Modular Building Institute

Jim Russell Racing Drivers School

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Main Category:
Green Building Design
Project FROG
Project FROG
50 x 130 x 17
Gross Size of Project:

Award Criteria

  1. Thermal Comfort Strategy
    The Project FROG approach to thermal comfort goes beyond air temperature with a focus on energy-efficient ventilation and flexible building technology. The FROG Raised Floor System is superior to overhead or wall mounted, fan diffused systems in most modular units. Air is supplied by multiple floor diffusers, creating an upward flow of fresh air via natural convection and exhausted through ceiling return outlets. In comparison, overhead systems mix cool and heated air near the ceiling, spending energy forcing it down to user zones. Cool air is supplied at higher temps/lower velocity than overhead systems, reducing discomfort from high air speed/cold spots. Also, the number of operable windows exceeds minimal requirements. Energy savings are due to diffusers’ close proximity to occupants and user-defined location, direction, and flow; the R-19 rigid expanded polystyrene (EPS) in the roof and the floor; and R-15 EPS in the walls.
  2. Indoor Air Quality Strategy
    The units exemplify FROG’s effort to circumvent the health problems and low productivity posed by indoor air pollution. We use Low/No VOC carpet tiles, ceiling tiles and interior paint. Sealants meet/exceed the requirements of the Bay Area Air Quality Management District Regulation 8, Rule 51. Intersept antimicrobial preservative in the carpet tiles combats a broad spectrum of bacteria/fungi. BioBlock inhibits the spread of mold/mildew on ceiling tiles. Under floor air distribution delivers outside air from below directly to the occupants’ breathing zone. New air replaces contaminated air instead of diluting it with old air, the method of most portables. The units allow for up to 100% outside air, providing clean air to the occupants, reducing any remaining VOCs/bacteria in user areas. Unlike most modulars’ fiberglass batt insulation, FROG’s formaldehyde-free Ultratouch cotton fiber insulation resists microbial growth and does not cause skin irritation.
  3. Daylighting Strategy
    The FROG building’s integrated system of customizable window wall units, sunshades and clerestory windows allow the interiors of the Jim Russell Racing Drivers School classrooms to be illuminated far more naturally and efficiently than any other modular classroom. The customizable window wall system (85% of the exterior walls) consists of interchangeable window/wall panels of user-specified colors /materials. Each 2’x4’ panel can be high performance glass or insulated composite panel. Design customization allows a perfect balance between the need for abundant light in some areas and less in others as well as shadow reduction and/or heat gain. Sunshades are mounted to the south and west side of the curtain walls to protect each classroom from an excess of direct sunlight and reduce glare. A signature feature of FROG’s structure is the unique clerestory. Each unit’s sloped roof assembly is enveloped on three sides by clerestory windows that flood the unit with natural light.
  4. Acoustic Strategy
    The acoustical ceiling panels used at the Jim Russell Racing Drivers School contain a 70% Noise Reduction Coefficient (NRC). This reduces most echoing within the building, thus increasing speech clarity. The R-19 roof insulation (with space for an additional R-19) offers additional acoustical protection. The under floor air distribution system implements a pressurized plenum and harnesses natural convection to assist the airflow out of the floor diffusers and directly into the occupied zone. This is an excellent alternative to the noisy ducts of traditional modulars that carry air at high velocities. Additionally, many buildings use a wall-mounted HVAC system or overhead ventilation systems, resulting in high levels of noise. Project FROG eliminates this excess noise with its Powerpak, which places the HVAC system in an exterior room separated from the learning area by an auxiliary room or restroom and an extra thick wall filled with sound-attenuating insulation.
  5. Energy Efficiency Strategy
    The FROG units use high quality recycled/recyclable materials, including recyclable acoustic ceiling tiles (75% recycled content (RC)); raised floor tiles (33.9% RC:1.8% post consumer (PC)/22.1% post industrial(PI)); Ultratouch batt insulation (85% PI recycled natural fibers). Carpet tiles (44% RC) and vinyl tiles (92% RC, 25% PC) can be replaced individually (instead of the entire floor) and reused. All FROG units are steel (up to 100% RC) which can always be recycled. While non-steel materials (i.e. wood) are field cut and create excess waste, FROG parts are cut in a metal shop and all excess is recycled. The FROG units are designed and constructed with minimal site disruption. Each unit’s foundation takes up less than 1/2 of the overall sq. footage of the unit itself, requiring only 7.5 cu yards concrete. The living roof reduces rainwater runoff; serves as a protective layer, increasing the building’s lifespan; insulates the building; and contributes to water/air purification.
  6. Architectural Excellence
    Customized and flexible, the new campus at the Jim Russell Racing Drivers School is architecturally stylish inside and out. Exciting and expanding upward, the undulating roofline rises in the middle and lowers at the sides to provide dramatic expression. The grand curved rear (which hides unsightly mechanical equipment) is trimmed with rounded edges to set a modern tone. The window wall system has interesting patterns of wall vs. window to create a unique exterior and functional interior and take advantage of the exciting views. To foster creativity and encourage collaboration, the interior is full of natural light with optimal acoustics and clear sight lines. With a future-forward design and stimulating red exterior, the aesthetic and sensory attributes of this new facility perfectly embody a not-so-lightly veiled reference to racing and high performance driving: metal, glass, motion, curves and color.
  7. Economic Practicality
    By using FROG units, the client realized significant economic savings that will multiply over time. The FROG units are more than 30% more energy efficient than required by Title 24 and are built quickly enabling clients to save on construction escalation costs (up to 12% per year). Since FROG units are California DSA Pre-Certified and can be approved “over-the-counter”, the permit fees are lower than traditional construction and faster to obtain. FROG installation costs are less than traditional construction since units can be prefabricated and installed onsite with minimal waste, less transportation, and minimal site preparation. FROG buildings will perform optimally and inline with permanent structures and will last just as long. The FROG modular buildings require less on-site skilled labor and costs associated with removal, demolition, and temporary building replacements are eliminated. The use of steel and glass eliminates roof/wall/flooring degradation for low long-term costs.
  8. Other
    FROG succeeded in making the units at the Jim Russell Racing Drivers School the most energy efficient of their kind. The raised floor system delivers air through floor diffusers directly to the occupied zone, creating an upward flow of fresh air via natural convection. By using higher-temperature air for cooling, the system can utilize outside air for a longer period, thereby reducing HVAC energy consumption. The natural light from the clerestory/window walls decrease the artificial light necessary for internal illumination. The glass is Solarban70XL Solar Control Low-E and blocks 63% of the direct solar heat, reducing the energy and costs of cooling, while still having the benefits of natural light. The smart lighting system balances the amount of natural light with daylight sensors, allowing for less energy usage, and lowers wasted energy with occupancy sensors.
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