As Ramtech begins to see more and more projects that are requiring LEED certification and sophisticated sustainability requirements, we have begun the process of developing an informational guide around sustainable construction alternatives that can aid public school districts in their decision-making process when planning for permanent school expansions. Planned during the first quarter of 2014, Ramtech’s Green Benefits guide will help educate schools on the efficiencies of using sustainable construction techniques that can be realized through the use of permanent modular construction like Ramtech’s highly adaptable Accelerated Building System process. Recognized by the Modular Building Institute, the trade association that represents the commercial modular building industry in promoting permanent modular construction across a wide variety of industries for public, private, and institutional applications, the Green Benefits advantages provide for sustainability through:
- Less material waste using pre-fabrication in order to make it possible to optimize construction material purchases while minimizing the on-site waste caused by weather related damages.
- Less site disturbances since the modular structure is constructed simultaneously off-site while the foundation and other site work takes place, thereby reducing the time and impact on the surrounding site environment including reducing the number of vehicles and equipment needed.
- The off-site construction which helps eliminate the hazards associated with materials, equipment and incomplete construction processes that are typical of construction sites that can attract curious and unwelcome “visitors” (i.e. students on a school expansion project).
- An adaptability inherent in modular buildings which are frequently designed to quickly add or remove one or more “modules” minimizing the disruptions to adjacent buildings and surroundings.
For the last several years, the Modular Building Institute (MBI) has attempted to address the inequalities of the International Green Construction Code when applied to small commercial construction projects, as these are the heart of the commercial modular industry. MBI promotes the fact that modular buildings are one of the best platforms for sustainable building construction today for the following reasons:
- Factory construction means greater waste diversion from landfills
- Factory controlled construction means greater use of recycling practices
- Off-site construction means less site disruption
- Ability of modular buildings to be relocated and repurposed means fewer buildings being demolished and ultimately less waste
As we have stated before, sustainable construction practices make sense when applied in scale to the overall project. Small projects bear an inordinate amount of costs to attain certain levels of sustainable construction when compared to large public and private sector work; however, there may be more to question when it comes to green construction. (more…)
“Sustainable”, “Green”, and “LEED certified” are terms often used in the construction industry to reference buildings that are designed and constructed in an environmentally responsible way. This means building in greater energy efficiencies, using fewer natural resources during construction, and creating a healthier workplace while reducing pollution and waste. The primary challenge in achieving sustainable construction lies in its cost. During tough economic times it can be difficult for an owner to invest in the resources necessary to meet LEED or voluntary IgCC requirements. However, a recent article in the Guardian references how America’s commercial, institutional, and governmental agencies could learn a great deal from the success Europe and China are having by using a familiar, cost effective means to achieve sustainability: permanent modular construction. (more…)
The blog site for the Modular Building Institute recently posted an article that addressed upcoming spending reductions by the Department of Defense. The article stated that “Defense spending may be down somewhat, but there’s still plenty of project dollars out there if you know where to look,” while also adding that firms seeking military contracts must keep abreast of five military construction trends. Ramtech took a look at these trends to show how our approach to permanent modular building construction satifies these requirements. (more…)
The 2012 International Green Construction Code was published in March of this year. This model code is now available for adoption by state and local governmental bodies that rule over construction. So far over a dozen of these entities have adopted the 2012 IgCC in whole on a voluntary basis or in part on a mandatory basis. Arguably most significant of these adoptions is the State of Florida. Florida has adopted the IgCC as an option for the retrofitting and new construction of all state-owned facilities. Previously, Florida law did not recognize any kind of green construction code, only voluntary rating systems (LEED). The legislation specifically allows the IgCC to be used by the Department of Management Services and encourages state agencies to adopt the IgCC as a model green building code that will apply to all buildings financed by the state, including county, municipal, school districts, water management districts, state universities, community colleges and state court buildings. The legislation noted that Florida lawmakers expect the IgCC to serve as a model for private sector adoption of sustainable building measures. (more…)
We have written recently about how the general construction industry is pushing for, and has moved towards a greater degree of integration with prefabrication and modular construction. Further evidence of this is contained in a new report from the McGraw-Hill construction group titled Prefabrication and Modularization: Increasing Productivity in the Construction Industry. The theme of the report is focused on the “trend to and re-emergence of prefab and modular“ through the use of BIM and green building, but the report also goes into another area of particular interest to the modular building industry, Lean Construction. (more…)
The latest round of the IgCC Code Development Hearings were held in Dallas last week, and by all accounts the modular building industry was able to put forward some convincing arguments to clarify and protect the industry’s members. Overall, 13 of the modular construction industry’s comments were approved which was above the overall average. The modular building industry was well represented at the hearings, led by the Modular Building Institute’s executive director Tom Hardiman, and Code Consultants Vickie Lovell and John Woestman who received strong support at the hearing from other MBI members. (more…)
On April 29, 2011 Ramtech’s Roland Brown attended his first meeting of the Texas Industrialized Building Code Council since his re-appointment to the Council by Texas Governor Rick Perry earlier in the month. Along with existing members of the Council, Mr. Brown was joined by new members Doug Robinson of Williams Scotsman, and Scott McDonald, a building official from the city of Amarillo. One of the main items on the agenda with implications for the modular building industry was an explanation of the current progress in the review of the 2009 International Code Council I-Codes. (more…)
At the recent MBI annual convention “World of Modular”, a common theme that emerged from the presenter was the increase in sustainable construction techniques. All things green were discussed and what role modular construction should play in this evolution.
McGraw Hill publishing provided statistics showing that even in a declining construction market, green construction has gained momentum. (more…)
The first public version of the International Green Construction Code was made available in March of 2010 and immediately started a firestorm in the Commercial Modular Building Industry. Modular as well as other forms of pre-fab buildings always view new codes and regulations with a wary eye for the simple reason that the framers of these documents never consider alternative forms of construction when authoring new codes. The new IgCC is a perfect example. (more…)