Site preparation is a key part of any construction project. It literally lays the foundation for what will be built on top of it.
Unfortunately, it’s also a time-consuming process that can delay the rest of construction for months and can create an impact that can overwhelm any building site. Unless, of course, you choose modular construction for your next project.
At Metric Modular, our streamlined process will significantly reduce construction time, while ensuring our environmental footprint is far smaller than if you used conventional building methods.
The secret to our ability to meet accelerated timelines is that we can prepare the entire site while all the housing units are simultaneously being built in our climate-controlled factory.
Metric Modular’s site manager of the TWU project, Jason Wood, says site preparation has taken approximately two months. While we were excavating the site, relocating sewer and electrical services, and pouring the foundation for the new building, all the above ground work was being built off-site at our Agassiz, B.C. factory.
And when we say “being built”, we mean nearly everything. That includes the framing, plumbing, electrical, painting, tiling, fixtures, appliances, windows. Even the millwork is created by in-house craftsmen. Once each unit is assembled, they are shipped by trucks and craned into place. Jason says the first three floors can be assembled at site in just 11 days.
If this were a conventional build, assembling the actual suites would have had to wait several months until the site was ready.
But the benefits extend far beyond our exceptional time advantage. The modular process also shields the building materials from the elements.
Joe Cosgrove, Vice-President of Project Development, says April was a particularly brutal month for rain, but all the TWU units stayed nice and dry in our factory. “Think about working in that volume of water,” Joe says. “Everything would have been soaked.”
– Jason Wood
One key concern for TWU officials was how the construction process would co-exist with a busy campus. The construction site was located on a part of the campus that had a finite amount of space to work with and was next to where hundreds of students lived in existing dorms.
With most of the actual building being done in a factory setting, there aren’t months of hammering and pounding from workers. The site also requires far fewer power generators – a main source of noise for building sites.
Having building materials delivered to the factory, instead of the TWU site, means hundreds of large trucks were diverted away from a school that has only one entry point, reducing noise and creating a safer atmosphere.
“Imagine all those extra trucks rumbling through the campus,” Joe says. “With only one entrance, that would’ve created a real chokepoint.”
Jason says the fencing around the actual construction is set back only about 30 feet. Traditional construction sites often require 3 to 4 times as much space to accommodate all the lumber and other building materials that are stored. With our modular system, all those materials are stored at our factory, so there isn’t a giant pile of waste on a site that needs to be disposed of. A reduction in on-site materials also creates a safer site because they don’t need to be craned up to all the floors, lessening the chance of accidents.
– Jason Wood
That means fewer demands on parking space for all of those workers, as well as less garbage and washroom requirements.
“Our building footprint is able to be so much smaller than conventional construction sites,” Jason says. “And we’re always looking at ways to minimize our footprint even further.”
That meant consulting with TWU officials and setting up mitigation efforts to protect an Ecosystem Study Area that sits right next to the building site.
Metric Modular is acting as the prime contractor for the TWU project, but our patented process can be easily tailored so we act as a subcontractor as well.
“We can go any way an owner wants us to go,” says Joe. “We can work with a contractor to meet their needs. That’s the advantage of modular construction.”
With the site preparation nearing completion, work is continuing at Metric Modular’s factory to finish up the last remaining modular units. Our streamlined process will ensure that each suite is completed and ready for delivery.
Trinity Western University needed to expand student housing, but timing was tight. With just 9 months from contract signing to students moving in, Trinity turned to Metric Modular to ensure the timeline would be met.View Phase
Metric Modular was chosen in December 2017 by Trinity Western University in Langley, B.C. to build a new five-storey wood building with 220 beds. The building had to be move-in ready by September 2018.View Phase
Building each modular unit in our factory means all the site preparation has been completed while the suites were being built simultaneously. The time and costs savings is significant, but building modular housing in a factory offers so many more advantages.View Phase
The start of the craning process is an important milestone as it marks the transition from the hard work of building the modular units at our factory to actually putting each unit into place at their permanent home.
The new housing offers a radical improvement to TWU's ability to compete with other schools because it has been designed taking into consideration students' lifestyle.View Phase