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Modular Classroom Construction Under Way

May 2nd, 2017 Comments off
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Students watch the modular construction. Credit: Peninsula Daily News.

In Washington, state and local officials lauded the start of construction of two new modular buildings for the Greywolf Elementary School last week, which will house new classrooms for kindergarten through third grade students beginning next school year.

According to the Peninsula Daily News, the structures will utilize cross-laminated timber (CLT), and are a part of a pilot project overseen by the state Department of Enterprise Services to address classroom sizes and pioneer the use of CLT in the state.

This is the site of new opportunity,” said U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer.

I believe the use of CLT will create more jobs, reduce the carbon footprint and create a more sustainable industry.

It’s incredibly exciting to sit down in Olympia and put $5½ million into this project to build classrooms,” said state Rep. Steve Tharinger, who serves as chairman of the Capital Budget committee.

We invest in building, so it’s exciting to see an actual project as innovative as this is.”

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A SkilPod prefab home. Credit: Inhabitat.

As Daily Business News readers are aware, CLT is a prefabricated, solid-engineered wood panel manufactured by fusing crisscrossing layers of wood. We recently covered Skilpod, a Belgian construction company, which created the #150 Skilpod solar-powered model, which was constructed using CLT.

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Derek Kilmer speaks at the groundbreaking. Credit: Peninsula Daily News.

In 2016, Washington legislators appropriated $5.5 million for design and construction of 10 buildings in multiple school districts across the state, in an effort to reduce class sizes.

It’s most exciting for us because it gives us some space to house kids,” said Donna Hudson, Greywolf Elementary principal.

For the kids themselves, it’s very common at recess to see kids lined up at the fence watching. They’re fascinated by it.”

Hudson said that she expects the installation process will take 3 months, and expects the buildings to be completed in June.

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Kilmer and Thacther sign their names on the building. Credit: Peninsula Daily News.

I’m excited about the use of timber from local sources and seeing locals work on the project,” said School District Superintendent Gary Neal.

More importantly, this is going to help us fit the needs of our population. We’re overcrowded right now, and so this couldn’t have come at a better time for us.”

Tharinger said that he believes CLT has other uses in the state, including affordable housing.

Affordable housing is a huge issue for the state,” said Tharinger. “To be able to fit that challenge with cross-laminated timber, creating rural jobs and using renewable wood, is a good fit.”

For more on the use of CLT in prefab modular homes, including the opening of the 75,000 square foot factory in the U.K. by the Swan Housing Association, click here. ##

(Image credits are as shown above, and when provided by third parties, are shared under fair use guidelines.)

 

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RC Williams, MHProNews.

Submitted by RC Williams to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.

Fab or fad? Innovative PreFab Homes could Disrupt Building Trades, Solve Shortages

October 4th, 2016 Comments off
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Eric Dean, credit Builder.

Eric Dean is out to help solve the worldwide housing shortage, one factory-crafted home at a time, reports ProSales Magazine’s Gary Thill.

A house is a very simple thing, but every time we build a house we seem to reinvent the wheel,” Dean told the audience at the FEA 2016 Forest Products Forum. “So we’ve done a seamless design process linked to a seamless manufacturing process. All through the process what we are doing is cutting out layers of people we don’t need.”

UK based Dean works as the innovation and production director for Legal & General Homes, Ltd, a unit of British insurer and whose goal is to be one of the largest homebuilders in the country.

Note video above is a Legal & General commercial.

Dean recently presented a new, Cross Laminated Timber (CLT)-focused manufacturing process as a way to make building single and multi-family homes easier by turning it into a prefabricated home assembly line.

The “layers of people” Dean talks about includes an entire construction crew as well as plumbers, electricians and other specialists. Instead, his vision is that it would take just two people to build a house in about five hours.

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Vahid Brooshakian · Tarbiat Modares University, writes of CLT as follows: “Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) is an engineered structural material comprising layers of wood stacked cross-wise and bonded with structural adhesives. CLT is used for walls, floors and roofs.”
Speaking about GLT, he writes, “Glued Laminated Timber (Glulam) is produced in a similar fashion but with the grain aligned in one direction. Glulam is predominantly used for structural beams. Both are prefabricated in factories to precise specifications, then joined on-site with simple connections using hand tools to form complete structures.” Image credit, ResearchGate.

It becomes a logistics exercise,” Dean said. “We’ve got the right process and the right tools. We can really work efficiently. There’s no skill in any of it; this process is all about mass production. It doesn’t matter if we’re making 100 houses of the same type or different; as long as the process is the same, we can deliver it efficiently.”

No Legal & General video of CLT’s were seen as available at this time,
so the video above is an example of a CLT process.

The efficient process would work as follows; the plant would take raw wood and transform it into 20-meter CLT panels to serve as the “chassis” for modular single-family homes and multi-family units.

After the panels are made, they are run over 12 stations of machine assembly that can cut out outlets, doors, window and even laminate and finish gypsum board walls. The completed “box” comes with electrical and plumbing, and is placed into waiting foundations, with one level on top of each other.

With Innovation – Comes Pushbacks…

But there is push-back from opponents to CLT.  The video below is one example, from the concrete trades.

ProSales writes, “L&G, which boasts $1 trillion under management, has pledged another $650 million for additional plants.” Is that a strong enough commitment for their CLT plans to overcome opposition?

The current plan is to for Dean and the company to focus its efforts in the United Kingdom (UK), where 132,000 homes are built every year.  There is a need for more than 250,000, per L&G Homes, Ltd. Over time, with success in the British Isles, will they target beyond the UK too? ##

(Image credit is as shown above.)

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Joe Dyton, for the Daily Business News, MHProNews.

Submitted by Joe Dyton to the Daily Business News, MHProNews.

Scotland Installs First Modular Housing Project

November 30th, 2015 Comments off

scottishhousingnews__credit__Audrey_Sinclair_and_Matt_Stevenson__first_mods_in_ScotlandA pioneering social housing (low income) development commissioned by the Highland Council in Scotland has resulted in eight one bedroom modular apartments at Kendal Court, according to scottishhousingnews. The first of its kind in the country, the project was developed and designed by Inverness-based social housing company JNESpace and manufactured by Carbon Dynamic in Invergordon.

Produced with energy efficiency and sustainability in mind, each flat should cost £20 (just over $30.) per month to run. The modular homes are built using cross laminated timber (CLT), and each unit has its own access and balcony, and a low carbon footprint.

Matt Stevenson, managing director at Carbon Dynamic, said, “It demonstrates an alternative to traditional social housing to help tackle fuel poverty and the apartments installed today will do just that.

Councillor Audrey Sinclair, chair of Highland Council’s planning, development and infrastructure committee, said, “We hope this will be the first of many more such sustainable social housing projects. These units are high quality, easy to install and extremely well-insulated making them inexpensive to heat. They can be quickly built to a high standard meaning less waste and less cost,” adding, she hopes to receive feedback from the residents who will live there.

Site preparations can be made while the homes are being manufactured in the factory, leading to decreased overall production time, as MHProNews knows. ##

(Photo credit: scottishhousingnews– Audrey Sinclair (l) and Matt Stevenson as the last roof is craned into place.)

matthew-silver-daily-business-news-mhpronews-comArticle submitted by Matthew J. Silver to Daily Business News-MHProNews.