The General Services Administration has updated its construction standards to require all new GSA buildings to attain LEED Gold certification. Permanent Modular Construction offers an excellent solution to meet this new GSA standard, according to Gail Warrior, president of Warrior Group.
The General Services Administration (GSA) has updated its construction standards to require reductions in energy use for all future buildings as well as greater use of recycled materials and more construction waste recycling during construction. These changes are part of an effort to require all GSA buildings to attain LEED Gold certification, the second highest rating from the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program. According to Gail Warrior, president and chief executive officer, Warrior Group, a provider of premier construction services, Permanent Modular Construction (PMC) offers an excellent solution to meet this new GSA standard.
"Many sustainable practices are inherent to the PMC process," says Warrior. "With PMC, building modules-which often include several rooms-are constructed off-site in a quality-controlled environment using the same materials that would be used on-site. The manufacturing environment allows us to apply lean manufacturing methods to addresses recycling and reuse of materials. It also allows us to build tightly sealed structures, which reduces air infiltration and makes the buildings more energy efficient."
The new GSA standards require, among other things, that construction projects use at least 10 percent recycled materials for building construction, recycle at least 50 percent of construction waste and call for a 30 percent reduction in energy use over a previous baseline. PMC can enable a building to meet these standards more easily, according to Warrior, because most of the construction is completed in a controlled manufacturing plant environment, which allows the manufacturer to apply the most advanced manufacturing techniques to the process of creating a building.
Because the building modules are built in a factory and all stages of construction are planned and carefully structured, including material usage, PMC produces substantially less construction waste than conventional construction. Within the modular construction factory, virtually all waste and debris is recycled or redirected back into the manufacturing process. Furthermore, PMC's factory manufacturing process also allows the contractor greater flexibility when seeking the best materials and suppliers for a job. This makes it much easier to meet a customer's requirement to use special materials, such as recycled content.
The modular process makes it easier to build a tighter, more efficient building. Tighter buildings allow less outside air infiltration and less conditioned air to escape and enable users to more precisely regulate ventilation by conditioning the exact amount of outside air the building requires. This not only saves energy, but improves indoor air quality, which enhances the comfort and habitability of a building.
Real-life data is available to verify that permanent modular buildings exceed the typical standards for air infiltration. Tests conducted at the permanent modular base housing complex at Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas, determined that the structures achieved an air leakage rate of only 0.122 cfm/sf (cubic feet per minute /square foot). The standard most architects, engineers and facility operators rely on is ASHRAE 90.1-2007, which calls for air infiltration of not more than 0.4 cfm/sf. Other standards include the more stringent BHMA/ANSI which specifies an air infiltration of 0.3 cfm/sf and the most stringent is the US Army Corps of Engineers standard of 0.25 cfm/sf.
"Permanent modular construction not only promotes the building of LEED-certified structures, but also helps the building process stay as environmentally-friendly as possible, making it an ideal solution for a GSA facility," said Warrior. "By shifting the bulk of the construction process from a traditional job site to an enclosed factory, PMC requires a smaller job site for projects, less actual on-site time and reduces environmental impact during construction. Many of the workers typically found on a construction site are in the factory, resulting in far less congestion at the job site, which is not only green, but safer as well."
Warrior adds, "The factory process in PMC decreases construction time because site work and building construction in the factory occur simultaneously. This typically speeds up the building process by 20 to 30 percent enabling owners get both a completed building and a return on their investment sooner than with traditional construction."
About Warrior Group
Warrior Group, based in DeSoto, Texas, is a multi-million dollar provider of premier construction services focusing on permanent modular construction and construction management. The 14-year old company is one of the largest minority- and woman-owned construction services companies in the U.S. with more than four million square feet of successfully completed projects in the last four years alone, and with an impressive roster of private and public sector clients across the United States. Warrior is dedicated to building long-term customer relationships by continually surpassing expectations and providing superior customer service, effective construction management and turnkey solutions in the modular and general construction industry.