Monday, March 31, 2014

What Is An N.C.A.R.B. Architct?

Architectural degrees have varied levels of education just like many fields. There are additional accreditation's available for an architect that wants to continue their education further, and not just make pretty pictures of elevations on a set of plans. Many architects join the AIA (American Institute of Architects), and have continuing education credits every year. They learn new skills and subject matter from various presentations and classes. Usually larger architectural firms participate in this organization due to the fee schedule to be a member but there are local and state chapters located across the USA.

An architect can have a bachelors, masters, or Doctorate degree in architecture. Additionally architects can select a field of expertise (ie interior design, healthcare, alternative energy, etc).
With a degree in hand and certification from NAAB (National Architectural Board), the architect can further their education and become N.C.A.R.B. Accredited.
N.C.A.R.B. (National Council of Architectural Registration Boards). When an architect wants to expand his working territory geographically they must be registered in each state and hold a license to practice in each state or territory. N.C.A.R.B. is the organization that provides the documentation and certification that an architect is qualified to participate in practice in multiple geographic areas. The great advantage to having an N.C.A.R.B Architect is that they have had additional training hours in various climate zones, various regional special construction needs, and local building codes and IBC construction. Many N.C.A.R.B. Architects are also LEED or green building certified or hold Construction Management degrees as well.

By choosing a team that has N.C.A.R.B. architects you are getting an architect with a diverse background trained in multiple disciplines and interested in keeping learning refreshed on a more consistent basis.

The Senior Architect for Modular Solutions, Ltd is an N.C.A.R.B. Architect and consistently looks for a better way to fabricate and build off-site modular and prefabricated construction. Many modular companies use drafters, which are still designing from the same templates used in the 1980's, and just updating the code references. You want to find a team that will help you get the best value and a that has a fresh modern approach to custom modular structures contact the team at Modular Solutions, Ltd

PHONE: 800-441-8577 X 1

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Friday, March 28, 2014

How Did They Get That Modular Building In There?

Sometimes as you drive by your favorite location you see land for sale & think about how would anyone develop that site? That location is too landlocked to get any new construction done, and then you drive by a few weeks later and there is a complete modular building there, open for business! We are frequently asked "How did they get that modular building in there?

The fun aspect of modular construction is that buildings come in sections and components. Because they are delivered up to 99% complete in many cases all we have to do is find a way to get access to the site. What are some of the obstacles? Fenced in lots, buildings in the way, no roadways,uneven land conditions. Developing modular solutions requires the right team!

The modular industry has fun big boy toys that allow us to get a modular set up in the craziest of locations. We utilize cranes, crawlers, rails, jacks, rigging, steel plates, and other methods to get that building secured to a foundation on site.

Some of the crazier locations have included the top of a press box during grand prix, Behind a 12' high block wall with cyclone fencing in a prison facility, at the bottom of the Grand Canyon, at the birds nest of the Phoenix Open.....You get the idea- Modular buildings can be set anywhere.

So if you are thinking about an expansion but did not think you can put a modular building there, rethink it and give our preconstruction team a call for ideas.

Phone: 800-441-8577 x 1


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Thursday, March 27, 2014

Can I Get A Heavy Duty Floor Load In My Modular Building?

Many customers assume that since a modular building typically has wood sub floor, they can only use it for office space or light residential use. This is a huge misconception. When you are getting a commercial FBB modular building you can "BEEF" up the floor load in many ways to accommodate the need. Modular buildings have been used for commercial retails sales facilities, filing rooms, manufacturing, mini-storage/storage, fire stations, and hundreds of other industrial occupancies. The key is to design the modular building properly to accommodate the floor load requirements.

Tips to upgrade a floor load:

1. Upgrade the wood decking from 5/8" or 3/4" to 1 1/8"
2. Place your piers or foundation system in a much closer design. The closer the piers the stronger the floor load
3. Upgrade the floor joist size or use a steel perimeter frame. Making the joist closer together also helps. There are some great floor joist designs that are specially designed for this type of use and occupancy
4. Choose an alternative floor such as a "B" deck concrete floor or MPANEL panelized concrete floor system

By making these few minor changes you can use your modular building to store or hold virtually any design criteria, Just like a traditional site built structure.

For more information contact our preconstruction team at Modular Solutions, Ltd
Phone: 800-441-8577

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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

HUD Modular Home VS. IRC, What Is The Difference?

The manufactured housing industry uses terminology that intermingles and can become diluted or murky if you are not experienced in the acronyms used. Building codes are what determines the type of modular home you will be purchasing, and the method of approval and structural calculations are what makes the difference. Most of the time the difference between a HUD and an IRC modular home are the structural elements that you never see, but in the long run are thankful they were included.

