Main Category: Modular Building Design
Company: Nomodic Modular Structures Inc.
Affiliate: Grandeur Housing
Location: Surrey, BC
Building Use: Supportive housing
Gross Size of Project: 21500 Square Feet
Days to complete: 402
This permanent modular building is four storeys in height and is comprised of 19 modules per storey from levels 2-4, for a total of 57 modules. The first level is cast-in-place concrete which is comprised of 50% crawlspace and then steps to accommodate the mechanical/electrical room, operator storage, and heat treatment room. The modules are frameless units of wood, ranging in size of 9’6” x 29’2” (3 modules), 9’4” x 20’2” (3) to 13’9” x 30’5” (51). It features 38 self-contained suites, 2 designed specifically for people with disabilities, which are approximately 360 sq.ft. and include a bathroom, kitchenette, and bedroom/living space. The second storey is comprised of office space, tenant support rooms, commercial kitchen, dining room, storage, and laundry. The building has an exterior walkway on the East elevation. The exterior design has a bold, contemporary aesthetic and uses common commercial and residential building materials such as Hardie Panel, Hardie Plank, and CFI Panels.
Technical Innovation & Sustainability
The complex incorporates a number of innovative features. For example, all suite HVAC was completed in the factory, which greatly reduced the amount of HVAC work required on site. This was achieved by installing a LifeBreath ERV unit in each suite. Nomodic also installed a Direct Digital Control (DDC) system, which greatly improves the operator’s ability to maintain the mechanical systems functionality, programming, and maintenance from one centralized location. The building needed to be craned only 15 feet away from an existing (and already occupied) 57-suite affordable housing complex, squeezing into a long, narrow space surrounded by site obstacles including powerlines Our team improvised with an innovative solution: parking further away and craning the units high above the existing homes. A special truck with independent wheel suspension was needed in order to navigate the tight angles of the space and bring the modules close enough to be craned successfully into place.
Naturally, one of the largest cost-effective methods in modular construction is the ability to reduce onsite construction time and overall construction schedule. Nomodic took advantage of this, completing the excavation and foundation while the modules were being fabricated. Approximately 80% of the building’s electrical, plumbing, sprinklers, HVAC, and carpentry were completed in the manufacturing facility, where trade labour rates are less than rates in the field. In a further effort to reduce costs, Nomodic engaged a sprinkler contractor who was able to utilize local resources at both the manufacturing facility (Manitoba) and site (B.C.), which also resulted in no scope gaps. In addition, the building’s adherence to the BC Energy Step Code meant that long-term value has been delivered to the client in the form of energy savings.