It’s always a treat for us to read about how another country has adopted modular construction to tackle their own unique construction requirements. The following article is from the Australian web site “Construction Source” and was authored by John Rouvalis who is an Associate Director with the international Engineering company the Meinhardt Group. In it, John urges his peers to discover and to fully appreciate all of the attributes that modular construction can bring to a project.
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Tags: Green Building, High Quality Construction, Lean manufacturing, LEED, modular building, Nehemiah Spring Creek - Phase III, Non Combustible Construction, offsite construction, sustainable construction
The third phase of a multi-phase affordable housing project in the East New York section of Brooklyn.
Please join Capsys and members of the NYC Development Community on April 26, 2012 for a discussion on the future growth of the Modular Construction Industry
NYU Schack Institute of Real Estate Construction Management Program and the Real Estate Synergy Club will be hosting an event entitled “OFF-SITE CONSTRUCTION & MODULAR HIGH-RISE” to be held at The Shorin Performance Center @ The Kimmel Center on the NYU campus at 600 Washington Square South, NY, NY on Thursday, April 26, 2012 at 7:30 AM.
The event will include breakfast followed by a panel discussion featuring prominent members of the New York development and construction oversight authorities, representatives of the Modular Building Institute, members of the Sustainable construction consultancy community as well as members of the Capsys management team.
As Sasha Durcan, one of the event’s organizers puts it: “The global construction and development industries have embraced “one of the oldest new ideas” with Off-site & Modular High-Rise Construction. Advances in parametric modeling and digital fabrication have significantly advanced off-site building capabilities. Modular design can now substantially reduce schedules; create efficient labor, material and cost savings; improve quality control and worker safety; as well as easily contributing to sustainability goals.”
So, please join the Capsys, along with the NYU Schack Institute CMAA Chapter, the Real Estate Synergy Club, members of NYU Stern, NYU Law and NYU Wagner schools, as well as industry stakeholders, to discuss current challenges and solutions in the Off-Site & Modular Industry.
This event is free to the public.
For more information as the event evolves, please check in often at the event BlogSpot linked below. We look forward to seeing you there.
The answer is yes according to Alistair Gibb, Professor of Construction Engineering Management at Loughborough University. Loughborough University is located in Leicestershire, England. It is a leading research school consistently ranked among the top 15 in the UK.
Professor Gibb supplied the following article to the website Buildoffsite, which is one of our favorite web spots. Buildoffsite is the trade organization representing the Offsite Construction Industry throughout the UK.
We at Capsys are often asked about the Sustainable Construction aspects of our fabrication system. I think the following article by Professor Gibb very clearly and succinctly points out the most important and relevant aspects of the discussion and comes down clearly on the site that volumetric modular construction will have numerous positive impacts on any typical construction program.
Please read what professor Gibb has to say in the following:
Is offsite sustainable?
Offsite manufacture, sometimes called prefabrication, modular or industrialised building, is an approach to constructing the built environment that has been at the leading edge of innovation for a number of years. Put simply, offsite is manufacturing and assembling whole buildings or substantial parts of buildings prior to installation into their final location. The work almost always takes place in a factory environment. The offsite spectrum includes non-volumetric units such as panels and building services modules; volumetric units such as toilet or kitchen ‘pods’; and whole building solutions, often known as ‘modular buildings’. Offsite is a strategy that affects the whole project rather than just the application of ad-hoc products or technologies. Government-prompted reports have extolled its virtues, manufacturers have publicised its benefits, developers have worried about its cost and architects have debated its worth. Notwithstanding, offsite is here to stay as a valuable part of the built environment.
But, is offsite sustainable? The vision of many of the early exponents fits the sustainable culture very well: Buckminster Fuller’s goal in the middle of the last century was to ‘touch the earth lightly’ and his Dymaxion Dwelling Machine – or Wichita House1 was his realization of this ambition. However, like many such experiments, the Wichita house was ultimately destined to become a museum exhibit. Kieran Timberlake’s Loblolly House2 sees the minimum impact of the construction process through offsite as part of its sustainable credentials, along with the widespread use of recycled and local materials, such as locally quarried stones and sustainably harvested wood windows.
3 WAS 003.003 – Offsite Construction Case Studies
A report recently published by researchers from the University of Colorado has generated considerable buzz within the high performance construction industry. According to Matthew Hallowell, assistant professor of Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering at the University of Colorado Boulder, he and his fellow researchers found that LEED construction locations had a 50 percent higher injury rate than non-LEED sites. Hallowell and his team visited and made observations at various LEED and non-LEED construction sites, pored over injury reports, and conducted interviews in their process of completing their study.
The report is interesting and provocative. I would like to highlight a key finding from the report, the summary of key findings from which follows. Prefabrication of buildings such as the modular construction techniques we use here at Capsys may greatly or mitigate many of these increased risks.
