Author Archive for Linc Moss

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…)

Fun and Games with Global Economics

Posted on: June 24th, 2011 by (No Comments)

During the recent MBI Modular Construction Summit in Washington D.C., manufacturers, dealers and service providers for the modular building industry had the pleasure of listening to Anirban Basu of the Sage Policy Group, Inc. Mr. Basu is also the chief economist for the Association of Building Contractors; therefore, he is acutely aware of the effects this recession has had upon the construction industry.

With the 2008 economic meltdown, the global aspect of our economy has become painfully obvious; NYSE down 33.8%, NASDAQ down 39.6%, London down 31.3%, Frankfort down 40.2% and Tokyo down 42.1%. Since that time, some modest growth has happened globally; 2010 recorded 5.0%, 2011 is on track for 4.4% and 2012 is forecast at 4.5%. The United Stated throughout this period has had, and is forecast to hover around 2.8% growth. This is contrasted by “Chindia” (China and India) whose growth during this same period is projected at 10.35%. China’s economy should surpass the U.S. within this decade and be twice that of the U.S. by 2030. The largest single migration on the planet is not Latinos moving to the U.S., it is rural Chinese moving to urban China, creating a “Chicago Sized” city every year in that country. Imagine the demands this must place upon infrastructure and the construction programs required to respond. (more…)