HUD (US Dept of Housing & Urban Development) is a government agency that set up a minimum set of building standards to unify manufactured housing across the US. This code is varied depending on climate zone, but mostly identical. Local states and municipalities can require stiffer codes or compliance but HUD building standards are what most manufactured housing plants conform to, with the option to construct IRC homes for clients that want or need that as an option.

IRC (International Residential Code) is the code many municipal agencies have adopted and the more rigorous building standard. An IRC modular home is usually identified as a "MODULAR" and a HUD home is usually identified as a "MANUFACTURED HOME". An IRC home will always be more expensive, but has a longer life cycle for your new home.
For more information consult our team at Modular Solutions, Ltd
Phone: 800-441-8577

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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

What Is IBC Building Code, On A Modular Building

Modular buildings are constructed to follow the local and state regulations. Additionally there are other codes that have been made available to local and state agencies so there is some consistency in the construction industry. IBC (international building code) is a set of standards for life safety and construction codes that standardize construction methods. There are many agencies that will exceed or overwrite certain aspects of the IBC code, but most agencies have adopted the IBC building codes.
Check with your local and state agency to see what their codes are for modular construction to make sure that you are getting a building that will comply or exceed the minimum requirements. There are many used buildings in the marketplace that are grandfathered in, but many of the local agencies have laws written that prohibit the use of older modular buildings not constructed to the IBC codes.

To learn more about acceptable construction methods contact our team:
Modular Solutions, Ltd Phone: 800-441-8577 x 1

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Thursday, March 20, 2014

One Of These Modulars Is Not Like The Others

Traditional modular buildings are made from wood construction, wood floor joist, wood decking, wood siding, and meant to last 10-20 years. You see these buildings on every corner in USA and know by looking that the building is a modular structure. There is a new type of modular construction which has taken the USA by storm, and has rapidly become the modular construction method of choice. All buildings are constructed with steel framing, steel floor systems, and CONCRETE FLOORS.

The consumers wanted a modular building that could be installed in 90 days or less, but wanted a modular building with a 50+ year life cycle. Concrete floor modular buildings have many names in the industry "permanent, slab-on-grade, B-Deck, concrete floor, concrete deck" but in the end the space solution is a modular building built off site with a 4" concrete slab floor.

Key elements to ask for in a concrete floor modular:

1. Request 4" thick concrete minimum, with flexible concrete
2. Ask for steel framing and construction to withstand the weight and movement
3. Ask to be set with a crane, not railed into place
4. Ask for an architectural stamp on the plans, not just a structural seal

Since the modular industry has mobile trailer dealers that carry inventory or stock and custom modular buildings factories we suggest you purchase from a reputable and experienced factory that understands every aspect of installing a permanent modular building with a concrete floor.

For more information contact our team at Modular Solutions, Ltd
Phone: 800-441-8577

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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

How Long Does It Take To Install A Modular Building?

Modular Buildings have different uses. Depending on what the use and size of the building are depends on how long it takes to install a modular building.
Common uses:
Temporary construction trailer: One day or leess
Multi-section modular buildings for temporary use:one day per section
Permanent Modular Construction:
Usually set with a crane, and requires finishes on site (ie stucco, mechanical,floor coverings, etc) Allow 1 Week Per section for this type of use. This includes finishing all the architectural embellishments and move in ready. There are usually additional inspections required for this type of facility as well.

The fun part is watching a complete modular building be ready to occupy in a matter of days or weeks, from bare ground up.

For more installation tips & how-to's contact our preconstruction team at Modular Solutions, Ltd
Phone: 800-441-8577 x 1

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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Modular Buildings With Mini-Split Ductless Mechanical Systems

Many industries focus on one aspect of a construction project. With a modular building you have to make choices about EVERY detail and component that goes into a modular building. Some of our clients have asked me what is a "Mini-split-system", what are the benefits, and why would we choose that type of mechanical system?

All good questions, and in the end because you have choices it is good to be educated on various types of mechanical systems.

A Mini-split ductless system is great where you have multiple climates or uses in a facility. Frequently when adding ductwork on a renovation is not feasible a mini-split ductless system is beneficial because no ductwork is required.

