What is Modular Building and Why Is It A Smart Choice?

Modular Buildings are prefabricated commercial and residential structures available in various sizes and configurations. The purpose of a modular building is to provide a specific type of space quickly and affordably for a business, school, church, or literally any kind of organization that needs to facilitate people in work, educational or living environment. Modular buildings can be delivered to a site, assembled, connected to utilities and technology, and made ready for occupancy within days of an order. Used and new modular buildings can be rented or purchased.

By definition, the phrase “modular building” is often explained as prefabricated modules that are built in a factory and delivered to a location where they are interconnected to create one large single or multiple-story structure. This process combines commercial and residential construction with a sophisticated method of building in a modern factory environment. The end result is high-quality construction at an affordable price made ready for occupancy in half the time of conventional construction.

Do Modular Buildings have to meet state and federal building codes?
Yes. Commercial and residential modular buildings must meet the appropriate state and federal guidelines to legally be sold and installed anywhere in the United States. This includes the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and its regulations for providing handicap accessibility features to all public buildings. Check with your local Building and Safety Department or modular builder for details.

Why are Modular Buildings always 10′ or 12′ in width?

Modular buildings are manufactured in modules that are transported using trucks and installed using various types of dollies for rolling the units into place, cranes for lifting and setting modules on foundations, and even forklifts for special needs. Not only do the modular manufacturers need to meet state roadway regulations, but they have to meet the demands of customers who want comfortable and spacious modular buildings. The modular building industry has adapted nicely to this difficult balancing act and does an incredible job of adhering to laws while at the same time delivering spacious and comfortable facilities. We love 10′ and 12′ wide modules!

What is a “standard” Modular Building?
Modular building manufacturers and dealers in the United States typically have “stock” modular buildings in their inventories. These standardized modular offices and classrooms are designed for the customer that needs space quickly and typically wants to rent the modular building for temporary use or buy a used model for a long-term need. This is similar to how some car dealerships have inventories of standard model cars – with higher-end custom options available through a special ordering process.

Some of the most common “standard” modular building sizes available for rent or purchase are
24′ x 40′ 960 square feet, 24′ x 60′ 1,440 square feet, 36′ x 60′ 2,160 square feet, 48′ x 60′ 2,880 square feet. Remember, any standard modular building can be customized to meet your specific floor plan needs much like renovating an office or home. Every floor plan is flexible.

What is a custom Modular Building?
Custom modular building manufacturing is very common in the United States. This prefabricated building option is designed to meet the specific needs of customers, particularly when a design specification needs to be exact for the operation of the business. Custom modular building manufacturing is popular for health care facility projects, public and private school campuses, military barracks and specialized military deployment structures, emergency response buildings and shelters, and any type of permanent single or multi-story commercial or residential structure.

Today, architects, engineers, and building product manufacturers are more familiar than ever with custom modular building. This has opened many doors for modular builders to use a wider variety of stylish and functional interior and exterior finish materials, doors, windows, lighting, and building automation technologies that make modular buildings smart and ecologically friendly.

What types of foundations are used for modular building installation?
Standard and custom modular buildings can be installed on temporary or permanent foundation systems. These systems are typically provided by the modular building supplier who, by law, has to provide an engineered foundation system that meets local and federal building and safety codes.

Temporary foundation systems typically consist of steel piers and either concrete or wood base pads. In areas where wind or seismic activity is common, tie-down strapping will also be required to strengthen the modular building’s connection to the ground.

Permanent foundation systems for modular buildings can be designed and engineered in many ways – all of which have to meet local and federal building codes. Permanent modular buildings can be “pit set” into the ground or set above grade on a raised foundation. Permanent foundations are more costly than temporary but well worth the investment if the modular will be on site for an extended period of time.

Who handles the delivery and installation of a Modular Building?
When you buy or rent a modular building, the supplier is typically going to handle the delivery and installation. Most modular building companies either own transportation trucks or have contractors readily available for delivery and pick up. Additionally, modular building suppliers always have experienced and licensed installation contractors that can handle any type of temporary or permanent installation.