Modular Building Institute

West Reading Elementary Center

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Main Category:
Modular Building Design
NRB, Inc.
West Reading, PA
Building Use:
Elementary Education
Gross Size of Project:
4795 Square Feet
Days to complete:

Award Criteria

  1. Architectural Excellence
    The School District needed to completely renovate the interior of an existing 50 year old facility and add a 6,000 square foot two story addition all in a time frame of just 8 months. The architect designed the school addition to match the existing school, fitting well in to this densely populated urban community. The exterior is finished in face brick with a featured area of architectural aluminum panels that matched the schools signage. The top façade was created by NRB using parapets added at the site to match the existing elevations. In addition, the building had projected as well as cantilevered areas, the variations of which gave the front elevation an architecturally impressive and unique appearance. Large aluminum framed glazed curtain wall system to allow ample day-lighting and views for these classroom spaces. The interior is finished with drywall, taped, filled and painted; suspended acoustical ceilings and poured terrazzo floors in the corridors.
  2. Technical Innovation & Sustainability
    The innovation in steel design and extensive use of structural steel post and beam construction with pre-poured concrete floors allowed NRB to accomplish the varying sizes, shapes and cantilevering of the modules easily. The integration of modular construction with the existing facility presented design co-ordination challenges however, in that the modules had to fit precisely within the “L” shaped corner of the existing school matching floor to floor elevations and locations for proper entrance and egress. The architects cantilevered design of the second floor was needed to ensure those classrooms would meet all current size standards. Working closely with the project’s General Contractor, NRB completed as much as possible off-site as the GC had an extremely tight schedule with their significant renovations already in hand, and virtually no staging area for materials.
  3. Cost Effectiveness
    NRB applied spray-foam insulation over the exterior sheathing for a superior thermal/ moisture barrier that eliminated thermal bridging and moved the dew point away from the wall cavity. This means walls are left open to allow future cabling without disturbing batt insulation and a vapor barrier as may occur in a typical cavity filled wall assembly. The curtain-wall glazing featured insulated, Low-E glass with argon filled spaces. Throughout the project, energy and resource conservation methods were applied, including low flow plumbing fixtures, energy saving ballasts, high efficiency HVAC, and related equipment. Building off site helped reduce the GC’s requirement for on-site trade supervision, allowing them to focus on their renovations. Meeting an extremely tight 8 month schedule, the renovations/foundations were completed while the addition was constructed at the NRB plant and according to School Board comments at the opening ceremony the GC brought the project in under budget.
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