Metric Modular's Bella Bella Passive Haus
The project consisted of six, two-story attached townhomes to be used as a desperately needed housing solution for Yale First Nation. Each module was prefabricated at Metric Modular’s Agassiz facility and the modules were approximately 32 feet long and 14 feet wide. After bad experiences with previous onsite builders cutting corners and building poor quality homes, we were able to provide six high-quality housing units for the community. The design of the building allowed each tenant to have a private outdoor space, while still maintaining the feeling of community. As a Passive House, the building was specifically placed on site to take advantage of solar gains and area views.
To meet rigid Passive House standards, each module specification included:
- Efficient building shape – using a ratio known as the ‘Shape Factor’ (the ratio of the buildings surface area divided by its volume) the heat loss from a building envelope is minimized.
- Superinsulation – incorporation of the correct levels of insulation performance depending on the climate zone.
- Advanced windows – using triple glazed units, with two low-e coatings, argon gas fill and insulated frames and spacers.
- Airtightness – prevention of air infiltration and protection against moisture damage.
- Thermal bridge-free construction – preventing an area of the building which has a significantly higher heat transfer than the surrounding materials, resulting in an overall reduction in thermal insulation of the building. Passive House standards reduce energy costs by up to 80 percent, drastically increase occupant comfort and reduce the GHG emissions of the building by 80 percent during occupancy.
As this was our second Passive House project, we were able to save our customer money through the experience we gained during the previous project. We also utilized the three Certified Passive House Consultants on staff rather than hiring expensive outside consultants. Our experienced design, production and site teams were able to prevent building envelope issues before the modules arrived onsite. We were able to reduce the number of pre-tests and consultants’ visits, while still achieving an above average building envelope airtightness test result.
We completed most of the roof construction offsite in order to reduce site work, preinstalling the exterior building envelope (siding), and pre-fabricating porch elements. Previous winter energy bills for the Yale First Nation were in excess of $250 for one month. The energy bill they received after over a month of occupancy was under $20. This on-going savings will make drastic and lasting impact to the economics of this community.
This article originally appeared in the Modular Advantage Magazine - Fourth Quarter 2018 released in November 2018.
More from Modular Advantage
For this project, Forta PRO delivered 72 buildings, 144 modules, with 5,200 m2 of gross modular area. With final onsite completion in June 2023, it provides exceptional long-stay accommodation in a stunning and serene environment.
With about 100,000 square feet of space on four levels, MODLOGIQ is producing 100% of the hospital’s space off-site in their factory. That includes everything from mechanical, electrical, and plumbing to interior finishes and casework to about an 85% level of completion.
ReMo Homes founder Vamsi Kumar Kotla has an ambitious goal: assemble a net zero, single-family home with a minimized carbon footprint in just one hour. Surprisingly, his team is close to making his goal a reality. They recently assembled a 400 square foot net zero model home on the National Mall in Washington, DC. Assembly took ten days.
FullStack Modular’s dedication to sustainability and process yielded their
latest project for its new Portland, OR, factory: a sustainable Treehouse Hotel for Starwood Capital Group in Sunnyvale, California. The six-story Treehouse Hotel features 200 modules and 143 rooms.
House of Design, located in Nampa, Idaho, provides a unique solution to building trusses, walls, and other building assemblies: they call it dynamic automation. Shane Dittrich, CEO, explained the term as “the robots have no idea what they’re building today.”
Matt Mitchell and Scott Bridger took note of the cribbing other people were using. “We said, it doesn’t seem like anybody’s really working on a better solution to try to fix this,” Bridger said. Then, about four years ago, they decided to see what they could come up with. “That’s when we really in earnest decided to see if we can design and manufacture something that’s just better,” Mitchell said.
Former Modular Owner, Now Principal Insurance Executive, Helps Modular Company Owners Navigate Insurance
Ververis doesn’t just work for anybody in the modular industry. “I need to know that they’re fully committed and willing to use best practices. I can assist with putting together a great risk management program and make them close to bulletproof, but they have to be willing to implement and manage the procedures.”
A recently developed product promises to provide homeowners with major savings in both energy and water. It’s called RainStick, and one of its founders says users can reduce their water consumption by almost a swimming pool’s worth over the course of a year. With a payback period of just over five years, modular builders focused on sustainability are taking note.
Anirban Basu, Chairman & CEO of Sage Policy Group and Chief Economist of the Modular Building Institute, looks back at the financial trends of 2023 and forward to 2024
Nadler Modular discusses the loyalty and value/service to their employees and customers, that has led to their continued growth and success.