Modular Building Institute

Quebec Branch Office Expansion

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Main Category:
Modular Building Design
ATCO Structures & Logistics Ltd.
Les Constructions Enfab/Mobilfab
La Prairie, QC
Building Use:
Gross Size of Project:
1440 Square Feet
Days to complete:

Award Criteria

  1. Architectural Excellence
    Our existing branch office was augmented with two modular units tucked between the original workshop and office. The wall and roof structures to the modified units were reinforced for higher snow withstanding capacity. Each end of the roof was built on-site to ensure it was well-integrated with the existing complex. The brick facade was also installed on-site for aesthetic continuity. The units were installed on a permanent concrete foundation with three steel beams and concrete pilasters in the 60' bearing axis. The complex consists of four offices, open work area, service room, and a meeting/lunch room. A 3’ section between two adjacent offices, along the workshop wall, wrapped around the front, was completed with floor-to-ceiling glass partitions to let in natural light. A 4' x 4' skylight above the open work area further brightens up the space. Windows in the original office were kept and finished with melamine trim that match the workstations for a more open and unified look.
  2. Technical Innovation & Sustainability
    The air around the skylight above the open work area is circulated with a small 4-inch fresh air diffuser to avoid surface condensation between seasons. Insulation keeps noise from travelling between workstations and the lunchroom. The thickness of original 2" x 4" exterior walls were increased to 2" x 6", allowing for better heat insulation from R12 to R20. The third original window from the existing office was converted into shelves that fit into the common wall between the original office complex and the expansion. The wall between the workshop and the office, as well as the door into the workshop, is 1-hour fire resistant rated.
  3. Cost Effectiveness
    The thermos windows of the modified units were reinstalled, and the central HVAC system main duct was cleaned prior to being modified for cost efficiency. Programmable exterior lights further save energy and cost. The renovation of existing fleet units provided a project cost savings of about $30,000.
  4. Project History
    The (2) 12x60 units modified and utilized for this project came from the Pfizer complex which originally was a 38 unit 2-storey complex. The Pfizer complex was also office occupancy but was built in 2003 and therefore did not meet the current code. We needed to be compliant with the Quebec Energy Efficiency Code because of the permanent nature of our installation. The branch office, although modular, is installed as a permanent building with concrete foundations, brick on 3 sides, and various other design criteria required by the city by-laws. Some of the renovations, as said above, are for energy efficiency, others are for structural, as these units now close the gap between our Phase I of the office and the workshop. The workshop roof being higher than our office, now creates an additional snow load that was not factored in the original Pfizer Complex design. Units from the original complex have been repurposed for 10 other projects in Canada to date.
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