If you start talking about portable or modular buildings in schools, many will recall damp and uninviting cabins. Ones that use to pervade many educational facilities. Especially when they needed more space in a hurry or on a budget.

Today's Modular Buildings and modular classrooms Portable Solutions for Permanent Problems https://www.flickr.com/#/photos/seier/3678135417/

Modular buildings and classrooms enabling years of thinking ahead. Why, because it’s paying off for the School District of Palm Beach County. That’s both financially and from a sustainability perspective.

Instead of building two new school additions from scratch, the school re-used other school districts concrete and decided to stack. Stacking together purchased concrete relocatable modular classrooms from Royal Concrete Concepts, LLC (RCC). Most noteworthy is the 100-year life cycle of these modular classrooms.  Thereby creating large two-story additions. That’s at both Crestwood Middle School and Whispering Pines Elementary School.

Consequently, the individual units, engineering meets or exceeds High Velocity Wind Zone (HVWZ) requirements of the Florida Building Code. As well as designed for withstanding Category 5 Hurricanes. The school district purchased from Royal Concrete Concepts, LLC of West Palm Beach. Most noteworthy, they withstand everything. I mean several punishing hurricanes a year without a single failure.

However Modular buildings have been completely transformed. That’s thanks to new technology and quality manufacturing standards. So today’s portable buildings will now more likely be a modern and attractive building solution. One therefore that bears no resemblance to its predecessors.

Temporary building becoming rec gym

The temporary long-term solution
The image problem suffered by portable buildings is relatively easy to understand. Especially when you can find older ugly looking examples. Those structures that were put in place as a temporary solution. However then used constantly for many years.

Poor lighting and inadequate ventilation are just two issues that blighted these old buildings. All which were really meant to be temporary. So they have therefore gone well past their sell by date.

So for example and as I’ve written before:

Keen on the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (PCC) since 2012, Bowling Green State University (BGSU) recently renovated its indoor turf field with LED lighting to continue its environmental pledge.

Modular gym Saving energy with LED

The University worked with Cree to install their CXB Series.Thereby providing an unmatched combination of high performance and affordability. All the while replacing energy-wasting fluorescent and HID luminaires. The installation helped the university save more than $200,000 in energy and maintenance savings. That’s delivering a payback of less than two years. One feature of the CXB Series that BGSU did not anticipate was because the CXB Series luminaires are instant-on; staff had to learn they could turn the lights on and off as needed.

In the education community, it is difficult to come up with funds. In support of the PCC commitment and need for a budget, a few years ago, students set up the Student Green Initiatives Fund. It’s an optional $5.00 per semester fee to further environmental sustainability on campus. Cree’s CXB Series helped the university gain swift approval to use the fund to cover half of the project’s cost through rapid payback and emissions reductions.

For example, there are problems which can make your HVAC in modular buildings give off a horrible odor. The odor gets referred to as dirty sock syndrome. So we therefore all know how bad that can be.

If you switch on your HVAC and you immediately notice that there is a distinctly unpleasant odor in the air stop. Because this is something that licensed technicians are used to contending with and know how to fix dirty sock syndrome.

Prefabricated structures are a cheap and easy solution for schools and organizations that needed extra space. All in a hurry and on a limited budget. The positive point to note is that today’s modular buildings still offer a quick and cost-effective solution. However you will now be getting a building that is built to last and definitely fit for purpose.

Sustainable makeover
Environmental considerations are certainly on the agenda. Especially when it comes to building projects these days. So temporary portable classrooms in the form of ultra-modern modular buildings are able to tick a lot of boxes. Especially with their green credentials.

Portable classrooms for example, have always been in demand around the world. So as educational facilities sometimes struggle coping with the volume of students. So they need to teach at any one time. One of the problems with old portable buildings from the past was air quality. However this has been addressed. Consequently with the new structures that are available.
Portable classrooms in the form of modular buildings are now being designed to be as competent as possible in terms of emissions and energy-efficiency and the aim is to meet and exceed current standards regarding sustainable building.

A pleasant environment

The current generation of students are being taught in new modular buildings. Ones that have been designed as classrooms. Because they will enjoy better air quality thanks to improved technology and techniques. As well as they might even be in a building that generates its own energy. Finally then harvesting its own water too.

The point about the current generation of portable modular buildings is that they have the capacity. The capacity to become a genuine asset to the school. One that offers a viable solution to their needs. This is quite a turnaround from the previous generations of portable buildings. All which were more likely to be viewed as the weakest aspect of the school’s educational facilities.

Students and teachers are longer subjected to poor air quality. As well as an environment hardly conducive to learning. There are now portable solutions in the form of modular buildings. So therefore buildings that actually offer permanent answer to the needs of schools. As well as other organizations who need a modern and eco-friendly alternative to brick construction.

Antony Hunt started providing portable building solutions way back in 1984. As managing director for Smart Space, he likes to post what he has learned on the web. You can read his articles on many education, construction and business websites and blogs.

1 Comment

  1. We already started a project last summer, and we built six modular homes for six families in an area hit by drought.
    I can say that these houses can be the solution for the future society where efficiency will be the main key.

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