
A Review Of The Benefits Of Modular Construction.
- Highly Engineered
- Constructed In Climate Controlled Environment
- Efficient Building Process & Material Usage
- Energy Efficient
- In-Plant Inspections
- Consistent Quality
- Speed Of Construction
- Design Flexibility
- Constructed To Meet Or Exceed Local Building Codes
A few jokes/riddles to get you through the rest of the week (or the rest of the day at this rate!)
Riddle: I drink the blood of the earth
and the trees fear my roar
yet a man may hold me in his hands
“Congratulations for what?” asks the construction worker.
“Congratulations for what?” says Saint Peter. “We are celebrating the fact that you lived to be 160 years old.”
“But that’s not true,” says the construction worker. “I only lived to be forty.”
“That’s impossible,” says Saint Peter, “we added up your time sheets.”
. 100% down and NO monthly payments
Peter Yost created a blog on water efficiency which you can find here.
I came across this article and knew I had to post. Recently, this blog has been focusing a lot of going green through saving energy. Now, we should move on focus on ways of going green through our water habits. Below is an article by Peter Yost that I know everyone should not only read, but follow:
Water: The Backseat Driver
When we talk about the environment and environmentally responsible building, it’s almost always energy that takes the spotlight, with water pretty far down the list. But it’s not hard to see just how much of a back seat driver water can be:
• We don’t have any substitutes for clean water and we use a ton of it every day.Actually, more like a ton and a half; the typical US household uses 400 gallons of water a day and that’s about 3200 pounds! (Source: EPA WaterSense)
• Even in areas of the country with long histories of more than 40 inches of precipitation a year, we can be just a few short years away from not enough water to support our needs. Atlanta averages more than 50 inches of rain a year but it was just a few short years ago that Atlanta was experiencing a severe prolonged drought. (Source: US Drought Monitor)
• In many areas of our country, the connections between water and energy are deep—in the state of California, more than one-sixth of all energy consumed is related to meeting water demands. Nationwide, about 80% of municipal water processing costs are for electricity. (Source: Center for Sustainable Systems)
And water is essential to more than just environmental quality; it is increasingly becoming a driver economically as well:
• Water and sewer infrastructure costs: EPA reports that updating our water and sewer infrastructure could cost nearly $500 billion over the next 20 years. (Source: EPA)
• Impact fees: In 2009, the impact fees for a water hook-up alone (not including sewer) averaged $3,582 in Florida; $5,792 in Virginia; $6,879 in Colorado. And forget about beautiful Oro Valley in Arizona—hook-up fees for new homes there are a whopping $27,381 per lot. (Source: National Impact Fee Survey: 2009)
• Water rates: In general, we have pretty low water rates, but that’s not true across-the-board. Typical monthly water bills for both Seattle and Atlanta are well over $70, and in Santa Fe are over $120. (Source: The Price of Water: A Comparison of Water Rates, Usage in 30 US Cities)
After reading this, how can we help in reducing the amount of water we use on a daily basis?
- Take shorter showers to reduce water use. This will lower your water and heating bills too.
- Wash your fruits and vegetables in a pan of water instead of running water from the tap
- Plant in the fall when conditions are cooler and rainfall is more plentiful
- Collect the water you use for rinsing fruits and vegetables, then reuse it to water houseplants.
- When washing dishes by hand, don’t let the water run while rinsing. Fill one sink with wash water and the other with rinse water.
- Run your clothes washer and dishwasher only when they are full. You can save up to 1,000 gallons a month.
- Shorten your shower by a minute or two and you’ll save up to 150 gallons per month.
- Turn off the water while brushing your teeth and save 25 gallons a month
- Washing dark clothes in cold water saves both on water and energy while it helps your clothes to keep their colors.
- When you are washing your hands, don’t let the water run while you lather