As noted in past installments of Code Corner, the Industrialized Building Code Council has still not convened to formally adopt the next building code edition, but legislation has been passed and signed into law by Governor Abbott setting adoption time limits. The force behind this law was the State Energy Conservation Office and the Texas Energy Systems Labs’ desire to force the more timely adoption of recent editions of the code with the goal of making buildings more energy efficient in the state.
Since the Bill passed, it will require the authorities having jurisdictions (AHJ) to adopt the most recent edition of the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) and one can assume that most AHJ’s will adopt the full suite of the I-Codes encompassing the building, plumbing and mechanical codes as well. As was noted in a prior Code Corner, new editions of the codes are published every three years to incorporate revisions voted on by the ICC membership. We have been on the 2009 edition for some time; jumping over the 2012 and adopting the 2015 will create some challenges, we anticipate that the areas most affected will be insulation thickness, lighting and lighting controls, along with mechanical equipment we will be allowed to use.
Robert Frick has already been spending time reviewing how our designs will be impacted by the newer energy code, his work will allow us to plan on how it will affect our designs and the cost impact it will have on what we build. During Robert’s work in reviewing the code and the associated COMcheck software, he has already spotted a discrepancy between the code and the compliance software which will require a revision to the software we are required to use.
At this time it appears that it will be November before the new 2015 Codes will be a requirement for the buildings that enter into production. But, we will have to start designing to the new standard and pricing our projects accordingly.
Ramtech received a first place award in the Relocatable Education category at the Modular Building Institute’s (MBI) 2016 World of Modular annual convention and trade show held March 17-20 at the Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel in San Diego, California. The award was for the teaching labs we built for the University’s Bio and Mechanical Engineering Departments. Ramtech took just 90 days to complete the two 8,736 square foot facilities which were installed on a semi-recessed grade beam foundation using our traditional permanent modular construction approach. The buildings utilize a corrugated metal finish exterior painted using an UltraCrete textured coating, and were designed with site constructed concrete steps, decks, and ramps to give them an appearance that matches the surrounding structures. The modular school buildings each have a slightly different interior configuration, with the Bio Engineering facility using a five classroom layout while the Mechanical Engineering building incorporates one large classroom, three standard size classrooms, and restrooms that serve the faculty and students from both buildings. Both buildings have sprinkler systems to meet the required fire safety code, and their DX split mechanical systems were integrated into the University’s existing AAON HVAC equipment. With this award, Ramtech has now had 20 commercial modular building projects recognized for their construction excellence by the MBI’s Awards of Distinction Program which recognizes building excellence in several market categories for both relocatable and permanent building applications. The awards are judged by an independent panel of building design and construction experts on architectural excellence, technical innovation & sustainability, cost effectiveness, energy efficiency, and calendar days to complete. To view all the winning entries and see a sample of the latest in innovative approaches using relocatable and permanent modular construction, click here to head over to the MBI’s 2016 Awards of Distinction page.
Ramtech is pleased to announce that Melissa Miles has been promoted to Project Administrator, a new position which will help streamline and coordinate the flow of project information between several of Ramtech’s departments. Although Melissa’s new job duties will encompass over 20 separate tasks, her primary focus will be to assist the project management department by maintaining the project bios, preparing subcontract documents and change orders, and assisting with the project line-up. Once the construction projects have been completed, she will also be responsible for issuing the acceptance documents and tracking any warranty calls that may arise. Melissa will report to Marva Newman, Ramtech’s human resource manager.
Melissa Miles began her tenure at Ramtech in September of 2014 when she joined us from a staffing agency to fill a vacant receptionist’s position. She was made a permanent member of the Ramtech team just three months later through her hard work and dedication. Prior to the end of 2015 it became clear that the workload in Ramtech’s Project Management department required an individual who could play a role in streamlining many of the administrative duties associated with Project Management as well as aid in the information and documents flow between departments. The timing of this proved fortunate as it was also apparent to Ramtech’s management that Melissa had the ability to grow within the company. Both Randy Van Zandt, Ramtech’s Vice President of Construction and Ms. Newman identified Melissa as the perfect fit to take on this new role. We look forward to Melissa’s positive contributions and ask you to join us in welcoming Melissa into her new position.
