Frequently Asked Questions
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Q. What are modular buildings?
A. Modular buildings are constructed in a controlled factory environment and are shipped in sections, or modules, to building sites where they are assembled. Modular buildings can be used for temporary/relocatable or permanent applications. They are fully code compliant, meet the strictest quality control standards, and are built knowing each module will be transported to our client's site. Modular construction is an alternative method of building offices, health care centers, schools, and almost any other type of commercial building structure you can imagine. Modular construction employs factory techniques to improve quality, shorten manufacturing time, and reduce cost. Given the assembly line approach to manufacturing modular buildings, the economies of scale, the increased worker efficiencies, and the reduction of delays caused by inclement weather or vandalism the final results is a building that can be occupied more quickly at less cost.
Q. What are some advantages of modular and prefabricated building construction?
A. The most significant advantage of prefabricated building construction is time savings. Site-built buildings are subject to weather conditions, subcontractor delays, permitting delays, and labor shortages. Modular offices are built on a controlled timetable, in a factory environment. Typically a standard commercial modular building can be constructed in as little as 45 days. Time savings also occur because site preparation can be completed while the building is being constructed at the factory. Mobile office construction also provides a cost saving due to standardization of the engineering process, bulk purchase of building materials and the controlled factory construction environment. As a result, a standard modular building can cost up to 20% less than a traditionally constructed building. An additional advantage is gained in the quality of construction. A standardized construction method with skilled and knowledgeable labor means an MBS modular building is not dependent on the vagaries and availability of the local labor market.
Q. Are there other significant differences?
A. There is one other difference worth noting - flexibility. A modular building can be designed to be quickly assembled and easily dismantled. For instance, you can reconfigure a modular school to meet changing student numbers, something that is not possible to do with a standard brick and mortar facility. In fact, with modular construction, you can disassemble and move the entire building to another location and be back in business within a relatively short period of time.
Q. What is the quality of materials used to build modular buildings?
A. Modular Buildings are built to the same specification using quality materials as steel, wood grades, plumbing and electrical materials, fire walls, etc. Modular buildings must meet all the same state building codes as conventionally conventional construction. Our clients can make numerous choices regarding materials, finishes and color selections.
Q. How long has modular construction been in use?
A. The industry has its beginnings in the post World War II era when the huge demand for housing for returning GI's overwhelmed the construction industry's ability to deliver. Pre-fabricated modular housing was developed as a solution to this demand. Other countries with severe commercial building needs following the war also developed simplistic modular construction techniques. In the following decades, technological advances have increased the quality of those initial efforts, as well as opened the door to new applications for modular building construction.
Q. What are some of the unique uses for modular buildings?
A. Today, modular construction is used in almost every industry and walk of life. Mobile offices for construction, educational facilities, medical facilities, industrial office applications, prison and correctional housing as well as administration, branch financial offices, real estate offices, government buildings, and general commercial offices are just some of the uses.
Q. What do modular and portable buildings look like?
A. You drive by modular buildings and modular offices every day. They can look just like any other building around. Exteriors can vary in appearance and can be made to look similar to any other style of construction. Interiors can have brand name cabinets, plush carpets, and all of the other hardware associated with any other building. Because of the efficiencies of modular construction you may be able to upgrade the aesthetics and building components.
Q. What size buildings can be manufactured?
A. Modular buildings range from small "in-plant" offices to 100,000 square foot multi-story office complexes. We have provided buildings for schools, administrative offices, churches, childcare facilities, medical facilities, and more.
Q. What is the modular building construction process like?
A. MBS represents only quality prefabricated buildings manufacturers. We will assist you with a floor plan design as well as material selections, provide you with detailed drawings for submittals to government agencies for construction approval, and guide you through the entire construction process from conception to occupation.
Q. How long does construction take?
A. Our projects can take from one to three months depending on the scope and scale of the project - certainly much less time than site-built construction. Whereas conventional construction is a linear process, your modules can be manufactured and prepared for installation at the same time site work is being started.
Q. Do I need an architect?
A. In rare instances you may, however, our engineered approved drawings will generally be sufficient to obtain approvals. You will be required to have a site plan which we can assist you with.
Q. Do modular buildings, prefabricated buildings, portable buildings and modular offices meet code?
A. Yes. In many cases they exceed today's codes by offering greater energy efficiencies and weather resistance. They are designed to meet ADA requirements and fire safety rules, as well.
Q. Will the cost of transportation of the finished prefabricated building to my site affect my savings?
A. It does not affect your savings at all. The cost of transporting the building to your site is included in the initial price. Old-style builders also transport materials and supplies to the site which subjects them to weather and the potential for theft and vandalism.
Q. Can we move or rearrange our modular building?
A. Yes. Each building is comprised of modules that are separate, self-contained units with, in most instances, electrical, plumbing, and mechanical systems. A building comprised of multiple modules can be quickly disconnectedand removed from its foundation. A truck can then haul it to the next site where the process can be reversed, quickly. Adding another section, or module, to an existing building can also be completed much quicker than conventional construction.