A very positive review of the current state of the modular construction industry and the future outlook for it was recently published in The Architect’s Newspaper. The article quotes the The National Real Estate Investor which showed that in the last five years the modular construction industry has doubled in size to over $8 billion. The increased productivity and lower overall design and construction costs were indicated as the most significant factors in the choice of using modular construction for commercial projects. The article also references the 2018 Commercial Construction Index economic indicator, a report jointly published by USG Corporation and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce that tracks trends in commercial construction. It showed that more than 70 percent of surveyed contractors see eight distinct benefits in using modular construction including increases in efficiency, productivity, safety, and quality, while reducing risk, costs, material waste, and construction times. The reduction in the overall project timeline also leads to an increase in the opportunity costs by allowing revenue-earning buildings to begin doing so faster than facilities built using other construction methods. The whole article can be viewed here.
The materials used in permanent modular construction are no different than site built structures. This includes critical features like roofing applications. For large or small parapet wall facilities with low slope roofs, Ramtech prefers to use and install TPO (Thermoplastic Polyolefin) roofing material because of its durability and flexibility. This type of roofing material will adapt to a building’s movement and setting while still remaining resistant to impact damage, tears, or punctures.
TPO roofs are resistant to dirt, algae buildup, and debris and will improve a building’s energy efficiency because of it’s substantial heat-reflective properties and the able to minimize the urban heat island effect. They’re also environmentally friendly with ability to be 100% recycled at the end of their lifespan. Ramtech applies the TPO material during the construction phase in our manufacturing plant, then seams the roof at the mate lines it the jobsite. This can be done quickly by nailing in both the plywood sheathing and DensDeck prime roof board before overlaying the TPO to complete the assembly.
From our friends at Building Design & Construction. There is a severe housing shortage in the UK which experts say will require cities to build an average of 10,500 new homes per month every year through 2038. That demand will require the country’s construction industry to increase its productivity by 30%, essentially requiring a shift from construction to production. The six story factory in the image moves up as each new floor is completed, on average, in 55 hours. On this project they were able to complete 18 floors in 18 weeks. Check out the video embedded in the article here to see how the process works.
Whether it’s a pier and beam or a slab-on-grade building, both of Ramtech’s permanent modular construction approaches can be installed quickly in a matter of days, eliminating the weather delays that frequently plague site construction projects. Our pier and beam type permanent modular buildings can be installed either by using a crane, or by rolling them into place if the area has adequate space for maneuvering the individual modular sections. The accompanying images show how the rolling process works once the foundation has been completed and is ready to support the modular sections.
The modules are moved onto the grade beams, aligned with its adjacent section, lowered onto CMU blocks, then anchored and lagged together to form a complete building. Once an individual section is put into place it can be quickly weathered in at the seams to keep out the elements so the interior and exterior finish-out process can begin.
The extension and connection of utilities requires the same site work elements for relocatable and permanent modular buildings as it does for site built structures. As a design-build construction company, Ramtech can manage every aspect of the site development and improvements for all project sizes and sophistication levels. These images show the preparation for the electrical service being brought to the main distribution panel for the 10,624 square foot adult education building for First Baptist Carrollton Church.
One of the benefits of modular construction is the inherent ability to minimize weather delays on the job site. Since the structure is being produced offsite, the ability to quickly set the modules on the foundation and weather them in speeds up the entire construction timeline. This means there’s no waiting for the framing or erection and other onsite construction activities to take place – the typical site-built work elements that are subject to weather related delays. With modular construction, once you install it you can immediately begin performing the interior finish-out with no delays. This also keeps any weather related materials damage to a minimum.
The Pier and Beam Permanent Modular Buildings that Ramtech is currently building for First Baptist Carrollton is a good case in point. Although the rainy spring made getting the foundations in place a challenge, once the first one was poured we were able to quickly get one of the two modular buildings placed on it. Then, as the pictures show, while the foundation for the second building was being developed we were already performing the interior work on the first building. With J&P Contractors Inc.
Ramtech Completes Modular Building for Temporary Flying Squadron Facility at Vance Air Force Base in Enid, OK
Ramtech recently completed a 17,284 square foot Temporary Flying Squadron Facility for the 33d Flying Training Squadron at Vance Air Force Base in Enid, Oklahoma. Procured using a five-year operating lease, the single-story modular building complex will be used for pilot training as part of a program aimed at increasing the graduation rate to address the shortage of pilots that currently exists within the U.S. Air Force. Ramtech worked with the 71st Mission Support Group and ASRCC, Vance AFB’s Base Operations Support contractor, to develop the project. The L-shaped relocatable modular building provides space for 15 offices, eight training classrooms, four operations rooms, a squadron briefing room, conference room, and a reception area. The facility’s exterior was designed with R-Panel metal siding and a TPO membrane roof. The interior utilizes vinyl covered gypsum on the walls and a combination of carpet tiles, vinyl composition tile, and sheet vinyl for the flooring. The heating and cooling of the facility is accommodated by 14 Bard Exterior Wall Mount ducted air-conditioners. As part of the design-build contract, Ramtech was responsible for providing all of the office and classroom furniture throughout the building, along with the site development including the building pad, the extension and connection of all utilities, and the fire sprinkler and alarm systems.
Last month, McKinsey & Company published a comprehensive study of the growing impact of modular construction in the U.S and Europe. Titled, ‘Modular Construction: From projects to products‘, the study puts into focus what the commercial modular industry has long held to be the case. Namely, that modular can deliver projects 20% to 50% faster than site construction methods while also reducing project costs up to 20%. The report cites the technological improvements, economic demands, and the changing mind-sets that is drawing significant interest and investment which has the potential to vastly change the way projects are built today. The study goes on to show how a shift to modular construction could have a significant positive impact on global productivity by accelerating and compressing the project timeline while alleviating the impact of labor shortages in many areas.. The full report is available for download here.
As a vertically integrated design-build construction company, Ramtech has been at the forefront in developing a beneficial and cost-effective D-B delivery model for commercial modular construction projects. Ever since design-build became available to use for public projects in Texas in the 1990’s, Ramtech has been able to show end-users that D-B can save them money, and is a faster process than design-bid-build or construction manager at risk. There’s a good synopsis on the three methods in this article from buildingindiana.com.
With the rainy spring having eased off somewhat, Ramtech has been in the process of installing the second of two permanent modular buildings for First Baptist Carrollton. The 26,624 square foot project is utilizing Ramtech’s pier and beam permanent modular construction process that will yield two education buildings as part of the church’s relocation from its current location. The first building, a 10,624 square foot facility for adults, was installed in May and incorporates a central corridor with seven classrooms with men’s and women’s restroom facilities on either side. The second building will provide 16,000 square feet of space with two large worship areas, six classrooms, and a boys and girls restrooms for the middle and high school programs. Ramtech developed a grade beam foundation system with drilled and belled piers for both structures, which have been designed to incorporate parapet walls with full masonry exteriors and TPO roofs. The heating and cooling of each building will be accommodated using zoned split system HVAC units. The interiors finishes will utilize vinyl covered gypsum for the walls and a combination of carpet tile, vinyl composition tile, and sheet vinyl for the flooring. Ramtech will also install fire sprinkler systems in both buildings. (more…)