Modular Building Institute

Modular Construction Produces
Award-Winning, LEED Gold-certified
High School Campus

High Tech High in Chula Vista, California


When High Tech High needed to develop a sustainable learning campus in a short time in Chula Vista, California, their general contractor advised them to turn to modular construction. Modular building would not only keep the project within the necessary environmental requirements and five-month deadline, but also allow it to stay within its strict budget.

The design and construction of the school had to accommodate a range of LEED®, CHPS (“Collaborative for High Performance Schools”), and ENERGY STAR requirements, including site design, indoor environmental quality, energy efficiencies and renewable building materials. Both onsite and offsite construction needed to be limited to certain areas to keep air and noise pollution and habitat destruction to a minimum.

The finished building, which is LEED for Schools Gold-certified, offeres classrooms, seminar rooms, studios, teacher offices and multiple courtyards. With student health paramount, low-toxicity materials – which also boast durability and minimal maintenance – were used: polished concrete floors, steel framing, steel roof and floor decking, and fiber-cement siding.

The project’s San Diego-based GC, BYCOR, subcontracted Baltimore’s Williams Scotsman, a modular building supplier, to coordinate the integration of modular building construction with conventional methods as well as accommodate the sustainability requirements of the project. 

The subcontractor provided 59 modules totaling 32,807 square feet. To stay within LEED design requirements, the company coordinated with their local manufacturer and the project team to ensure the modular units incorporated a variety of unique materials to enhance classroom acoustics, day lighting, and energy and environmental efficiencies. All of these improvements helped reduce life cycle costs.

To decrease pollution and land affected by construction, Williams Scotsman worked closely with the building and fire officials on permitted delivery times for modular units and site construction areas. A sequential crane set-up process enabled them to install variable sized modules, minimize the impact to the ongoing tasks of the general contractor and complete the project in a timely fashion.

With outstanding practicality, aesthetics and environmental features, the project received a prestigious Modular Building Institute Award of Distinction for Green Building Design in 2010.

Tom Hardiman, MBI Executive Director, notes, "This is a great project for the industry to showcase. It demonstrates that for this client modular was greener, faster and smarter."

Changing the Way the World Builds: Greener, Faster, Smarter! 



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