Size: Module sizes begin with width of module; this can range from 8′ to 16′ in 2 foot increments. The usual, and generally the most economical, is 12′ or 14′. The advent of new laws allowing over-highway shipment of 16′ wide modules may produce some economies in adding square footage without adding additional modules, but has higher cost of transport and some added construction costs.
Length will vary from as short as 24′ to as long as 72′. For a plan requiring more than 72′ in module length, multiple modules can generally accommodate the requirement. Height is usually dictated by desired ceiling height, which normally is 96″ with some ceilings reaching 120”, and DOT height restrictions for transport over the roads.
Materials: Modular units are manufactured from the same basic building materials as are used in conventional construction – lumber, steel, doors, windows, roofing, siding, drywall, carpet, and flooring, etc. – even some concrete. As a custom manufacturer we often modify our specifications to accommodate the customers desired finishes.
Custom design and standardized components: We offer to consult with potential buyers of modular commercial and residential buildings, to determine as quickly as possible: a) feasibility of modular construction to meet the proposed use; b) economic savings, if any, including time; c) possible choices of appearance for finished product. If the project appears to be feasible, we can prepare preliminary drawings and specifications for consideration under certain circumstances, or to quote a fixed price for a specific plan. Where public sealed bids are involved, we are happy to provide “budget estimates” for the agency involved, if we are capable of bidding the project ourselves. As is true with most design work, function leads to shape. Classrooms, offices, clinics, labs, and other similar functions will have similar shapes. The textures, materials, etc., will be governed by the desire of the owner as to appearance and cost.
Special materials: We are happy to incorporate many special materials into our modules; our plant is capable of handling almost any available material. Special sidings, finishes, fire-retardant wood (both interior and exterior), and other special items are no problem. We also offer set/trim/finish work on site that other modular manufacturers do not offer.
Design considerations: For buildings up to about 1,000 square feet, there are relatively few choices needed in design. Usually only two sections are needed, of about 12′ x 40′ (floor size dimensions). However, from 1,000 square feet and larger, design considerations must include complexity of floor plan, and how section joints will be affected, distribution of conditioned air, exterior appearance, site space, and many other details. Generally speaking, the larger the modules, up to about 14′ x 60′, the less the cost per square foot of finished building. However, this is not always true if the sections become complicated in electrical, plumbing, and mechanical details. Sometimes it’s cheaper to make the modules smaller individually and simplify the manufacturing process. Usually, prospective buyers come to us with a fairly good idea of the amount of space they need and a general cost budget. From this, feasibility can usually be determined quickly. The larger the building, the lower the cost per square foot, almost invariably, within a given budget area. This is due to costs, and overhead being pro-rated over a larger area.
Are your buildings insulated well? Any amount of insulation can usually be incorporated into our designs, including added air space in wall cavities, fixed glass openings, low E insulated glass, additional insulation. Our “standard” details offer a lower “U-factor” or “R-factor” than most conventional construction.
What kind of air conditioning and heating systems do you use? Most commercial plans use wall-mounted package units – they take up less space, function very well with absolutely minimum service and maintenance. We also use split-systems, with remote compressors, heat pumps, roof-mount packages, and others – whatever suits the application.
What sort of doors and hardware do you offer? We favor insulated fiberglass doors for exterior uses, or sometimes glass doors, if appearance is particularly important – although we prefer to recess these to cut down on heat loss/gain. However, wood doors, plain or fancy, or aluminum units can be used. Generally we think fiberglass is a better buy over steel, though it cost more it resists denting and corrosion which is prevalent in steel doors. All hardware whether residential or commercial is well suited to the application and there are many options.
Can the floors be built without any “bounce”? Always. We never cut corners in this area and foundations, if designed by us, are always over-designed to provide long-life sturdiness.