Tag Archive for Green Building

How to Build Better Mobile Offices Part 1: The Foundation

Not all mobile offices are created equal. Precision in-factory construction can produce high-quality mobile offices with all the amenities and comforts of a conventional full-service office building.

Click on the video below to watch ModSpace VP of Construction Services Sam Tikriti walk you through the first of our three-part series on how to build a better mobile office.


Be sure to check back later this week as we post the next video in this series.

14 Construction Apps for Project Managers in 2014

iphone tool belt 300x286 14 Construction Apps for Project Managers in 2014Apple’s App Store recently topped 1 million apps, with approximately 25,000 new apps being added every day, or one every 3.5 seconds. For construction, the store has more than 10,000 good and not-so-good tools available to help project managers be more effective and efficient on the job. With so many options, finding the right one for you can be a task in itself. To help you get a jump on your app search, here are 14 you should consider downloading in 2014.

1. Archipad Lite

A version of Archipad software made for the iPad, this free app allows project managers to create and send punch lists, reports, and drawings with specific locations for items. It also “learns” to autocomplete entries based on familiar phrases you use. Archipad Lite automatically formats information, eliminating time-consuming steps to ensure your information is conveyed in a neat, concise way. 

2. iAuditor: Safety Audit and Checklist

Do paperless safety checks and inspections for free. Edit, sign-off and approve,  then email completed audits in PDF or Microsoft Word formats. The iAuditor has more than Read more

Sustainable Architecture Takes On Urban Agriculture

nyc dragonfly night 300x196 Sustainable Architecture Takes On Urban AgricultureArchitects are coming up with some innovative ways to make sustainable buildings. Many of these sustainable projects are still in the concept phase. Among them, two proposed projects recently caught our eye as both aspire to integrate large areas for farming in urban settings.

Here’s how these proposed projects may take urban architecture and agriculture to new heights… Literally.

Belgian architect Vincent Callebaut designed a 132-floor urban farm concept for Roosevelt Island in New York City. The proposed “Dragonfly” development would rely on Read more

Growing Bricks Creates New Opportunities for Sustainable Building

bioMason Brick Growing Bricks Creates New Opportunities for Sustainable BuildingThe search for sustainable building materials has technology firms and construction companies looking in some surprising places. One such firm, bioMason, found a way to create construction-grade bricks from, believe it or not, bacteria — bacterial byproducts to be specific.

From Bacteria to Bricks

Bacteria create natural cement (similar to coral) in as little as five days. This cement is combined with sand to form bricks capable of holding up to the pressures of residential and commercial construction. Essentially, the bioMason brick is Read more

LEED vs. Green Globes: The Battle for Sustainable Building Supremacy

greenbuilding 300x274 LEED vs. Green Globes: The Battle for Sustainable Building SupremacyThere’s a new kid on the green construction standard block. The Green Globes rating system is being touted as a less-expensive method of rating the sustainability of construction projects. Until recently, LEED was the leading certification program that offered ratings for green architectural design and development, construction and maintenance. Now, LEED is facing competition from Portland, Oregon-based Green Globes, causing controversy and competition throughout the green building industry.

Differences & Similarities

Both LEED and the Green Globes provide national/state/local certification for sustainable building projects; however, there are quite a few ways in which these two systems differ.

  • LEED is based on a system of 110 points whereas the Green Globes utilizes a 1,000 point system.  Each requires a minimum of points in order to be certified. Read more

Survey Confirms Modular Construction to Expand in 2014

ModularOfficeBuilding 300x148 Survey Confirms Modular Construction to Expand in 2014A recent FMI survey revealed some compelling trends in prefabricated and modular construction in the near future. The survey targeted a blend of mechanical, electrical, and general construction contractors, as well as construction management firms. Here are some of the noteworthy findings:

  • Respondents believe that prefabrication services will grow by more than 5% per year for the next three years.
  • More firms are considering in-house prefabrication (17% in 2013 compared to 5% in 2010). At the same time, the number of respondents who have definitive plans to start up their own prefabrication facilities dropped from 57% in 2010 to 33% in 2013.
  • 40% of all respondents have prefabricated construction as a part of their companies’ strategic initiatives.

While the survey as a whole appears to convey mixed messages (specifically point 2 above), it is obvious that industry participants believe that prefabrication and modularization services will play important roles within construction projects in the future.

The question remains as to the number of respondents that will take on those responsibilities themselves or look to subcontractors for in-factory construction. As with all expansion plans, ROI will determine whether or not in-house modular divisions will be cost effective.

With nearly a half century of experience in modular, we’re happy to see more firms are seeing the benefits of in-factory building and look forward to what 2014 reveals.

Creative Containers: Architects Transform Portable Storage Units into Sustainable Structures

Portable storage containers are commonly used by construction firms and retail stores to keep materials, equipment and inventory safe from the elements and theft. But around the world, architects, community planners and entrepreneurs are finding new, inventive ways to use portable storage units to create visually stunning places for people to work, eat and live.

Here are some great examples of how storage containers have been reinvented around the world.

Container Cities

1024px Cmglee Container City 2 300x200 Creative Containers: Architects Transform Portable Storage Units into Sustainable Structures

Photo: CMGLee

1024px Cmglee Container City Studio 12 300x200 Creative Containers: Architects Transform Portable Storage Units into Sustainable Structures

Photo: CMGLee

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In 2001, Container City I was built in London’s Trinity Buoy Wharf by Urban Space Management. The project transformed 40’ storage containers into affordable housing and office space in just four days.

The following year, the firm expanded the development with the creatively named Container City II, adding more offices and several colorful bridges that connect it to Container City I.

Ice Cream Parlor in a Can

In San Francisco’s Hayes Valley, Smitten Ice Cream put a new spin on the traditional ice cream parlor using a 40’ storage container. Builders sliced the container in half and Read more

Why Smart Cities Are the Cure for America’s Aging Power Grid

smart cities 3 Why Smart Cities Are the Cure for America’s Aging Power GridSmart cities are all the rage with urban planners. But does this mean that the smart city design is right for every city? And what about the United States — will it fall behind and never catch up? Here are some of the questions city planners are asking.

What is a Smart City?

The term smart city applies to cities aiming to improve quality of life for citizens by updating infrastructure with smart power grids fueled by renewable energy. Smart cities can reduce traffic congestion, cut CO2 emissions and reduce operating Read more

Essential Design Factors of Net Zero Energy Buildings

NetZeroLeaf Essential Design Factors of Net Zero Energy BuildingsNet zero energy buildings are structures, either site-built or modular, that produce as much energy as they consume, resulting in zero additional energy required from outside sources. While defining the parameters of what makes a building net zero certified had previously been a bit hazy, the Living Building Challenge recently developed more defined criteria. With this in mind, let’s take a look at the essential design factors in every net zero energy building.

Good Design Dictates Lower Energy Needs

Good design is the start of every net zero energy building. Before considering renewable Read more

The Pros and Cons of Energy Usage Disclosure

Lightbulb 300x225 The Pros and Cons of Energy Usage DisclosureAs global green initiatives continue to increase and energy efficiency remains a priority, the question of energy usage disclosure has become a highly contested issue. As its name suggests, energy usage disclosure is the requirement that building managers report the total energy consumption rates of their respective properties.

Much of the country already complies with such informational reporting (specifically Northeastern states), however California, due to state law AB 1103, and Chicago now require that commercial building owners disclose their energy use. Other major cities, including New York, Austin, Seattle, and Washington, D.C. are Read more