Whether it’s a freestanding facility or an addition to an existing building, modular buildings can be designed to meet or exceed the architectural aesthetics of traditional site- built structures. Ramtech’s pier and beam and slab-on-grade permanent modular construction methods can accept any exterior cladding combinations, providing the same curb appeal as site-built structures. This includes brick, block, or stone masonry, an Exterior Insulation Finishing System (EIFS), various fiber-cement sidings, and all types of architectural metal panels.
In these images, pre-finished architectural split faced block standard concrete masonry units (CMUs) were chosen to match the exterior of the adjacent main structure. They are accompanied by a wainscot row of smooth white block at the window level with additional split faced block above that rising to two additional bands of white block at the top of the building. Today’s generation of both relocatable and permanent modular buildings have a greater degree of curb appeal and functionality than ever before. This ability to compete with the aesthetics of site-built facilities has led to an increase in the number of design professionals willing to embrace modular building systems.
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.