Last Month, Ramtech’s Vice President of Engineering Roland Brown, was notified that he was reappointed as the Presiding Officer of the Texas Industrialized Building Code Council. Since the council was formed in 1984, Roland has been the only representative from the commercial modular building industry to hold the presiding officer position. He was reelected unanimously by the other ten members on the council, which functions as an advisory board for the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation on issues related to the regulation of the industrialized housing and commercial building industries.
Originally appointed to the Council by former Texas Governor Rick Perry in October 2010, Roland was reappointed by Governor Greg Abbott in 2019 to serve another two-year term which will expire on February 1, 2021. Roland is the longest serving member in the history of the Texas IBCC.
In addition to his service on the IBCC, he is currently on the board of directors as Past President for the Modular Building Institute, the international nonprofit trade association that represents the commercial modular construction industry. Roland is also a member of the International Code Council where he has been an advocate for addressing code and compliance issues that affect the modular building industry. Roland began his career in the modular building industry in 1981, and since that time he has developed a long track record of creating unique structural designs which have made significant contributions to the technical evolution of the commercial modular industry.
Ramtech has begun the installation of the 26 non-combustible steel-framed modular sections that will make up the two-story multi-use office building we’re constructing for Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) in Los Alamos, NM. The module setting process began for the 22,680 square foot permanent modular building after we were required to spend several weeks performing an extensive sub-surface investigation. This was done to locate both the known and unknown utilities and the remnants of a previous structure prior to developing the foundation for the building.
The project is being built using our innovative slab-on-grade permanent modular construction process. Using this method, factory-built modular sections are constructed as three-dimensional structural components with attached walls but no floor. The modular sections are then transported to the construction site and installed by crane directly onto a conventional concrete slab foundation. This allows the concrete slab to become the floor of the building just like a typical site-built structure.
Designated as a Multi-Use Office Building (MUOB) project, the new facility is being installed adjacent to LANL’s main headquarters located in Technical Area 3. The permanent modular office building will include an atrium, elevator, and two stairwells. The floor plan calls for 67 personal business offices in three sizes, along with an open office plan on both floors that can accommodate 12 freestanding office spaces using custom furniture cubicles.
Although the building is not LEED certified, the facility does require that the design and construction incorporate materials that are specified to process and utilize sustainable methods. The turnkey project also required us to perform all the necessary site work including the extension and connection of utilities. The exterior finishes call for a permanent look using durable Hi-Rib horizontal metal panels at grade and an Exterior Insulation and Finish System (EIFS) with stucco textures that will accent the buildings geometry. The roofing system will incorporate a multi-layer SBS Modified Bitumen DOE “cool” installation. The interior materials and finishes have all been chosen based on aesthetics, sustainability, durability, and ease of maintenance in order to provide a facility that promotes an exceptional work environment for the building’s occupants. Ramtech expects to have the project completed prior to March of 2021.
The value engineering of a modular building – including the layout itself – provides for a systematic way of looking at a project in order to substitute materials and methods with lower cost alternatives that don’t sacrifice the function or quality of the facility. Since our inception, Ramtech has continually practiced the concept of value engineering in order to meet both our customers expectations while also meeting their budgets. With a resume of over 4,500 successfully completed projects, we have the experience and know-how to build exceptional value into every relocatable modular building and permanent modular construction project we do. To achieve it, it’s critical that the value engineering process takes place early in the design phase through proper programming with the client. Click the image below to an article in Construction Dive and explore how value engineering works in practice, and the role it can play in making modular construction a better choice for commercial building projects.
Ramtech recently completed the installation of a permanent modular building for use as a police department headquarters for the City of Cottonwood Shores, TX. The 2,184 square foot facility provides additional space and room for growth for the city’s current five-officer police department. The building replaced an aging 720 square foot facility that was declared too structurally unsound to be repaired or added on to.
The new modular building provides two private offices for the chief of police and the second in command of the police department. Also included is a large open office area for the patrol officers, one intake and two interrogation rooms, a large evidence storage room, and a break room area. The modular building was constructed using our pier and beam permanent modular construction approach, with the modular sections installed on a stem wall foundation system that was provided by the city. A combination of 26 gauge R-panel siding and stone veneer were installed on the exterior parapet wall which included a concealed roof line with additional height at the main entry to enhance the architectural appearance. The interior was finished with cost-effective vinyl covered gypsum on the walls and vinyl composition tile flooring throughout the facility.
The city of Cottonwood Shores is located 50 miles west of Austin. Occupying two square miles on the south bank of the Colorado River in southwestern Burnet County, the community has seen consistent growth and now has approximately 1,200 residents. Ramtech was able to complete the installation and finish-out of the permanent modular building in just over five weeks.
For years natural and man-made disasters have resulted in the widespread use of relocatable modular buildings to meet short and extended use replacement facility needs. This allows schools, government agencies, healthcare providers and commercial businesses to open and get back to operating quickly without significant delays. A case in point was an entire middle and high school campus that Ramtech built for West ISD after the massive fertilizer plant explosion destroyed two of the district’s schools in April of 2013.
Now, with the current COVID-19 pandemic, modular construction has once again been brought to the forefront, with high profile projects that have helped to provide urgent care medical facilities in China and other hot spots around the globe. However the impact that modular construction has made may be changing attitudes well after the crises eases, as this article from our friends at Architizer.com point out in the ‘8 Ways COVID-19 Will Change Architecture’. It includes a strong argument for an increase in the use of modular construction.
Read about eight of these new approaches including, modular construction, that may have long lasting impacts on the way cities are designed following the COVID-19 outbreak here.