How Efficient?
Most systems start with a 13 SEER rating or better
What is major benefit? Only cooling an area that is occupied. Since you can zone up to four areas per mini-split if you have off hour sessions or meeting rooms you can keep those climates controlled at a variable temperature setting saving on energy bills.
Does it cost more? Cost will vary depending on building use and occupancy, but the average is $800-1100/ Per ton of air.
Is Maintenance less? Typically yes, because there are no ducts to maintain you do not loose efficiency in the ductwork making a more efficient system operationally.

for more information contact our preconstruction team at:
Phone: 800-441-8577 x 1

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Monday, March 17, 2014

Modular Building Exterior- Stucco

In the southwest many of the permanent or long term modular buildings opt to put stucco on the exterior of the building. But "stucco" is a very generic term and even when selecting this exterior look there are many options to consider for your best value:

1. How many insulation points will it add to the value of the project 1" of foam can typically add 7RPOINTS to your insulation value. The foam can be varied thickness to add better insulation value
2. How many layers are required. Some varieties have a single coat that is sprayed on, others have a base coat, scratch coat, and finish.
3. Schedule of project- Traditional stucco requires curing time to alleviate cracks or blistering. Make sure you allow for this or use a different application method that does not require this
4. Color Selection- Some stucco applications are painted and others have the color integrated into the mix. Decide how you will deal with patching, or vandal touch up etc.
5. Elastomaric finish is usually the preferred method with modular construction because it moves with the flex of the building
6. Final texture: There are several varieties of finish from light trowel, knockdown, spanish lace, aged, spray stone, etc. Deciding the final finish you prefer is a consideration.

When you are considering your final finishes ask for samples and get a firm idea of how your facility will look in the end so that your decisions are educated and informed. Generic terms like "stucco" have been open to interpretation so choose your industry terms carefully and do your homework.

If you would like to learn more consult our preconstruciton and design team:
Phone: 800-441-8577 x 1

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Friday, March 14, 2014

Mobile Office Trailers, On The Go!

Mobile office trailers are used for short term or temporary space solutions. They are typically constructed with wood siding, and minimum construction standards to meet the IBC code. Mobile office buildings are usually in single wide or two sections and are used for many uses (modular church classrooms, mobile job trailers, portable classrooms, temporary staffing space)

Many clients choose to lease a mobile office so they can remove it from site at a later date when the permanent modular construction or site built construction is completed.

Ways to tell if you have a mobile office:
1. Wood or similar siding, for easy relocation
2. Wall construction typically 2 x 4 with vinyl covered gypsum walls
3. basic door & windows, light gauge minor commercial grade products
4. roof will be metal, or rubber (for ease of moving)

Choices are limited with mobile offices, so if you want something custom you might want to consider a modular building.

Contact our team to learn more or order an EBOOK.

Phone: 800-441-8577 x 1

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Thursday, March 13, 2014

Permanent Alternative Construction, The Best Of Both Worlds!

What is Permanent Alternative Construction (PAC)? PAC combines all of the great advantages of modular construction, into the quality and structure of a permanent building. Many ask so why not just site build? the construction industry time is money. An excellent example of this would be a modular school campus we recently constructed.

Traditional construction was going to take 16 Months, including 16 months of overhead, general conditions, site meetings, project management etc.(this did not include the preconstruction design time)
Modular Construction was going to take 6 months including ALL applicable design and construction.

The savings in general conditions alone 10 months at $12,500/Per Month OVER $120K in savings. While the cost for the building was very similar since the specification criteria was met Or exceeded in every way, the time savings brought value as the school realized revenue sooner, and the cost savings of the 10 months of general conditions and other cost factors.

Permanent Alternative Construction is identified as a time savings=quicker ROI and less overhead and management fees.
What is different in a PAC building?
Concrete Floors
High Ceilings
Attractive Exterior Finishes
50+ Year Life Cycle
In-House Architectural Team To Expedite Project
Concurrent Site/PAC Construction

Permanent Alternative Construction, Incorporates the BEST of both worlds.

For more information contact our team at Modular Solutions, Ltd
Phone: 800-441-8577 x 1

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Modular Buildings, Built to Last!

Modular buildings are the choice for clients when they want a building that will last, and yet can still be relocated if required. The great thing about a modular building is that you can get it in any type of configuration, design, layout, and finish schedule.

Custom Modular Buildings are commonly on sites for long term use 30+ years. A modular building will have some of the following traits:
1. Wood Sub floor from 3/4" to 1 1/8" thick
2. Crawl space for access to the foundation and utilities under the building
3. Versatile exterior finishes (most indiscernible from site built) when set "on-grade"
4. The frame and chassis are usually built onto the structure and are a part of the building, but can be removed
5. Construction package is usually better quality (ie steel framing, 2 x 6 walls, R-38 Roof insulation, high use commercial doors & windows, etc)
6. Better quality mechanical systems (13SEER or higher, ILO wall hung trailer pacs)
7. Uses include modular classrooms, church structures, modular cafeteria, modular multi-family housing, modular offices, modular clinics, etc.

