Monday, February 29, 2016

Modular Building Foundation Options

Modular Building Foundations, Which Is Best?

Choosing The Right Modular Building Foundation For Your Commercial Modular Building

Prefabricated commercial buildings and modular buildings can be set on all types of foundation systems. There are permanent foundations, temporary foundations, earthquake foundations, adjustable foundations.  How do you tell which foundation system is right for your application and use?

Some quick options and tips:

  • Steel piers on concrete or treated wood or ABS plastic pads:  This method is utilized when there are shifting soil conditions & quick relevel is the solution.  This method is also used for temporary installations. 
  • another very frequent type of foundation that is flexible is called "dry-stack" foundation.  CMU blocks are stacked and shims are used to level the building.  There is not any solid grout or any rebar used in this method of installation.  You see this much in the central US.
  • When clients are looking for a more permanent solution and do not intend to move the building they will choose a CMU or Concrete foundation.  This has a wall around the entire perimeter of the building, and ribbon footings with sono tubes or block piers to support load bearing areas
The key to successful foundation systems is to choose one that meets the short and long term goals for your site location.    For example if you have really bad soils that shift and are expansive it is expensive to dig down & put in the footers for this type of soil.  some sites are excavated down 20' - 30' deep to bring in good soil that will support the building and the use.     In this case even if the use is permanent it can be more cost-effective to utilize the adjustable steel piers and concrete or treated wood pads and then you can relevel the site as required.

We suggest a soils engineering report for best results.  for a few thousand dollars you are able to identify the type of soil and the best foundation system for your modular building.                                                                                                   
Let our team help you identify the best foundation solution for your modular building needs.

Contact us at:
Modular Solutions, ltd
Toll Free Phone:  800-441-8577 x 1 (sales)

Monday, February 15, 2016

Modular Health Care Clinic Design

Health Care Design Tips To Shorten Waiting Room Time

I saw this article in healthcare design written by Delia Caldwell is director of project delivery at Freeman White (Charlotte, N.C.).   The article contained some great tips to speeding up the time a patient waits for services, which can easily be incorporated into your modular clinic design.

  • Use multi-function rooms with portable equipment:  This allows the patient services to be diverse and allows the nursing team and doctors to take care of multiple health care concerns within the same exam room space.
  • Utilize exam rooms that coincide with your staff ratio: Example if your staff ratio is 4:1 then utilize 16 exam rooms allowing each staff member to have equal responsibility and equalizing waiting time for clients. 
  • Shared changing areas: Utilizing a changing area for multiple clients with lockers will free up the space serving allowing service to multiple clients during a process such as an MRI.  This frees the room while the client is receiving services, allowing quicker processing of other clients waiting to enter or leave the facility after a medical service has been performed.

  • Storage:  Make sure there is sufficient storage in each exam room.  This helps the staff from searching all over to find common items used in patient service.  Keeping a well stocked exam room allows the patient to receive needed attention promptly and keeps staff from having to leave the patient to find simple day-to-day service items.
for more information on modular clinic design meet our team:

Modular Solutions, Ltd
Phone: 800-441-8577

Friday, February 5, 2016

Commercial Modular Building Siding Choices

Commercial Modular Building Advantages, Life Cycle, & Global Warming Impact Study Released

What siding to choose for my new commercial modular building?

The modular building industry has seen some great siding or exterior finish options over the years, and has also had some options that performed with less than desirable results.  Since this blog is about sharing, and learning together I found a study on line that is a comparison of the various sidings. 
This study reveals life cycle, cost per sq. ft (which will of course vary, but great for consumer budgeting spread sheets), and global warming impact.
There are so many considerations when selecting a final siding.  

Up NW in cold and wet climate a majority of our clients prefer the hardi (cement) lap siding.   In the SW they like stucco.  In the central and midwest parts of the USA they like wood siding or vinyl siding.  In the SE seem that Steel or Aluminum are high selling.  We have to help our clients look at options every day, and there are many factors that contribute to the final choice.

  • What do other buildings in the area look like
  • How long do we want the building to last & how much budget do we have
  • Do you want to make an architectural statement
  • What are the severe weather conditions in your area
  • Are you concerned with recycle value at the end of the life cycle
  • Do you want a sustainable product for your siding finish
Options and Analysis
Cladding Alternatives
Cladding typesExpected Life (years)cost/sf (material + labor)cost/sf/yr of expected lifeEnd-of-LifePractice
stucco75 (depends on maintenance)$4.18$0.075Landfilled (metal lath recyclable)standard
brick100+(typically life of the bldg)$9.70-$15.30$0.078Possible reusestandard
wood25-75 (depends on maintenance)$3.07*-$4.95$0.080Biodegradablestandard
fiber-cement501$2.31-$2.75$0.051Recyclable (currently no programs available)May require some training (cutting & sealing joints)
vinyl35$1.75-$2.06$0.076Recyclable (currently no programs available)standard
wood-resin/plastic composite20-30not availablenot availableDifficult to recyclestandard

For a full review of the study follow this LINK.   We will also be glad to help you evaluate your choices and your options.    Call our team or email us with any questions:

Phone: 800-441-8577 x 1 (Sales)

Monday, February 1, 2016

Modular Building Space Planning, It's Like Building A Puzzle

Modular Building Space Planning Is Like Building A Puzzle, Piece By Piece & Until The Solution Is Solved

What Is A Space Plan? (fun puzzle link)

A space plan is taking your goals for current team members, and also looking long term to see how much space you need and what makes the most sense in how the layout will flow.

We have seen some very bad space planning on sites that resulted in hundreds of thousands of $'s in rework due to short term vs. long term planning.  A little preconstruction planning will always help you avoid costly mistakes.

Some tips to help you grow wisely:
ADA Ramps & AccessGrading Utlitiy ImprovementUtility Development
  • Full time staff vs. part time or volunteers.  Can they share spaces or does your industry require secured individual offices
  • Where are the site utilities located.  Don't plan on future expansion being where current utilities are located.   Relocating utilities can be a very expensive afterthought
  • Parking is always a concern, do you have sufficient space for all employees, is public transportation an option, does your organization encourage ride share programs.
  • Fire and life safety are most important, look at egress, fire hydrants, type of addressable alarm systems, and current infrastructure size.   Plan ahead!
  • Know your neighbors, see what their thoughts are about sharing expenses for fencing, landscape and other common site needs.
  • Look at watershed on the property, make sure you plan grading around natural flows so your earthwork costs are less, and over-design retention areas in urban cities.
  • To make sure your property is large enough research city setbacks.  Often a 40' or 50' setback is required on a front yard, that can really eliminate future growth options.

For more information or for a initial site consultation and building preconstruction meeting contact our team.  

Modular Solutions, Ltd
Phone:   800-441-8577 x 1 (sales)