Modular and prefabricated construction projects are praised for their efficient use of resources, quick construction times and energy-efficient design. While a lot of projects are still on the boards, one housing project at Temple University could serve as the poster child for modular housing. The Modules at TempleTown, by Interface Studio Architects, is a five-story apartment building constructed from modular boxes and was finished off with a green roof, rain garden, bike garage and is expected to earn LEED Silver certification.
The five-story building located right next to Temple University’s main campus includes a ground floor parking garage, a bike garage, and a maintenance station topped with four stories of apartments and a roof deck. Thanks to a double-H layout, each apartment at The Modules has access to views and light. Inside there are 72 apartments with either 2 or 3 bedrooms priced at appropriate rental rates that students could afford.
The complex is aiming for LEED Silver certification under the LEED for Homes Mid-rise pilot program, and it is expected to be the largest modular LEED-certified building in the country. The project’s stormwater management system includes a rain garden, a green roof, and pervious pavers that reduce stormwater runoff by 50%. On the exterior of the building is a fiber cement rain screen facade system, that protects the building from the elements.
From start to finish, the entire project was constructed within 9 months. It involved building 80 prefabricated boxes off-site at Excel Homes, and then shipping them to the site where they were put into place. Design took about 3 months before construction commenced, so the total project timeline was one year — impressive for a 80,000 sq ft building.
Jetson Green had a chance to ask Brian Phillips, principal and LEED AP at Interface Studio Architects, a few questions about the process and modular construction. Phillips said, “At this scale there appear to be clear advantages on cost of construction and speed of deployment. This 80,000 square-foot, 5-story building was built from excavation to finish work in 9 months. The ability to fabricate elements of the building outside of Philadelphia County allows for a more competitive labor rate. Also, if time is money – the speed of modular is a savings.”
Via Jetson Green