Modular Building Institute
Permanent Modular Construction Annual Report 2019 | Modular Building Institute


Building Envelope – The physical separator between the interior and the exterior environments of a building. It serves as the outer shell to help maintain the indoor environment (together with the mechanical conditioning systems) and facilitate its climate control. Building envelope design is a specialized area of architectural and engineering practice that draws from all areas of building science and indoor climate control.

Building site – A lot, the entire tract, subdivision, or parcel of land on which industrialized housing or buildings are sited.

Building system -The design and/or method of assembly of modules or modular components represented in the plans, specifications, and other documentation which may include structural, electrical, mechanical, plumbing, fire protection, and other systems affecting health and safety.

Closed construction – A building, component, assembly, subassembly, or system manufactured in such a manner that all portions cannot be readily inspected at the installation site without disassembly or destruction thereof (source: Louisiana Industrialized Buildings program).

Commercial structure – An industrialized building classified by the building codes for occupancy and use groups other than residential for one or more families.

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Compliance (or Quality) Control Program – The manufacturer’s system, documentation, and methods of assuring that industrialized housing, buildings, and modular components, including their manufacture, storage, handling, and transportation conform with this chapter.

Compliance Assurance Agency (aka third-party inspection agency) – An architect or professional engineer, or an organization, specially qualified by reason of facilities, personnel, experience, and demonstrated reliability, to investigate, test and evaluate modular buildings; to list such buildings complying with standards; to provide adequate follow-up services at the point of manufacture to ensure that production units are in full compliance; and to provide a label as evidence of compliance on each manufactured section or module. (source: Virginia Industrialized Buildings Program).

Component – A subassembly, subsystem, or combination of elements for use as a part of a building system or part of a modular component that is not structurally independent, but may be part of structural, plumbing, mechanical, electrical, fire protection, or other systems affecting life safety.

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Decal (insignia or label) – The approved form of certification issued by the state administrative office to the manufacturer or builder to be permanently affixed to the module indicating that it has been constructed to meet or exceed the code requirements.

Deconstruction – The process of taking a building or structure, or portion thereof, apart with the intent of repurposing, reusing, recycling, or salvaging as many of the materials, products, components, assemblies, or modules as possible.

Design package – The aggregate of all plans, designs, specifications, and documentation required by these sections to be submitted by the manufacturer to the design review agency or required by the design review agency for compliance review, including the compliance control manual and the on-site construction documentation. Unique or site-specific foundation drawings and special on-site construction details prepared for specific projects are not a part of the design package.

Erection/Installation /Set – The process of blocking, leveling, and anchoring a modular building unit on the building site upon delivery.

Installation – On-site construction of industrialized housing or buildings (see definition of on-site construction)

Local building official – The agency or department of a municipality or other local political subdivision with authority to make inspections and to enforce the laws, ordinances, and regulations applicable to the construction, alteration, or repair of residential and commercial structures.

Manufacturer – A person who constructs or assembles modules or modular components at a manufacturing facility which are offered for sale or lease, sold or leased, or otherwise used.

Manufacturing facility – The place other than the building site, at which machinery, equipment, and other capital goods are assembled and operated for the making, fabricating, constructing, forming, or assembly of industrialized housing, buildings, modules, or modular components.

Marriage Wall/Cross Over Connections – The joint between the modules in a complex, commonly called a mate-line or mod-line.

Module – A three-dimensional section of industrialized housing or buildings, designed and approved to be transported as a single section independent of other sections, to a site for on-site construction with or without other modules or modular components.

Off-Site Construction – The planning, design, fabrication, and assembly of building elements at a location other than their final installed location to support the rapid and efficient construction of a permanent structure. Such building elements may be prefabricated at a different location and transported to the site or prefabricated on the construction site and then transported to their final location. Off-site construction is characterized by an integrated planning and supply chain optimization strategy (source OSCC).

Permanent Modular Construction (PMC) – An innovative, sustainable construction delivery method utilizing off-site, lean manufacturing techniques to prefabricate single or multi-story whole building solutions in deliverable module sections. PMC buildings are manufactured in a safe, controlled setting and can be constructed of wood, steel or concrete. PMC modules can be integrated into site-built projects or stand alone as a turnkey solution, and can be delivered with MEP, fixtures and interior finishes in less time, with less waste and higher quality control compared to projects utilizing only traditional site construction

Prefabricated – The manufacture or fabrication of sections of a building at an off-site location which are delivered to and assembled at the building site.

Relocatable/Industrialized building – A partially or completely assembled building that complies with applicable codes and state regulations and is constructed in a building manufacturing facility using a modular construction process. Relocatable modular buildings are designed to be reused or repurposed multiple times and transported to different sites.

Repurpose – To divert a material, product, component, module, or building from the waste stream for use for an application that is different than its original use or occupancy.

Reuse – To divert a material, product, component, module, or building from the waste stream in order to use it again for a purpose that is consistent with its original use or occupancy.

State Administrative Office (SAO) – The designated representative for the enforcement of this chapter and shall act as the building official for registered industrialized buildings.

Site or building site – A lot, the entire tract, subdivision, or parcel of land on which industrialized housing or buildings are sited.

Third-party inspection agency (TPIA) – An approved person or entity determined by the state or program to be qualified by reason of facilities, personnel, experience, demonstrated reliability, and independence of judgment to inspect industrialized housing, building, and portions thereof for compliance with the approved plans, documentation, compliance control program, and applicable codes. Also known as “Approved Testing Facility or ATF,” or “Compliance Assurance Agency.”

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