Author Archive for Linc Moss

Permanent Modular Construction Longevity

Posted on: August 21st, 2015 by (No Comments)

In June of this year, Ramtech Leasing Ltd sold its final asset; a 10,500SF office on 4.55 acres in north Fort Worth that has been home to the National Weather Service’s Forecast Office for all of north central Texas. The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) entered into a ten year lease including a ten year option period with Ramtech in 1993. In 2014 a fifteen year lease renewal was successfully negotiated with the GSA (retroactive to 2013). With the property and building generating income through 2028 from a tenant that is highly unlikely to relocate, the property became very attractive to investors and sold within 75 days after being placed on the market.

NOAA
Much has been made recently about the virtues of permanent modular construction (PMC), and rightfully so. This is nothing new to Ramtech. Over our 33 year history Ramtech has been an industry advocate through our successful execution of PMC projects throughout the southwest. NOAA’s Fort Worth WFO is a great example. The building was constructed using (12) type V conventional wood framed modules placed atop a poured concrete spread footing foundation. The building’s exterior cladding is 100% masonry with a low-slope single ply membrane roof. Over its first 21-years the building had nothing more than routine maintenance performed. In late 2014 in conjunction with the lease renewal, Ramtech undertook a capital improvement of the property consisting of new paint, carpeting, roofing material and HVAC equipment. A 22 year life cycle on these building components is outstanding regardless the type of construction utilized for the building.

When it comes to office, educational or healthcare space, PMC can truly stand shoulder to shoulder with any form of conventional construction. The fact that this particular building will likely be generating income for its owners over 35 plus years, attests to the longevity of PMC, which has been a question with this form of construction. New buildings utilizing PMC that are constructed to applicable model codes set atop an appropriately designed foundation are real buildings that generate significant real ROI. If you’re intrigued by PMC and would like to explore the options PMC offers for your next building project, please contact Ramtech where a helpful sales representative will listen to your needs and work with our team to develop workable plans that meet your schedule and budget.

Ramtech Wins MBI Awards of Distinction for KIPP Modular Buildings

Posted on: April 1st, 2013 by (No Comments)

Ramtech received a first place award in the Temporary Education over 10,000 Square Feet category at the Modular Building Institute’s 30th annual convention and tradeshow held this month at the Westin Kierland Resort in Scottsdale, AZ. The award was for the recently completed 24,500 square foot modular school campus for charter school operator KIPP Delta Public Schools in Blytheville, Arkansas.  Ramtech took just 120 days to complete a new campus that included 16 elementary school classrooms, 8 middle school classrooms, a food service-cafeteria, and an administration building.  The key to the rapid completion of the project was the use of Ramtech’s modular building system which saved KIPP both time and money when compared to traditional site construction.  (more…)

A Regional Strategy to Permanent Modular Construction

Posted on: February 20th, 2013 by (No Comments)

While permanent modular construction (PMC) has become a leading building system used in the development of commercial and institutional facilities, there isn’t a single approach, or one modular company, that has come to dominate the commercial modular industry.  Just as modular construction in the United Kingdom is practiced differently than it is in India, permanent modular construction in the United States also varies widely from one region of the country to another – and from one market or product line to another.   (more…)

Green Buildings Underperforming??

Posted on: December 20th, 2012 by (No Comments)

For the last several years, the Modular Building Institute (MBI) has attempted to address the inequalities of the International Green Construction Code when applied to small commercial construction projects, as these are the heart of the commercial modular industry. MBI promotes the fact that modular buildings are one of the best platforms for sustainable building construction today for the following reasons:

  • Factory construction means greater waste diversion from landfills
  • Factory controlled construction means greater use of recycling practices
  • Off-site construction means less site disruption
  • Ability of modular buildings to be relocated and repurposed means fewer buildings being demolished and ultimately less waste

As we have stated before, sustainable construction practices make sense when applied in scale to the overall project. Small projects bear an inordinate amount of costs to attain certain levels of sustainable construction when compared to large public and private sector work; however, there may be more to question when it comes to green construction. (more…)

Modular Building Institute’s Contributions to Permanent Modular Construction

Posted on: June 29th, 2012 by (No Comments)

The Modular Building Institute (MBI) has been the trade association representing the commercial modular building industry since 1983.  Throughout the years, MBI has helped its members in a number of ways but the greatest contribution has been MBI’s involvement in state and federal legislative matters.  As stated by the MBI, “the government affairs efforts give our members the opportunity to help shape the rules that govern their business, and do so in a cost effective and coordinated manner.”  The following information is from the MBI’s June 2012 Government Affairs Committee Report as reported by Tom Hardiman, Executive Director of the MBI.

