Modular Building Institute

New Generation of Relocatable Classrooms

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Main Category:
Modular Building Design
Triumph Modular
C & B Custom Modular, Inc.
Needham, MA
Building Use:
Swing Space for Elementary School
Gross Size of Project:
35620 Square Feet
Days to complete:

Award Criteria

  1. Architectural Excellence
    The temporary modular complex at the Newman Elementary School in Needham, MA, enabled students to continue learning on site in an optimal environment during the school’s renovation. The building features up-lighting with USG Illusion Two ceiling tiles, a wide variety of windows including 4’x6’ hopper windows and 6’ round diameter windows to take advantage of natural light. The surfaces, materials and colors used in the space are designed to provide vibrancy, fun and creative inspiration, while also promoting health, sustainability, functionality and hygienic ease of maintenance. Roof-mounted, “Energence™” HVAC systems by Lennox were installed with energy recovery ventilators and UV light technology which kills allergens. Floor, wall and ceiling systems are designed to limit sound transfer between rooms and dampen sound reverberation. Aluminum ramps were installed in sections for easier mobility to the next user and the HardiePanel® and aluminum extrusions provide a modern facade.
  2. Technical Innovation & Sustainability
    In its current use, this is a sizable installation of 35,620 sq ft and was installed in 60 days. The modular school complex is comprised of three separate buildings, and the 38 modules include 30 classrooms, administration offices, and 3 multi-stall restrooms. Each of the 3 buildings has 10 classrooms that are connected via a ramped corridor. This modular solution uniquely offers flexibility, style and green features for a short-term need. When the school addition is completed, they will have leased the modular school buildings for only 12 months.
  3. Cost Effectiveness
    The modular classroom buildings meet the requirements of the Mass “Stretch Energy Code” which is an appendix to the Massachusetts State Building Code adopted in May 2009, allowing municipalities to voluntarily substitute for the standard energy code. The “stretch code” is based on the IECC (International Energy Conservation Code) 2009, but with approximately 20% greater building efficiency requirements. On certain size commercial buildings (less than 100,000 square feet), requirements can be proven by using a “prescriptive code” or path of specific efficiency measures that show incremental efficiency improvements. The modular classroom buildings meet the prescriptive method by having an air barrier, vestibules, vapor barrier between interior finish and insulation, and occupancy sensors; meeting the roof, floor and window requirements; and exceeding the requirements of HVAC, exterior wall and door values, and reduced lighting power.
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