Ramtech’s President Linc Moss and Vice President of Design Roland Brown will both be presenting at the Modular Building Institute’s (MBI) 2016 World of Modular annual convention and trade show being held March 17-20 at the Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel in San Diego, California. As part of a five person panel they will be discussing the best practices on implementation strategies and guidelines for getting the most out of offsite construction. The two-part series will first examine pre-construction with a holistic view of the permanent modular construction industry as it exists today followed by an examination of some of the strategies and best practices required for launching a successful project. Topics will include modular design development and integration, ideal project delivery methods and contracts, as well as assigning roles as possibilities, and scope of work delineation at both the pre-bid and preconstruction phases. Part two of the presentation will focus on project execution by looking into the means and methods as well as the stakeholder scopes of work needed to execute strategies throughout the offsite and on-site building process. This includes final drawing submittals and approval, the zoning and permitting process, scheduling issues, building fabrication, site development and module setting, and finish out and commissioning of the project. Joining Linc and Roland will be Laurie Robert and John Erb of NRB, Inc., and Charlie Walden of Silver Creek Industries.
After a long and successful career in the commercial modular industry Gary White, Ramtech’s longtime VP of sales, has retired. A 30 year veteran of Ramtech, Gary was instrumental in helping to direct the efforts of both Ramtech’s sales and estimating departments for the last 19 years by possessing a rare combination of being a terrific one-on-one salesperson while also having keen instincts in his approach to pricing turnkey commercial modular building projects. After working in sales for multiple companies within the modular building industry for 10 years, Gary came to Ramtech in June of 1985 just three months after Ramtech opened its manufacturing plant in Mansfield. His first position was in the role of the company’s senior sales person then quickly rising to become its sales manager. As the Sales Manager and ultimately the VP of Sales, Gary supervised all sales and estimating activity while also serving as a key component of Ramtech’s marketing team. Gary’s team included five people in sales and estimating that now have a combined tenure within Ramtech of over 115 years. (more…)
Ramtech has relaunched RamtechModular.com, our flagship corporate website which showcases our extensive facility solutions available to the education, healthcare, commercial, and government markets. The redesigned website showcases several design changes which highlight Ramtech’s three versatile building systems. These include sections for relocatable modular buildings, permanent modular construction, and prefabricated building construction featuring our proprietary Accelerated Building System slab-on-grade building method. Each type of building system can be used for new construction or for facility additions and expansions. Easy navigation through each of the sections provides specific pages that include informative details on how Ramtech constructs the three building types, the benefits (including sustainability) they provide, and the specific kinds of facilities that are available using each type of building system. The website has an updated photo gallery with downloadable case studies of prior projects, informational videos, and easier navigation to the wide range of standard and custom floor plans that we have available using each construction method. The new website also includes enhanced integration with our social media sites. Ramtech used the same layout approach for our educational division website RamtechEducation.com and we have plans to incorporate the same design criteria onto our medical facility website, RamtechMedical.com which should be relaunched by the end of the second quarter of 2016.
At the end of last year Ramtech was proud to sponsor an Innovative Teaching Grant for the Mansfield Independent School District Education Foundation. The grant will support a program developed by a group of Mansfield ISD intermediate school librarians titled “Make Your Mark in Mansfield Intermediate Libraries: Inspire, Imagine, Investigate, Innovate.” The $4,500 grant will be used to purchase hardware, software, tools and equipment to support the intermediate school’s STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) programs. Specifically, the plan calls for developing a “Makerspace” area in the libraries of the district’s six intermediate school campuses where students can come together to investigate, collaborate, and create in a unique community section of each facility. Individual projects will be guided by the school librarians through inquiry-style learning encouraging students to use a collaborative approach in order to build and create by making connections to what they have learned in the classroom and applying it to the real world.