To learn more contact our preconstruction team
PHONE: 800-441-8577 x 1

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Monday, March 10, 2014

What Is A Modular Building?

The term MODULAR BUILDING, gets tossed around and is used by many industries. From someone in the modular industry here is a little background. A modular buildings typically means a building that is fabricated off site, and then put together at the final destination. This comes in various stages and comes in various forms within the industry:
You can also order our EBOOK from our website for more information.

1. Mobile offices - deliver 100% complete in one or two sections for temporary use
2. Modular Building - multiple sections usually about 80- to 90% complete built off site & finished on site for longer term use can still be relocated
3. prefabricated building- multiple sections manufactured in many different ways for many different uses
a. prefabricated wall systems, for inside warehouses or industrial use
b. MPANELS-prefabricated wall and roof systems with the roughins for electrical and plumbing - fabricated off site and transported to site set with a crane and ready for finishes in hours. Used for unlimited building options
c. Hybrid- Mixes site built and prefabricated to get high walls and ceiling, for multi-family, hotels , etc
4. Permanent Alternative Construction- Allows for concrete floors, stucco and architectural finishes, high ceilings, all the things you want in a permanent structure, just fabricated off site and finished on site. Permanent construction is built to have a 50+ year life cycle and meet or exceed all local and state building codes.
5. Steel Buildings- The basic structural package is built off site and then put together on site by the installation team. This sets on a concrete slab. While not as fast as a modular choice this is often used in conjunction with modular construction (ie a church that wants the worship center open high beam and the classrooms on the side to be modular)

Not all factories and dealers offer all of the above. Modular Solutions, Ltd will offer any of the above space solutions. The determining factor is your budget, your schedule, and your use. Contact our local preconstruction team for more details.
Phone: 800-441-8577 x 1

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Wednesday, March 5, 2014

How To Utilize GSA Procurement For Federal Agencies

GSA procurement is a primarily a federal tool that helps federal agencies expedite purchasing of goods and services from preapproved vendors. GSA requires vendors to submit predetermined pricing and information packages. This allows the contracting officer to look at vendors experience, pricing, volume and make quick and educated purchasing decisions.

Modular buildings are on the GSA schedule. Modular Solutions, Ltd has held a GSA schedule since 2000, and provided projects CONUS for the federal government.

Some general information on how to find modular buildings on the GSA schedule:

1. FSC Class is 5410, GSA schedule56
2. SIN Description is 361 10 A-H with categories for temporary, disaster relief, and permanent construction
3. Installation services are included in 361 30 & 361 32.
4. Design build construction can be included in your purchase, we have supplemental categories for this tasking.
5. Utility connections are included in the various schedule 56 categories, as packaged by individual firms

When you need a modular building that has great value, or you need a modular building quickly GSA schedule is a great way to expedite moving into your modular building without the procurement delays.

On another note: Some states allow GSA to be extended to local or school jurisdictions. Arizona for example, has a statute that allows school districts to utilize the GSA schedule when it is in the best interest of the school district and a value to the district. Check with your state to see if this is an option.

For more information contact us:
Phone: 800-441-8577 x 1

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Monday, March 3, 2014

Modular Daycare Center

Trusting little ones in the care of others is always a big step for parents. Choosing a daycare center to take the children to is an important decision. What impacts the choices a parent will make when looking at a daycare program. According to internet sources 70% of the decision is based on how the facility looks. So if the look and the quality are important to parents how can we help you with designing the perfect modular daycare facility?

Our team will walk you through a few preliminary tips to ensure you get the enrollment you need to keep your ROI high, and start getting revenue sooner. A traditional daycare facility can take from 12-18 months to design & construct. Wouldn't it be great to have the same quality building, and be open for revenue in less than six months?

Design tips:

1. Know how many kids you want to license and grow to, and design around those sq. ft. $'s and size.
2. Use built in furnishings, they are attractive and allow easy cleaning and beautiful appearance.
3. Hire a team that has an architect on staff to get you through your state facilities review, critical to opening quicker.
4. Design a simple flow, ask if concrete floors are available if you want a permanent structure.
5. Design a facility that can grow, if you are successful you will want to add classrooms effortlessly, and afford ably. Plan phases in your design.
6. Finishes, finishes, finishes, the fun finishes are what catches the parents eye and lets them know you built a permanent modular building.

For more information contact our team at Modular Solutions, Ltd
Phone: 800-441-8577 x 1