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Modular Building Design
Axis Construction Corp.
Child Care Center
Gross Size of Project:
- Architectural Excellence
The Lehman College Child Care Center is nestled between two large academic buildings on the City University of New York campus in the Bronx with connectivity to the street and surrounding campus through sidewalks. A central atrium and floating staircase in the lobby is a design element that provides natural daylight and passive air ventilation, and features a layered platform base for reading and other quiet activities. The lobby opens up on each side with glazed walls and sliding doors for views and access to play areas or other campus buildings. The classrooms have large sliding doors at each end that open to allow natural ventilation and access to green growing walls that the kids will plant each year. Interior finishes are bright and colourful with open painted ceilings showing hanging lighting and ductwork, giving the building a more industrial look and feel. Exterior cladding is a colourful cementitious architectural panel, an intentional contrast to the surrounding campus.
- Technical Innovation & Sustainability
The non-combustible steel building accentuates modularity by design, with the upper floor off-set to cantilever out along the main entrance wall, making it appear stepped. On the east/west walls, classrooms have large sliding doors opening to a narrow terrace built for planting vegetation. The terrace is screened with handrails and security mesh acting as a trellis for the plants. Vertical polycarbonate tubes provide an aesthetic feature, but are also to diffuse light as it passes through to the classrooms. The trellises and floor to ceiling sliding doors in the classrooms also work as natural clean supply air together with the 20’ x 20’ louvered skylight system in the atrium that can be opened to passively exhaust air. The mechanical HVAC system has two gas fired RTU’s with economizers, controlled off site by a fully automated BMS. The atrium was built using two roof sections in order to make them transportable with the skylights pre-installed.
- Cost Effectiveness
The daycare site was on a very small footprint wedged between two large, active campus buildings, so building off site was a positive consideration in the projected cost of construction and potential campus disruption. The construction schedule was reduced by as much as 50%, saving the owner significant costs in labor, mobilization and demobilization as there was limited area to stage materials and work. On-site activity, disruption and disturbance were minimized, which then reduced construction hazards and their associated risks. In addition to this, the selection of energy conserving features, such as the blend of mechanical systems and passive ventilation outlined above, coupled with occupancy sensors, energy efficient lighting with programmable lighting controls, building management system and water saving fixtures, all integrate to provide the owner with lower operational costs over time.