For several years Ramtech and its employees have made personal and financial contributions to several local organizations and charities in the Mansfield area. Agencies such as Meals on Wheels, Special Olympics, Kiwanis, Habitat for Humanity, Mansfield Cares, and Common Ground are just a few of the outstanding organizations that Ramtech has had the privilege of working with. Ramtech has been a corporate sponsor of the Mansfield ISD Education Foundation since its inception, and both Mike Slataper and Linc Moss have served on the foundation’s board of directors. More information on the MISDEF can be found on the foundation’s website at www.mansfieldisdfoundation.org.
Ramtech was able to get out to Blue Ridge over the holiday and photograph the $1.51 million modular church building we designed and built for First United Methodist Church. Built using our traditional wood-framed permanent modular construction approach, the 10,250 square foot L-shaped facility was recently installed on the Church’s 20-acre site providing them space for a worship center, three offices, eight adult and children’s classrooms, and a daycare center. The church plans to sell their previous facility and property while using the new facility for an interim period until a separate sanctuary and chapel are built adjacent to the modular building. As the general contractor for the project, Ramtech managed all of the site preparation for the new building and parking lot, including the extension and connection of the utilities and the installation of a pad-on-grade foundation. A HardiePanel embossed stucco siding with an elastomeric paint finish was used for the exterior, while the interior was finished with vinyl covered gypsum wall coverings, commercial grade carpet and vinyl composition tile flooring, and a lay-in tile ceiling in the classroom and office areas. The worship area, which also serves the church as a fellowship hall, incorporates a vaulted ceiling with exposed architectural ductwork all painted flat black. Ramtech also provided all of the wood steps, ramps, and landings for the building.
Ramtech is now featuring as part of our project portfolio the $1.5 million eight-classroom facility we recently completed for the Melissa (TX) Independent School District. Built using our traditional wood-framed permanent modular construction approach, the 9,018 square foot project is located in the middle school area of the District’s combined campus. The parapet wall design of the building incorporates a full masonry exterior which complements the look of the school’s existing structures while also providing screening of the roof mounted HVAC units. Ramtech constructed the building with a grade level appearance which allowed for sidewalks and a covered walkway leading to the adjacent building. The interior of the facility includes commercial grade carpeting throughout the building, and each classroom incorporates a black painted accent wall for featuring student work and achievements. Ramtech was also responsible for all of the site work on the project including the extension and connection of the utilities. The manufacturing of the modular school building and site preparation began in late May and the project was finished in the early Fall.
Ramtech is now well underway with the site development work in preparation for the installation of the new high school facility for Randolph Field ISD. The design-build contract calls for us to provide complete turnkey services to the district for a 47,448 square foot two-story facility using our Accelerated Building System (ABS) prefabricated construction method. To make way for the new $7.3 million building, the school district demolished two existing structures which were removed during the spring of this year. The design of the new structure will provide space for 23 classrooms, an eighth grade science center, two computer labs, two student commons, and an administrative area with offices, counseling suite, and a nurse station. The facility will also include four labs for physics, biology, chemistry, and environmental science all situated around a common central preparation area with chemical storage capability. The building’s exterior design calls for masonry on the first floor and a high profile custom-colored architectural metal siding in horizontal and vertical orientations designed to highlight the building entrances and complement the finishes of the existing campus structures. High-efficiency gas-fired rooftop HVAC units will provide heating and cooling on the second floor of the building, with zoned electrical HVAC units for the first floor. Ramtech began the manufacturing of the building in the middle of November and we expect to begin setting the prefabricated sections during the first week of February. The current schedule calls for the project to be complete by the end of July. Once the new building is operational, the district plans to demolish the current high school structure.