Ramtech is nearing completion on a large modular building project that we began last year for Humble ISD. The $1.47 million project included 13 custom portable double-classroom buildings and a 8,820 square foot instructional life skills facility. To meet the aesthetic requirements of the local neighborhoods of the seven sites where the portable classroom buildings were installed, each were built with 20-year composition roofs that were installed at Ramtech’s outside corral. All of the buildings also have upgraded interiors which include birch wood grain paneling and special low VOC carpet. The life skills facility includes eight classrooms and to fully simulated apartments with kitchens and showers. There is also a conference room, three offices, and a teachers work room. All of the facilities were built to meet a 110 mile hour wind load specification and were procured through the Texas Buyboard network purchasing cooperative. Ramtech will finish installing the last portable classroom building for the project prior to the end of July and we plan to photograph the life skills facility for inclusion in our project portfolio prior to the start of the 2016-2017 school year.
Ramtech has completed the construction on the Dallas Transitional Center residential reintegration facility that we built for Lifestyle Management Inc. of Edmond, Oklahoma. Located 12 miles south of downtown Dallas, the 31,752 square foot 296 bed facility was designed, manufactured, and constructed using our Accelerated Building System permanent modular construction method. Located on ten acres of unincorporated land owned by Dallas County, the new facility replaced Lifestyle’s previous 225-bed halfway house in Dallas. The building layout provides for four 50-man dorms, three 24-man dorms, one 24-woman dorm, two activity rooms, a full commercial kitchen, and administrative office space in both wings. Ramtech was responsible for the full site development of the four acres required to accommodate the building, 40 parking spaces, basketball courts, and two covered pavilions. The Dallas Transitional Center contracts with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice to provide halfway house residents with case management, employment placement and reintegration services. The program also provides meals and transportation to treatment programs, jobs, and medical appointments.
Ramtech was proud to play a part in the recent groundbreaking ceremony at Arlington Classics Academy for the new 37,329 square foot prefabricated school building that will located on the charter school’s eleven acre campus in Dalworthington Gardens, Texas. Ramtech team members Gary Davenport, Jeff Ward, Randy Van Zandt, Gary Pitts, Stewart Richardson, and Steve Sickman were part of several invited guests that included local elected officials, ACA board trustees, and other community members. The event coincided with the start of the site work on the design-build project that will be built using Ramtech’s Accelerated Building System (ABS) construction method. Once it’s complete, the new facility will provide additional space for up to 192 students in grades three thru five. Manufacturing of the building sections will be finished prior to the end of June and once the site preparation is complete the crane setting of the 45 modular sections that make up the structure will be set onto a concrete slab during the first week of August. The project has an anticipated completion date of January 15, 2017.
Ramtech is moving into the final phase of construction on the new high school facility we are building for the Randolph Field (TX) Independent School District. The design-build contract called for Ramtech to provide complete turnkey services to the district using our Accelerated Building System (ABS) prefabricated construction method for a 47,448 square foot two-story facility. The metal portion of the exterior finish application is now 75% complete and the masonry portion will begin next week. The interior finishes have been applied and the floor coverings are also slated to be installed beginning next week. To make way for the new $7.3 million school building, the school district demolished two existing structures which were removed during the spring of last year. The design of the new structure provides 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 high school level labs for physics, biology, chemistry, and environmental science all situated around a common central preparation area with chemical storage capability. In addition to the brick and split-faced block masonry on the first floor, the building’s exterior design includes 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 the heating and cooling on the second floor of the building, with zoned electrical HVAC units for the first floor. Ramtech expects to complete the project by July 1.
Ramtech has received a notice to proceed from Arlington Classics Academy to begin the manufacturing and construction of a new 37,329 square foot prefabricated school building that will located on the charter school’s eleven acre campus in Dalworthington Gardens, Texas. The design-build project will be built using our Accelerated Building System (ABS) construction method and will provide space for up to 192 students in grades three thru five. Once completed, the facility will provide space for 24 standard classrooms and five special use classrooms for the school’s art, music, speech, and special education programs. The building will also include a full cafeteria and kitchen, administrative offices for the staff and counselors, a library annex and tutoring center with learning lab, and a 3,000 square foot multipurpose exercise room with its own dedicated heating and cooling zone. The requirements for the new building call for full site development including two acres of additional paving which will help ease the amount of vehicular traffic on the main feeder road during student drop-off and pickup. An existing legacy grove of pecan trees has also been integrated into the site design to maintain the original aesthetics of the site location while preventing the need for their removal. The Type V wood frame structure will be wrapped in a 100% masonry exterior using brick and split-faced block, with stucco applied to the accented areas. Parapet walls ranging in height from 13 to 18 feet will enhance the buildings aesthetics while also meeting the design requirements of the city of Dalworthington Garden. Manufacturing of the building sections have already begun and the site work is scheduled to begin the week of May 9th. Once the manufacturing and site work is complete, the crane setting of the 45 modular sections that make up the structure will be set onto the concrete slab during the first week of August. The project has an anticipated completion date of January 15, 2017.
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…)