We thank the author for his work and suggest that you readers seek out the entire report and form your own conclusions
Key Findings from Research:
Design for Safety Techniques for Green Building Components
Reports and Authors:
Collective results of this study have been organized into three manuscripts, which have been
accepted or are in review by the Journal of Construction Engineering and Management:
Safety Risk Identification for High Performance Sustainable Building Construction
Bernard R. Fortunato III, Matthew R. Hallowell, Michael Behm, Katherine Dewlaney
Safety Risk Quantification for High Performance Sustainable Building Construction
Katherine S. Dewlaney, Matthew R. Hallowell, and Bernard R. Fortunato III
Safety Risk Mitigation for High Performance Sustainable Building Construction
Katherine S. Dewlaney and Matthew R. Hallowell
The US Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design
(LEED) program represents the largest program in the United States for the measurement,
verification, and certification of green buildings. A recent study found that LEED certified
buildings have a recordable injury rate that is 9% higher than traditional, non-LEED
buildings. This finding served as the impetus for the present study, which aimed to (1)
identify and evaluate the safety and health risks associated with the design elements and
construction management practices implemented to achieve LEED certification by
conducting eight detailed case studies; (2) quantify the percent increase in base-level
safety risk through 37 interviews with designers and contractors who had completed an
average of four LEED projects and 100 traditional projects in their average of 18 years of
experience in the architecture, engineering, and construction industry; and (3) identify and
describe strategies that reduce the safety risk associated with the design and construction
of high performance sustainable projects by conducting 26 additional interviews with
experienced designers and constructors. The study revealed 12 LEED credits that
increase safety risks on construction projects when compared with traditional, non-LEED
alternatives. The study also revealed that there are feasible prevention through design
techniques, technologies and controls, and management strategies that can be
implemented to mitigate these risks. The results of the study were packaged into a first-generation decision support tool that provides designers and construction managers with
safety suggestions for their LEED projects.
Workers on LEED construction projects are exposed to work at height, with
electrical current, near unstable soils, and near heavy equipment for a greater
period of time than on traditional projects.
Workers are exposed to new high risk tasks such as constructing atria, installing
vegetated roofs, and installing photovoltaic (PV) panels that are not present on
The most significant impacts are a 36% increase in lacerations, strains and
sprains from recycling construction materials; a 24% increase in falls to lower
level during roof work because of the installation of on-site renewable energy
(e.g., PV panels); a 19% increase in eye strain when installing reflective roof
membranes; and a 14% increase in exposure to harmful substances when
installing innovative wastewater technologies.
Designers and contractors identified prefabrication, effective site layout, and alternative products as methods to prevent injuries that specifically relate the hazards of each sustainable element.
Specifying low VOC materials reduces health-related risks for construction workers
who perform work in enclosed environments.
This research has revealed the substantial need for a detailed lifecycle analysis of
the safety impacts of high risk and common sustainable building technologies.
Although these technologies may have substantial environmental benefits, many
have been shown to result in greater exposures to known occupational hazards
during the construction process. Further research is needed to evaluate the safety
risks during manufacturing of sustainable materials, shipping, installation, and
For more information, contact the lead author:
© Copyright 2011, CPWR – The Center for Construction Research and Training. All rights reserved This research
and report was funded by CPWR – The Center for Construction Research and Training as part of a cooperative
agreement with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, NIOSH (OH009762). The research is
solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of NIOSH. CPWR, the
research and training arm of the Building and Construction Trades Department, AFL-CIO, is uniquely situated to
serve workers, contractors, and the scientific community. For more information, visit www.cpwr.com
Tags: Bldg 92, Green Building, High Quality Construction, Lean manufacturing, LEED, modular building, Non Combustible Construction, offsite construction, Park Terrace, Prefabrication, sustainable construction
So says the National Recourses Defense Council in a recent article posted by our friends at “Living Green Magazine”. We’d like to share the article with you. We agree that Modular Construction is at the forefront and leading the Green Revolution in construction.
Within the past year, Capsys has achieved a LEED Gold certification for our Park Terrace apartment building project in Yonkers, NY and achieved LEED Platinum for our Building 92 project in Brooklyn, NY. Our steel frame, midrise modular construction system, while aimed at a different market segment of construction than the corporate examples named in the article, will continue to contribute Sustainable Construction solutions to our clients.
We’ve been testing a suite of products from Verve Living systems in our office and, so far we are very impressed. Verve’s products provide easy, convenient or even passive ways to save energy. Their products fall into four main categories:
- Occupancy detection devices that sense motion and, when no motion is detected over a given time span, can wirelessly communicate with lighting and HVAC systems to close circuits or kick back temperature settings thereby saving on energy costs while keeping the space comfortable. We see a wide range of applications in the Hospitality Industry for these products.
- Heating and cooling controls produce energy savings by adjusting the thermostat automatically. This technology is useful for all types of residential applications.
- Battery-free or lumen/solar powered user interfaces – door/ window switches and remote controls – that allow you to wirelessly control the lighting and temperature. Imagine never having to change batteries in your remote controls!
- Lighting and load-control products that enable total control over lighting and outlets. So you can sit in your living room with the wireless controller and turn on or dim lights anywhere in the house.
A link to Verve’s web site is listed below. Please visit them. We think their products, when used in conjunction with our Modular Construction technology offer almost any residential or hospitality construction project a sustainable, energy efficient alternative to conventional site/craft construction.
Public/Private Residence Hall construction is a fast growing trend in the academic world. Below is a link to a New York Times article about this trend. Our non-combustible modular construction system is the perfect solution for providing precision-built, green and sustainable residence halls while minimizing campus disruption by using our system that reduces construction times by 50%
For more information on our GreenFlex Residence Hall solution along with sample plans, please visit our website also linked below.