Department of Veterans Affairs – In 2010, the Modular Building Institute had the opportunity to testify in front of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee to discuss construction practices within the Department of Veterans’ Affairs. The MBI believed the Department of Veterans’ Affairs could greatly increase efficiency and reduce construction costs by adopting changes to their construction practices, specifically by incorporating a Design-Build process vs. a Design-Bid-Build process.  Due to pressure by MBI and DBIA, the Government Accountability Office announced that they will review the construction policies of the VA.  MBI was also able to get the following language included in the MilCon Report which accompanies the FY 2013 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act:

“Military Construction Project Delivery. — the Committee is aware that the design-build project delivery method is conducted under one guaranteed contract, offers fast track aspects, cost savings, and decreased litigation claims. The Design-Build method reduces construction costs, speeds up construction time and guarantees quality in all measured categories. Therefore, the Committee encourages the use of this method, when appropriate, in order to provide greater efficiency, lower life cycle costs, and expedite construction, repairs and alterations of Federal buildings.”   (more…)

Prefabricated Construction: An Answer To Reduced Military Spending

Posted on: June 9th, 2012 by (No Comments)

The blog site for the Modular Building Institute recently posted an article that addressed upcoming spending reductions by the Department of Defense.  The article stated that “Defense spending may be down somewhat, but there’s still plenty of project dollars out there if you know where to look,” while also adding that firms seeking military contracts must keep abreast of five military construction trends. Ramtech took a look at these trends to show how our approach to permanent modular building construction satifies these requirements.  (more…)

International Green Construction Code Available for Adoption

Posted on: May 11th, 2012 by (No Comments)

The 2012 International Green Construction Code was published in March of this year. This model code is now available for adoption by state and local governmental bodies that rule over construction. So far over a dozen of these entities have adopted the 2012 IgCC in whole on a voluntary basis or in part on a mandatory basis. Arguably most significant of these adoptions is the State of Florida. Florida has adopted the IgCC as an option for the retrofitting and new construction of all state-owned facilities. Previously, Florida law did not recognize any kind of green construction code, only voluntary rating systems (LEED). The legislation specifically allows the IgCC to be used by the Department of Management Services and encourages state agencies to adopt the IgCC as a model green building code that will apply to all buildings financed by the state, including county, municipal, school districts, water management districts, state universities, community colleges and state court buildings. The legislation noted that Florida lawmakers expect the IgCC to serve as a model for private sector adoption of sustainable building measures. (more…)

Is Design-Build Still a Preferred Delivery Method?

Posted on: August 18th, 2011 by (No Comments)

There have been discussions recently around the blogosphere that point to some evidence that the use of the design-build delivery system for construction has been declining lately, specifically on federal projects.  The transparency requirements and reliance on ‘fixed-priced’ contracts from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (aka The Stimulus Act) were originally, and erroneously, thought to have restricted the use of design-build.  The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has also been cited as one agency that is pulling back from design-build. But is this the case for the federal government as a whole? Recent reports like this one indicate that it isn’t, and if you factor in the number of states that have adopted and changed their laws allowing it, design-build delivery would seem to have a pretty bright future. (more…)

Getting the Most Out of Permanent Modular Construction

Posted on: August 16th, 2011 by (No Comments)

Offsite construction, such as permanent modular construction (PMC), has a number of advantages when compared to onsite construction, including speed, lower cost, and higher quality.  There are, however, a number of challenges that come with PMC.  One such challenge is the need for every scope of work to be clearly defined prior to the start of work.  What work is to be done offsite versus what is completed onsite?  Electrical, mechanical, plumbing, and some finishes are typically completed in the factory, with related scopes typically completed onsite by a subcontractor.  On account of this, every major subcontractor must provide a design assist role with the A/E of record and the prime contractor. In addition, a very detailed schedule must be part of each subcontractor’s contract.  (more…)

Permanent Modular Construction: Perception Versus Reality

Posted on: July 15th, 2011 by (No Comments)

For years we have heard how advanced the commercial modular industry was in the UK and Europe when compared to the U.S.  Sophisticated, high profile permanent modular projects on the other side of the pond seemed to be well publicized and ingrained in the public mindset, while here most people think of most modular construction in the same vein as mobile homes.  But it appears that the vision in the UK may not be that much different than ours. (more…)